New app offers advice on what parents can do to help their baby develop

A brand new app has launched, giving tips and advice to parents about how to make the most of their child’s early years.  

Developed by Liverpool City Council’s Public Health team, 24 Magic Months offers support with the first two years of a child’s life – a crucial time for growing, learning and development.

It is packed full of helpful information which will not only benefit the youngster, but will also give peace of mind to parents who may feel overwhelmed with the challenge of getting used to having a new little person in their life.

The app focuses on the little things we can all do to help children’s development and how every moment spent talking, reading, singing or playing will help them grow into happy and healthy children, young people and adults. Making the connection between these simple actions and the effect on children’s development can be life changing.

It can also be used to check your child’s milestones, such as crawling, through using the built-in-development tracker. 

The app is delivered to parents based on their child’s age and stages of development. Children’s milestones happen at different times so the app reassures parents that this is normal and what to do if they have concerns. 

Developed with partners across the city, including Health Visitors from Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and co-created with parents, 24 Magic Months includes tips and advice on:

Be in the moment
Talking with your baby without distractions and having lots of eye contact is good for your baby’s brain development and for growing a close relationship between you.

You cannot show your baby too much affection
It’s a myth that babies can have too much attention. Your baby needs lots of love and affection from you and other family members to help them feel secure, build confidence and to stimulate the brain.

Play and story time
These are great ways to build a bond with your baby as well as develop their speech and language skills. It doesn’t matter that your little one is too young to understand stories yet, your baby loves the sound of voices and could be beginning to pick out the sounds of separate words.

Cllr Frazer Lake, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health said “The App is packed with trusted and consistent advice from early years professionals, including short films from health visitors, children’s centre staff and other parents. It also contains useful information about the local services which are available to parents and carers within Liverpool.”

Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health said “All parents, and especially new parents may have struggled during lockdown, due to a variety of reasons, including a reduction in face to face support. Having access to this free App means they can now track how their child is doing and check key milestones – and speak to professionals if they are worried or concerned.  

“The App not only helps parents and carers to be the best they can be, but it also encourages them to take care of their own physical and mental health – something which is particularly important at this time.”

Erin Gunn, a Health Visitor from Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust said “The App includes quick and simple activities that help babies develop their speech, brain and social skills, as well as encouraging a close relationship between mums and dads and their children.

“I’m really proud to have been involved in the development of this resource, as babies’ brain double in size during their first year and parents can help this development through talking, singing and playing with their child.”

The app is free to download from Google Play and the App Store. Physical resources are also being shared with local nurseries and children’s centres and they will be available in a range of languages.

Liverpool Waterfront