Baby's brain develops in direct response to face-to-face communication with others. Making time to gaze at pēpi, making faces, talking and making sounds with them will strengthen language and communication pathways in their brain.

Why do it?

  • Baby will like gazing at faces and watching how your mouth moves while you talk.
  • Baby is learning to match sound and mouth shape.
  • Baby may try to copy your mouth and make a sound.
  • Baby can learn to take turns making sounds with you. This is the start of having a conversation. 

How to do it

  • Make sure baby is fed, comfortable and ready for some social time before starting the activity.
  • Hold or place baby so their face and your face are about 30 cm apart.
  • Use ‘parentese’ when you talk to baby (speak more slowly, exaggerate your mouth and eye movements and speak in a higher pitch).
  • Pause and keep looking at baby, as though you are inviting them to reply.
  • Make another comment and wait for them to respond.
  • If baby makes a sound, try copying them.
  • Watch closely for any sign that baby needs a break.