When do babies say mama and really mean it?

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Long before my babies uttered their first bursts of “mama” and “dada”, they had mastered the basic guidelines of language and communication. Of course, none of this manifested until they were almost two years old. Before then, it was mostly “eehs”, "oohs" and "ahhs" in the first four to eight weeks.

Subsequently, the babies began babbling with their tongues, lips, palates, and gums. Then, the words became clearer and better pronounced. Occasionally, we heard mama-mama and dada-dada. In her fifth month, my third baby attempted to pronounce her older sister’s name—“Ola Ola Ola,” she called very softly, just as she had heard the other children and adults do.

when do babies say mama and really mean it

Babies and language

There is no evidence to show that babies really mean all the things they say. Even then, you shouldn’t underestimate a babies’ ability to start processing language early. Research studies have shown that language processing begins when the baby is still in the uterus. In fact, researchers also claim that reading to the unborn child encourages early language learning.

In utero, your baby can actually distinguish the sound of your voice from others. Babies can listen to classical music too, so please keep playing the Mozart and Beethoven tunes.

But, you’re probably wondering, when do babies say mama and really mean it?

Children develop at different rates. While some are early talkers, others tend to not be in a hurry to speak. “Timeline differs even for babies born to the same parents, and raised in the same environment,” says Dr Faith Kwukie, a speech & language pathologist at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital. “For most babies, seven months is when they start babbling ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ and ‘gaga’ and ‘tata’. They start uttering real words from their ninth month and beyond.”

Do they understand their babbled words? Very unlikely. They might start to use those words in the correct context when they clock one year.

Be attentive so that you won’t miss the long-awaited moment when do babies say mama and really mean it.

when do babies say mama and really mean it

Tips for helping your baby talk

If your baby's language skills aren’t developing at the appropriate rate, you have probably tired of asking the question, when do babies say mama and really mean it. Your goal is most likely to boost your child’s language and communication abilities.

There are simple steps you can take to help your child talk. The first step to provide a supportive and loving communication environment. Here are other things you can do:

1. Speak to your baby

Talk to your baby. You can start with affirmations, such as, ”I love you” and “You are beautiful”. Tell them about your day, about your aspirations. Use descriptive words. And when you’re doing something, explain the process to the child. Describe the objects and people around. Point to objects and sound the words. Sing nursery rhymes to your baby.

Speech and language pathologists recommend simple, unsophisticated language. Avoid babbling to your child. Speaking clearly will encourage your child to talk audibly.

2. Read

Reading stories and poetry will help boosts your child’s language learning skills. According to researchers, babies love the sound of their parent’s voices. Your baby is likely to learn the words you sound from the books.

Babies find the cadences from nursery rhymes soothing and delightful. To help your baby when do babies say mama and really mean it, invest in good quality children’s literature. And you’ll be glad you did.

3. Pay attention

Resist the temptation to ignore your babbling baby. You could hurt their feelings and discourage them. You should pay attention and be present for your child especially when they are trying to communicate. Soon your baby will say mama and really mean it.

Every parent desires to see their children complete the important milestones of life. Mothers want to hear their baby say mama and really mean it. Fathers yearn to have their babies look at them and say dada. Sometimes, this milestone requires work and patience. Simple steps like reading to the child, listening to them, playing classical music and talking to them can help improve their language learning skills. It’s never too late to start training your baby.

Resources: BBC, The Telegraph

Also Read: Kissing a baby on the lips

Written by

Julie Adeboye