As a mother, one of the most exciting moments of your life will be hearing your baby's first word.
It doesn't matter what that word it is because we're going to be happy and excited nonetheless, but, of course, we'd love for it to be "mummy"!
So when do babies say their first word? Well, that's a toughie! There is no exact timing as for when babies start to do things, although we do like our baby milestones calendars, that can't be denied! Every baby has his or her own rhythm for reaching milestones, and that can also change depending on what milestones we're talking about. There are babies who are fast learners in terms of mobility, and will learn to walk before others but they'll need a little more time to utter their first few words, while there are talkative babies that have a hard time moving around. There are babies who are fast in both fields, and babies that are slower in both as well, without it meaning that there is a problem. However, if you need a date, their first birthday is the average time for babies to say their first word.
However, there are babies who can say their first word as soon as 9 months, and others who wait until they are 14. As we said, we can't establish an exact time.
Your baby's first word: Not a word
Before your baby's first word, you will hear your baby's first coo, your baby's first babble and so on. Your baby will start producing sounds very early in his life, as soon as 2 months. If you "coo", he may coo back, or give you a high-pitched baby sound. That's a sort of conversation too! The babbling starts around 6 to 8 month, and it's one of the most amusing parts. How fun it is to hear?
However, those can't be considered your baby's first words, no matter how excited we are to hear it. A word has to make sense to be a word! Don't worry, though, because you will recognise the difference between the babbling and the words, although you may discover that the babbling sound he was repeating so much ends up turning into a word!
Common first words for babies
As much as we want to hear the "ma-ma", the "m" isn't an easy letter for a baby, so there are other, more likely first words for your little one... Da-da, for instance! It's also normal (and yes, it counts) if your baby isn't able to pronounce the whole word, or if he pronounces it wrong.
So yes, daddy (or da-da) is one of the most common first words of babies, as well as ma-ma. It may not be easy to say, but they usually hear it all the time, so they end up saying it. "Hi" and "bye" are also common, as well as "no" - a word all mummies come to hate at some point (buckle up for the "no" toddler phase...).
Some other words they tend to say early are "car", "ball", "dog" and "cat", especially if there is a pet in the house. We could say that the baby's first word is related to the people and the things they need and like! Then they have the "no" for everything else.
Your baby's first word: Encouraging him to talk
Once you hear your little one's first babbles or words, you will be so excited you will want more and more. That's understandable! You want your munchkin to be smart and talkative, and, let's be honest, it's also a relief to know what he or she wants after months and months of guessing!
There are ways of encouraging your baby to talk more, but we need to keep in mind that pressure never helps with learning. Every baby has his or her own rhythm and path. You don't need to worry if the neighbour's son or daughter is talking lots while your little one doesn't say anything, because that means absolutely nothing.
But if you want to help your baby towards his or her first words, there are very simple ways of doing so: talking to him! As we said before, babies love to repeat what they see and hear, so if you talk or read to him, he will learn faster. There are many ways of talking to your baby: you can describe the things you do while you do them, you can show him objects and repeat their name several times, at different rhythms, or you can sing songs or stories. Anything you share with him that involves talking will help him towards his first words.
Repeating and focusing on single words are the keys to help your baby talk ¾although you don't need to do that every time, though! Your baby needs to hear you talking at a normal path as well.
So which was your baby's first word? Was it the "mummy" that is music to our ears, or was your little one a tad more experimental? Share it with us in the comment section!