My newborn baby: advice for parents

A mother and newborn baby

Five to Thrive

Respond – Cuddle – Relax – Play - Talk

Do these five things each time you interact with your child from the time they are born and you will help to grow a healthy, strong and confident child.

You can also come along and see Five to Thrive come alive at your local Family Hub or call 0161 788 0385.

Find out about the 6 to 8 weeks visit from your health visitor.

To find out more about more about each of the Five to Thrive expand the boxes below.



My brain grows better when you respond to me.

My brain works very slowly at first. But when you respond to me in the same way over and over again the connections you are helping to build grow strong. Then they can carry messages between the different parts of my brain more quickly.

Key milestones

  • I move my head or body to find sounds that I know when I hear them.
  • I listen to different sounds grown-ups make with their voices and can move my arms, legs or body or make noises when I hear them

Respond activities


My brain grows better when you cuddle me.

Before I was born I was more aware of touch than of any other sense, and I was safely held in a small space. Now I can move freely, but I still feel most safe when I am in contact with a grown up who loves me.

Key milestones

  • I look at faces and can copy movements you make with your face, like sticking out my tongue, opening and closing my mouth or making my eyes bigger.

Cuddle activities


My brain grows better when you relax with me.

I know that having a baby is stressful. But if you can find ways to relax when you are with me, you can make a big difference to the way my brain works.

Key milestones

  • I like to see grown ups’ faces and hear their voices when I am feeling upset, worried, tired or hungry.

Relax activities


My brain grows better when you play with me.

When you play counting games, or singing games or action games, my brain builds connections that help me to make sense of the world around me and to have fun. As I get older, playing with me and helping me to play on my own or with other children builds connections in my brain that make it possible for me to think and plan, to make sense of the world around me and to develop social skills.

Key milestones

  • I laugh and gurgle to tell you that I like being tickled or lifted up.
  • I can use my voice or look at you to get your attention and tell you that I want you to be with me.

Play activities


My brain grows better when you talk to me.

When you talk to me I copy you. At first I can only make a few sounds, but the more you talk to me the more I can make sounds into words. I need you to tell me everything right from the start. I know nothing, so everything I learn in my life will be built on what you are teaching me now. Involve me in life by telling me about it.

Key milestones

  • I can let you know what I want or how I am feeling by making different noises such as crying, gurgling, babbling and squealing.
  • When a grown up that I know talks to me I make sounds and noises that are special to me.

Talk activities

For more information see the Speak up Salford website. You can also download below our tips for talking leaflet.

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

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