When to Expect Baby's First Wordsby Your Baby Club
One of your baby’s most important milestones and definitely one you’ll want to try and get on camera - your baby’s first words are precious. Many parents long to hear the words ‘mama’ or ‘dada’ come out of their baby’s mouth amongst all the other gargles and giggles but sometimes babies come out with the most unexpected words, so be careful what you say around them!
Getting your baby to pick up on language starts very early on, recognising your voices and reacting as a small infant, making sounds themselves and finally, when they’re able to say a word and understand its meaning. It can take a few months of vocal experimentation until they get the order of vowels and consonants round the right way. This can be seen as early as 8-months old, however, some children don’t start talking until they’ve passed their second birthday. Every child is different. Once they do hit this milestone though, you’ll never be able to get them to be quiet!
Some common first words can include ‘dada’, ‘mama’, ‘bye-bye’, ‘no’, ‘hi’, ‘ball’, ‘dog’ and other one or two-syllable, repetitive sounding words.
Much before they’re able to say words, they will understand them. The best way to encourage your baby’s first words, is simply to speak to them, a lot! Narrate your day, talk to them in simple words and point at objects and people as you say their name. Have conversations as if they are talking back and watch to see if they respond by way of facial expressions, movements, sounds, or even words! When they do make an audible sound, make sure you respond positively, with a smile and show you are listening, this encourages them to try again54.
Singing songs and reading books is also a great way to get your child picking up on words. Repetition is key. Make sure you listen out for half-words, your baby may not be able to say all the syllables or letters yet, so words they want to say may be shortened or changed slightly until they’re able to pick up the full word.
If you think you know what they are saying, repeat the full word back to them. This helps them learn the right way to say it, they may even repeat it back to you.