First words….who will win? Mama vs Dada

We are headed into the first words zone and the battle is on!!

So there are plenty of people who believe “dada” tends to be first because /d/ is simply easier to say. Some also believe “mama” comes first because mama might be a favorite parent from time to time. I have a feeling our youngest will say “dada” because it is his most often babbled combination and also because he hears it more (“dada is home, look it’s dada”…and so on).

BUT, this weekend he evenly distributed his mama/dada productions. Even then, his first word might end up being “bug” because it is a popular vocab word in our house during this time of the year.

Some key things to remember:

  • First words don’t have to be produced perfectly to count as a first word
  • Signs are also expressive
  • Treat their babble and approximations as meaningful and intention because this is what leads them to produce that sound again, and again, and again
  • Support those single words and expand on them
  • Don’t be ashamed of that ‘parentese’ because it is just so fun for your little ones to listen to and what is better than good, honest, engagment!

P.S. I’m still hopeful I’m going to win this one!

Published by Dr. Miranda Wolff

I am a speech-language pathologist and I specialize in early intervention. I obtained my Masters degree from Penn State University and my Doctorate Degree from Rocky Mountain University of Healthcare Professions. I have worked in a variety of setting but most of my experience is working with preschool aged children. I thought I knew so much about that age and younger until I had my own children! I'm a proud mother of two wonderful boys and while they can be a challenge at times, they help me develop new skills and new ways to approach language development in a functional and motivating way I would never have truly grasped without them. I started this blog in an effort to share and support others while their little ones are growing and learning and also to support my fellow SLPs. I hope you find my posts helpful. My goal is to provide practical ideas and suggestions because I know first hand that setting out to do anything that isn't functional or motivating for you and your children won't give you the results or satisfaction we all hope to obtain while working with our little ones.

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