Talking, singing and playing with your baby helps build their brain from birth

Our new Look, Say, Sing, Play campaign helps parents turn everyday moments into brain-building ones.

Almost two thirds of parents are unaware that back and forth interaction with their child from birth is good for their babies' social, emotional and cognitive development.

A survey of over 2,000 mums and dads showed that 62% were unaware that the interactions they have with their new baby in moments such as playing, singing or story time can be brain building ones.1

Brain-building research

Research has shown that when an infant babbles, gestures or cries and an adult responds positively with eye contact, words or a hug, neural connections are built and strengthened in the child’s brain.2

Supporting parents to have these really attentive interactions with their babies can also help to prevent abuse and neglect happening as the child grows older.3


Look, Say, Sing, Play: our campaign


Look, Say, Sing, Play
aims to build on the interactions parents are already having with their children, focusing on everyday moments that offer the chance to engage with their baby. 

Parents are able to sign up for free weekly tips which are tailored to their child's age. 

Parents are encouraged to take a look at what their baby is focusing on and how they react, say what they are doing and copy the sounds their baby makes, sing along to their favourite tune or play simple games and see what their baby enjoys.

Find out more

Chris Cloke, Head of Safeguarding in Communities at the NSPCC, said:

“You don’t have to change your routine to have brain-building moments with your baby. Whether it’s bath-time, bed-time or you’re popping to the shops, there are always moments when you can look, talk, sing and play with your baby.

“We know parents interact with their children all the time, but there’s a real opportunity for them to do it more consciously and give them the best start in life.

“We hope the Look, Say, Sing, Play campaign will resonate with parents and expectant parents and provide some new and simple ideas to help them with vital early year engagement.”

Jane Barlow, President of The Association for Infant Mental Health (AIMH UK), said:

“This campaign builds on current evidence about the importance of interactions between parents/carers and their babies, highlighting the benefits for the rapidly developing architecture of the baby’s brain and their capacity for emotional regulation.

“These are key aspects of development that promote children’s social, emotional, behavioural and cognitive functioning thereby giving them the best start in life.”


References

  1. Barlow, Jane, Schrader-MacMillan, Anita and University of Warwick (2009) Safeguarding children from emotional abuse: what works? [London]: Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) DCSF Research Brief, RBX-09-09.

    Chaffin, Mark, Silovsky, Jane F., Funderburk, Beverly, Valle, Linda Anne, Brestan, Elizabeth V., Balachova, Tatiana, Jackson, Shelli, Lensgraf, Jay and Bonner, Barbara L. (2004) Parent-child interaction therapy with physically abusive parents: efficacy for reducing future abuse reports. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol.72, Iss.3.

  2. Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2017) 3 principles to improve outcomes for children and families (PDF). Massachusetts, MA: Center on the Developing Child. University of Harvard.

  3. The online survey was conducted for the NSPCC by 2CV. They spoke to over 2,000 parents and expecting parents – 1767 parents of children aged 5 or under (1026 mums and 675 dads) and 262 pregnant women or their partners.