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The Breeders: First Word?

When does it go from babbling to an actual word?

There are a lot of milestones in a baby's first year: first time they roll over, first time they sit up, first time they eat solids, first time they crawl, first time they walk. And each of these are supposed to be documented in a baby book (or blog, or Facebook) so you know when it happened. Of course, most adults don't know when they achieved these milestones, and after a few decades their parents usually don't remember the exact date either. But, there is one milestone that it seems everyone knows, because it doesn't usually need a date - the first word. 

I assumed when The Kid said his first word we would immediately call the grandparents and post it to Facebook. The thing is, it's kind of hard to to tell when that really happened.

Maybe I just read too many baby development websites, and most people don't have a friend who is going to school to be a speech-language pathologist, but I've been hesitant to say, "_____ is his first word!"

The Kid has been babbling forever and we've even gotten to the point where he mimics our intonation and sounds like he is having whole conversations with us. The problem is that most first words - "mama," "dada," "baba," or my sister's "kiki" (kitty) - are just repeated syllables, the same syllables that are popular in babbling, so it's hard to tell if its a first word or they just got distracted and stopped after two. 

The first time The Kid stopped at two "ma"s he was looking at the refrigerator.

Granted there is a similarity, but I'm not to willing to admit it. That was back in January. Since then he's said it to the keyboard, bananas, the garbage truck, but it's usually followed by many more "mamama's." My friend the speech pathologist says that it doesn't really count until it's said with intent. Well, today we had intent.

It was getting near naptime and dad tried to redirect him from something he shouldn't have been playing with, so he decided to try a new approach. He turned around, looked up at me and gave me a sorrowful, "MaMa."

It almost worked. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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