It’s a dream come true for parents to hear their newborns say their first words! Long before they begin to speak, however, babies become familiar with diverse sounds such as babbling and cooing. However, many parents may wonder when do babies say mama and dada.
In this article, we are going to talk more about this question. When your baby starts babbling, it’s exciting because it means your child is one step closer to speaking! Of course, this means you and your partner are racing to see which word baby says first: mama or dada. It’s doubtful that the infant will utter either word shortly after they start making noises.
With no further ado, let’s get started!
When Do Babies Say Mama and Dada
While every child’s development differs, most babies begin stringing together words that sound like “mamamama” or “dadadadada” by the age of seven months. These are just babbles at this point.
Although they may usually say “Mama” first, there is no established trend or rule as to whether the infant will say “Mama” or “Dada” first. The “M” consonant sound is normally easier for a newborn to speak, and by the age of six months, they may be gurgling with the “Mmm” sound. They might also make vowel sounds like “Ah” and “Eh.”
By the age of nine months, most babies can say Mama and Dada clearly. It is the average age for reaching the milestone, not the age at which all babies pronounce those words. Some babies may be able to utter it sooner, while others may need a few more months to say those sweet words.
That doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about at that time. They might say it to you or your father, or they might say it to the mailman. It’s something they’ll say to anyone.
However, around the age of one, the baby will most certainly begin to use the word correctly in context. It’s magical when it happens. It’s the best feeling in the world when they look at you and say mama or dada with sincerity.
Babies’ Ways of Communicating
Your infant is communicating even before he or she begins to speak. Crying is a common way for babies to communicate, but they quickly progress to gestures, signs, and even points to get their message across.
All of these cues help your baby get ready to speak for the first time. These exchanges teach kids the fundamentals of communication as well as the idea that language, in all of its forms, may represent genuine concepts. This prepares the path for future events.
What role do parents play in language development?
Interaction between you and your child is an important component of encouraging them to speak. Children who have had their parents (and their families, siblings, guardians, and anybody else involved in the child’s upbringing) read, sing, and chat to them from the beginning exhibit stronger indicators of linguistic awareness than children who have not had such stimuli.
For this form of verbal input, face-to-face interaction remains the gold standard. While talking toys and screens have their place, they won’t help your kid acquire language skills if you don’t connect with him.
The same is true when learning a second language. Babies can learn second languages as well, but not if the instructions are delivered through a screen. The magic begins with person-to-person contact.
How to Get Babies to Say “Mama” or “Dada”
You can’t rush your baby’s milestones, but if you think his or her language abilities aren’t developing as quickly as you’d like, here are some suggestions to help him or her develop good language skills:
Use Your Senses to Help You
One of the most effective strategies to encourage your baby to utter the words “mama” or “dada” is to say them repeatedly. Putting your baby’s hand over your mouth as you say “ma” may help them gain a sense of the word. This is a terrific method to stimulate your baby’s auditory, visual, and tactile skills by doing this exercise with them.
Speak to Your Child
Parents may believe it’s cute to babble with their infant instead of talking with them, or they may be pretending to be communicating in baby language. While doing so every now and then is sweet, doing so on a regular basis may not benefit your baby’s language skills.
Instead, chat to your baby about things around you, your day, what he’s doing, etc. or simply sing or point and say the names of objects, and your baby will soon begin to say mama or dada as well!
The Photo Album of ‘Mama’ or ‘Dada’
Make a photo album with photographs of ‘Mama’ or ‘Dada,’ and say the word ‘Mama’ every time you display the album to the infant. You can do this for each picture in the album, pointing to the picture and to yourself as you go.
Repeating this process numerous times may assist your baby in comprehending and associating the term with you. A similar exercise can be done with ‘Dada.’
The Game of Peek-a-Boo
Most parents play peek-a-boo games with their children, and this entertaining activity is also an excellent way to teach a child the words “Mama” and “Papa.” You can hide behind the door, behind the curtain, or under the blanket, and every time you emerge from your hiding location, shout “Mama.”
Do this a few times a day, and your baby might say “Mama” instead of you saying it after a few days!
Pay Attention to What Your Baby Is Trying to Tell You
Although your kid is babbling, he is attempting to communicate with you in his own language. You should not disregard what your baby is attempting to convey, and you may soon hear your munchkin speaking in complete sentences and saying the much-anticipated words that may be the sweetest sounding words ever, namely, ‘Mama’ and ‘Dada.’
As parents, we expect our children to complete everything quickly, but this is not the case. Every infant is unique and special in its own way. To help your child reach these milestones, you may need to exercise patience and sometimes hard effort, and in this situation, chatting to your child, reading, playing music, and most importantly, being patient will be quite beneficial!
Sing Nursery Rhymes and Songs
Nursery rhymes and songs aid in the development of linguistic abilities in babies and toddlers. The melodic element of rhymes and songs may also help the youngster remember new words and understand their meanings. You can choose from a variety of traditional nursery rhymes or write your own songs that incorporate the words “Mama” and “Dada” in the lyrics.
Once your child has mastered the proper use of “Mama” and “Dada,” reward and praise them. When kids call you “Mama” or refer to their father as “Dada,” respond quickly and enthusiastically. Constant praise in the form of words and cuddles is an excellent technique to help newborns improve their speech and language skills.
When Should I Be Concerned If My Child Isn’t Communicating?
It’s critical for all parents to think about the bigger picture of their child here, which includes the entirety of your baby’s speech. Understanding words and your baby’s social abilities are equally crucial building blocks in their language development.
Pre-verbal skills, or the non-verbal parts of language, are a separate domain of speech and language development. Pre-verbal abilities are the basis for excellent speech and language abilities. Attention, listening, developing cause and effect, turn-taking, and imitation are examples of such talents.
You should consult your doctor if your child is not utilizing any deliberate words by the age of 12-15 months. Many doctors expect infant language to emerge by this age, and if it doesn’t, your doctor may refer you for a hearing test or a speech and language pathologist appointment.
Your child’s communication skills will be evaluated by a speech pathologist. If your baby has a speech delay, they will understand and work with you to enhance his or her language and pre-verbal skills. Reduce the number of questions you ask your kid and use words like “what’s that?” to encourage them to speak.
Instead, concentrate on repeating your words, especially action words, with your infant. Many parents believe that names, colors, numbers, and animals are necessary for infant communication, however, this is a common mistake.
At this stage of development, these words aren’t as useful for functional communication as words like “stop,” “go,” “more,” and “finish.” Don’t panic; your child’s academic talents and other areas of vocabulary will emerge much later.
When do babies say mama and dada? You wondered and we answered it here for you. Your baby will learn to understand words long before he speaks his first words, but concepts and directives will take a little longer. Around the 18th month, your toddler’s vocabulary will likely increase, and by the age of two, he may be able to construct a sentence.