When a newborn says mom or dad

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At what stage of growth does the baby pronounce for the first time "mom" or "dad"? In the first year of babies, the conversation can appear one-sided to all parents ... And, moreover, many babies start talking late. But it is important keep chatting and talking to them, because only in this way is it possible to build the linguistic baggage of newborns.

By 18 months, babies should know how to use consistently 10 to 25 words. Often, after they have started making sounds, a nice "competition" also begins between the two partners, waiting for the word that the little one will say first: "mom" or "dad"?

There is a period of growth where babies say the word "mom" or the word "dad"? Let's find out together.

In this article

  • When do babies say mom or dad?
  • Do children say mom or dad first? 
  • How to encourage them to say mom / dad

When do babies say mom or dad?

Certainly the period may vary for each child, even in the case of siblings.

"Most babies start putting together syllables that sound like 'mamamama' or 'papapapapa' by 7 months," said Jennifer L. Maietta, a specialist in children's speech pathology in Boston. “These opening sounds are just stammering, but as babies approach 9 months and beyond, they get better in the pronunciation of true words ". That still doesn't mean they really know what they're saying.

"They could look at their mom or dad and call them in recognition, but they could also call dad the postman," said Danelle Fisher, a pediatrician in Santa Monica, California. "They can call anyone mom or dad." AND around the year of life that the child will probably start using the word correctly in context. And when it happens it's magical. When they look at you and say "mom" or "dad" and they really think so, it really is one of the strongest emotions. 

Read also: When to take your child to the speech therapist

Do children say mom or dad first?

There are various common beliefs about this. A baby's first word is thought to be "mom".

According to Gina Posner, a pediatrician in Fountain Valley, California, that's not necessarily the case. "Some kids are obsessed with the 'pa' sound, and others like the 'ma' sound."

But if mom spends more time caring for the baby, she might have an edge over dad. It has in fact been observed that children first pronounce the name of the person who mainly cares for them.

Read also: Baby's speech development from 1 month to 3 years

How to encourage children to pronounce mom or dad?

While it is obviously not possible to accelerate the development of babies, there are some ways to teach babies to say "mom" and "dad". Here's what they are. 

  1. Children imitate their parents, then continually say "mom" and "dad" and encourage the child to repeat these two words it's really crucial.
  2. To help your child understand what those words actually mean, be sure to teach them in the appropriate context. Posner claimed to have often encouraged parents (his patients) to identify each other as "mom" or "dad" when talking to the baby. For example, dads can say to the baby: «Look mom! Mama has some food ready for you. " In this way, the child begins to associate a parent with a specific name.
  3. When it comes to encouraging the child's language development, according to Maietta the best way is read, play, talk to him and limit the time spent in front of the screen and with electronic toys. Also find children's books that rely heavily on the words "mom" and "dad" and read them often - they can be much more useful than you think.
  4. Each child is different, but if the little one is in the period to go from 12 to 15 months and has not yet said "mom" and "dad", report it to the pediatrician. Most doctors expect children to have learned these words in that age group; those who have not done so may be advised to have a hearing test or speech therapy.
  5. If your child says many other words but "mom" and "dad" aren't on the list, don't panic! “It is true that the words mom and dad are very encouraging for parents, but it is more appropriate to be focused on whether the child has started stammering using a variety of consonants, copying sounds and movements of a parent, gesticulating and making eye contact, etc. », Maietta argued. In that case "mom" and "dad" will arrive on time and it will be worth the wait.
Read also: The first words of the child




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