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Parents 'should stimulate babies'

Parents have been encouraged to talk to their babies.
Parents of young babies and infants need to make sure that they are frequently hugging, kissing and talking to their offspring in order to aid development, the New South Wales (NSW) has said.

A guide published by Families NSW highlights the fact that babies who are rarely spoken to or receive little physical affection are more likely to experience developmental problems.

This is thought to be because babies who are not stimulated or encouraged to learn about their environment may not have the opportunity to completely develop the brain connections needed to learn, the Sunday Morning Herald reports.

Sydney Children's Hospital executive director Les White told the newspaper: "Lots of young parents today have little support or knowledge about kids, their extended family is not around to give advice, they've had no experience with children, and babies don't come with an instruction manual.

"Everyone is much more likely to be working or be very busy these days but we're not saying you should feel guilty or change your job or lifestyle, and you don't need expensive or sophisticated toys."

He added that if parents spend just a few minutes each day talking to their babies, singing nursery rhymes or reading stories, they will be much more adept at communicating long before they can actually speak.

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