Answer: Daddy. According to a 2008 study, the most common 1st words said by a group of 264 English-speaking babies in the United States was "Daddy", followed closely by "Mommy", and then "BaaBaa", "Bye" and "Hi."
2. At what age do babies start babbling (experimenting with sounds but not saying any discernable words)?
Answer: Around 6-months of age. First communication starts with your baby's coos around 1-2 months followed by babbling at about 6-months. These patterns of learning language are predictable and universal.
3. On average, at what age do babies speak their 1st words?
Answer: Around 13-months. This is followed by a rapid expansion of your baby's vocabulary around 18-months.
4. True or False. You can help early vocabulary development by labelling specific objects for your baby, i.e "that is a block!"
Answer: True! Attaching a word to a specific object can help infants learn new vocabulary. Describing what you or your child is doing as it happens is also helpful.
5. True or False. Focusing on motor development, like learning to crawl or walk, can temporarily take your baby’s focus away from learning to speak.
Answer: True! Though this effect is brief, if your baby is intent on learning to walk, he may be so focused on that skill that he isn't as intent on learning new words. As soon as he masters walking though, he'll be back to learning to speak.
6. At what age do babies start recognizing words for common items?
Answer: Between 7-12 months. Sometime around 7-12 months your baby will begin to recognize common words such as "cup", "milk" or "shoe."
7. At what age is your baby able to follow directions?
Answer: Between 18-months and 2 years. At this age you can begin to ask your child to help you with simple tasks like bringing you her cup or picking up her shoe.
References (by question number):
1: Tardif T, Fletcher P, Liang W, Zhang Z, Kaciroti N, Marchman V. Baby's First 10 Words. Developmental Psychology. 2008;44(4): 929-938.
2, 3, 4 & 5: Kopko K. Research Sheds Light on How Babies Learn and Develop Language. Accessed 4/9/14 at: http://www.human.cornell.edu/hd/outreach-extension/upload/casasola.pdf
6: Birth to 1 Year: What should my child be able to do? Accessed 4/9/14 at:
7: Tips on Learning to Talk. Accessed 4/9/14 at:
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