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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 4 June 2015
My review won't be able to do this book justice, it is the most helpful book I have as a parent and what could be more helpful to your child and to you than learning how to help them develop communication skills so you can better understand each other and minimise the terrible twos.

When 8 weeks old I took my son to a singing class and said to the leader that frankly I didn't have much clue how to give my baby the best chances in life other than to help them feel loved, so could she recommend anything. This book was the best gift and is one I would give to other first time parents. After almost 3 years now I'm appreciating more and more the role this book played and still plays in how I gently and respectfully interacted with my child, it surprisingly also helped manage my expectations for the various stages and reassured me during the so called terrible twos that my child was doing the best he could. What better skills to equip your child with than the primary skill of listening and the capacity to tune out sounds so he can hear voices (just stop for a moment now and realise how many sounds are around you that you're filtering out while you focus on reading this - young children can't do this for a few years and need help to be able to do so and this book shows you how).

Background sounds are a problem, a main message of this book is to keep the TV, radio and any unnecessary sounds off for the first two years and preferably beyond.
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on 13 September 2011
As older (late 30's) first-time parents we were very set in our adult-life ways and found the first months of parenting very difficult like so many other folk do, largely because of our inability to communicate with our baby. We asked our health visitor to recommend a book about child development as we knew nothing about how children learn and grow. She suggested Baby Talk and we are both SO glad that she did!
We didn't stick rigidly to the "programme", but took the principles of Dr Ward's explanations and advice and used them and asked grandparents to use them as well. We now have a just-two-year-old who talks AND listens like a 3 1/2 year old. This is making the "terrible two's" SO much easier as she can tell us what she is trying to do and really listens when we try to help her - avoiding many (not all) of the frustrated explosions that this stage can bring. Her listening is superb, correctly identifying sounds some distance away and quickly picking up and repeating tunes and lyrics of songs we sing. She is now enjoying learning the alphabet and is absorbing 4-5 new words daily, including some French.
We are still picking up the book regularly to check what we're doing and help us not to expect too much from her.
Highly recommended for parents and carers who want children that can listen as well as speak!
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on 5 March 2013
This book encourages great speech development, it gives lots of information about development of speech and play in age stages. Good advice about how to help speech progress. Clear, common sense advice about when to be concerned and raise your concerns with someone. My older son has a severe speech delay which has a medical cause so whilst this hasn't helped him overcome this it has undoubtedly meant things are not as bad as they could be! For my younger son he was recently assessed by a university psychology team researching language development, he gained a higher score than any other child they had tested, his understanding was considerably advanced by several years. I'm sure that using these techniques and his exposure to signing from birth has helped this to happen.
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on 23 April 2017
A boring read. It's all the same material repeated in each chapter. Don't expect any revelations regarding how to communicate with your baby... and no TV? I'd go mad without Phil & Holly's inane chatter in the background!
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on 6 April 2007
The thing about the baby book industry is that there are so many books putting forward so many differing views, that you can always find one or two which agree with your own basic instincts about how you want to bring up your baby. I'm convinced that, like us, most parents who have favourite books are simply recommending those confirming the approach they wanted to take with their child anyway. I don't know of any parents who read a book and suddenly decided they should be far more strict, or far more laid back (or whatever) than they had intended to be.

"Babytalk" was one of many, many child development books we either bought or were given when our baby was born six years ago. We have a number which we look back on approvingly, but in truth, they all have the same general themes, and when I look at them, did they make us do anything which we wouldn't have done otherwise? Probably not.

"Babytalk" is different. It really did give us some ideas which - whilst they went along with our basic instincts - we might not have had the conviction to do otherwise. "Babytalk" is about giving your child a good grounding in communication for life. The results of this might take several years to show themselves; it's not a "quick fix" to get them to say words and sentences at an earlier age than other children. It's about understanding the purpose of communication. Now, at the age of six, our child knows how to speak and how to listen - in other words, how to communicate efficiently. He learns very quickly, and has an excellent level of comprehension. Would he have been this good at speaking, reading and writing without "Babytalk"? We will never know. Many people say this is all programmed genetically anyway (read "Freakonomics", people!). But all I can say is that "Babytalk" simply made sense to us.

You may hate the idea, in this day and age, of not having background music on around the house when you're interacting with your baby. You may hate the idea of not sticking them in front of the TV for the first two years. All this makes life that bit harder. But it does make sense. The author will convince you so. If you don't want to be convinced, don't buy the book. But we think it was a great plan to follow, almost from birth.
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on 4 December 2015
Some of the ideas are OK, but the book is a bit out of date now. I was told that the research on which it was based was repeated and couldn't be replicated, and sadly the author passed away, or she would certainly have re-written it (I was told by a child language therapist). The aspect I found most irritating is the little vignettes talking about children whose parents were obviously doing it all wrong, and after advice from and use of the Baby Talk method, they came on leaps and bounds. Not all parents who might want to read such a book are doing everything wrong, and may be doing everything right, but still have a developmentally challenged child (for example through prematurity). This kind of approach is hardly supportive to them. I'd recommend instead the 'My toddler talks' , Kimberley Scanlon, which has some really nice activities to help engage the child. If you can get a cheap second hand one of Baby Talk, it may be worth a glance through, but don't pay a lot for it.
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on 5 April 2016
I used this book as a parental guide with both my children - 12 and 5 respectively. Both have excellent communication skills. A teacher at school commented on how articulate my 5 year old boy was.
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on 30 March 2014
Would recommend highly. Very informative and helpful. 5 star. It has brought our daughter on leaps and bounds. Thank you.
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on 14 March 2012
Very good book with some very helpful tips to give your child the best chance of good speech development. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone.
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on 18 January 2010
Excellent book, very useful for ideas on stages of a babies language development. Clear, informative and interesting, written with parents in mind.
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