HEARING your baby’s first word will always be exciting, no matter what ends up coming out of their mouth.
But have you ever wondered why they said what they did? Fabulous reveals the answers.
In a video on TikTok, user Shivarti Sheenal Jones-Chand claimed babies most often say ‘dada’ before ‘mumma’.
She explained that babies recognise their dads first outside of their baby-mother bond.
Emily Salter, parenting and child development expert from For Aisha, agreed to an extent.
She told Fabulous there are a few reasons why a baby’s first word might be ‘dada.’
“The first is that babies will recognise their dad as a totally separate person, whereas, at least for the first few months, they’ll feel as though they are still connected to mums,” she explained.
“As mums carry the baby and then typically care for them as an infant, babies will see mums as part of them until they become more independent.”
Another reason is that, while babies are in their ‘babbling’ phase, words like baba and dada are simply easier to pronounce.
But while there is some truth to this theory, Emily says first words won’t always be ‘mama’ or ‘dada’.
In fact, they could be something seemingly random such as clock, shoes or a pet’s name.
“In these cases, it could either be a word they hear often around the house, something they have an interest in, so cartoons or food are popular, or a random coincidence that when they’re ready to talk they repeat a word they’ve recently heard,” said Emily.
Generally, words starting with ‘B’ are common first words such as ball, baby or bye.
This means, the sound is made by pressing both lips together, which is often easier for little ones to do.
“The sound ‘M’ can be made without moving your mouth and therefore, even when breastfeeding, babies can make this sound,” she said.
While it is most often ‘mama’ or ‘dada’, it could also be a favourite toy or food.
“First words are usually related to what is important to their every day, for example, one child I worked with, her first word was her sister’s name.”
But whatever it is, Emily said it doesn’t come down to “favouritism,” they’re just “enjoying copying sounds.”
“They learn by you modelling, so when they are babbling, talk back to them and ask questions. Having a play phone can also encourage babbling and chatting,” Katherine added.