Talking Is Teaching

Talking, reading and singing to your baby are the easiest ways to help them grow up smarter, happier and with a brighter future to look forward to. In fact 80% of a child’s brain is developed by the age of three, and your words are a very influential part of that development. Even before your child can talk back, your words help their brain grow.

How Do I Talk To My Baby?

Just about anything is worth talking to your child about. Even before they can talk, every word you say and question you ask helps their brain develop.

From the day they’re born, you can talk, read and sing to them about anything you like—it’s all new and exciting to them. Tell them about what you are cooking, make up a song about where you are going—even read them your junk mail. Their brain turns on with the sound of your loving voice. You’ll be amazed by how much they can learn from your words.

As your baby gets older and begins to babble, get their attention by repeating the sounds they make and by making eye contact. Eventually, as they learn their own words, converse with them, tell them about things, sing songs with them and ask them questions. It may take a young child a while to answer questions, so wait to listen before responding.

Most importantly, communicating with your child should be fun and easy. Young children love to be talked, read and sung to, so have fun. You can find some ideas for fun activities here.

Our Baby Line

We know it’s not always easy to talk to babies—especially when they can’t talk back—so we’ve partnered with Oaklandish to create a line of clothing and items covered with stuff to talk to your baby about.

All these items will be distributed free of charge at more than 15 locations: Oakland hospitals, pediatric clinics, family playgroups, childcare programs and First 5 Alameda County.

However, we are also selling the items, and with each purchase, we’ll donate an item to a family in need. To purchase any of the items, click on the links below.

Let's talk about color

2T T-Shirt

Click here to purchase

Let’s talk about bedtime


Click here to purchase

Let’s talk about
hands and feet

3-6 Month Onesie

Click here to purchase

Let’s talk about
bath time

Hooded towel

Click here to purchase

Other Resources

Want more? You can find additional tools and information here. And tips from our friends at First 5 California can be found here.

About Us

Talking is Teaching / Talk Read Sing is a campaign of Too Small to Fail in partnership with various organizations that are dedicated to improving early childhood development:

American Academy of Pediatrics

Bay Area Council

Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation

CAP Tulsa

EduCare Tulsa

George Kaiser Family Foundation

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland

Reach Out and Read

Sesame Workshop

Scholastic Inc.


We are currently active in Oakland, but will be in other communities soon. To read more or join our mailing list, click here.

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