What’s your baby thinking when you talk to them

Your baby is learning to communicate with you, and at first this might be difficult to recognise. Remember to take your time and slow down so that you are available for these communications when they occur.

The following is an excerpt from the book, ‘What’s Your Baby Thinking? Understanding and delighting in your very little person’. Written by Neil Alcorn, and illustrated by Abigail King.


Mum and Dad,

I have known your voices well for quite some time now. When I was born, it was like ‘coming home’ when I matched your faces with the voice I remembered from when I was inside Mum.

I love looking at you! What a feeling!

Talk to me about lots of things. I might not yet understand all of the words you say but I am ‘tuned in’ to the feelings and emotions that come with your words.

I know you want me to be able to express how I feel as I grow up. I have feelings NOW. I just need help in understanding and naming them.

Mum and Dad, when we ‘talk’ with each other and I imitate you and you imitate me, we are doing this at incredible speed.

In fact, you are responding to me in about one-twelfth of a second, and I am almost as fast at responding to you. This is mostly happening without us realising it. We are pretty clever at being together, aren’t we!

When you imitate something that I do, it makes me feel that I am like you. It gives

me the sense too that I can really make things happen. This is important. It helps me feel that I can make a difference to what happens in my new world.

When I copy you it makes me more alert, and that helps me to learn.

Oh, by the way – I thought I would share something else with you. Sometimes when babies smile, grownups say it’s just ‘wind’. I don’t know about you but when I have wind I don’t feel like smiling at all!


The book, ‘What’s Your Baby Thinking? Understanding and delighting in your very little person’ is intended for parents-to-be, new parents or carers and families and anyone who works with or is interested in the importance of early relationships. This book presents fascinating and ‘cool’ research about the capacities and immediate readiness of babies for relationships- and with the baby’s ‘voice’. If you would like to buy a copy of the book, please ask for it at your favourite bookstore, online bookseller or contact Neil directly at [email protected] .



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