If Your Baby Didn't Say 'Mama' First It May Hint At How Bonded You Are

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Waiting for baby's first word is one of the most exciting parts about parenthood. It's an important marker that most of us look for. In most cases, the first word is usually either "Mama" or "Dada", but it's nearly always "Dada" that pips us to the post. Us moms might find it a little bit irritating, but according to experts, there's actually a pretty sweet reason behind it that might leave you reaching for Kleenex.

Romper spoke to Dr. Catherine Gritchen, a pediatrician at MemorialCare Medical Group in Long Beach, California to get to the bottom of why our little bundles of joy say the D-word first. After all, we're the ones that carry them in our wombs for nine months, so don't we deserve to be the first one in there?


"One developmental theory is that infants tend to not appreciate mama as an independent person," explained Gritchen. "But rather, a part of extension of themselves." Going by that train of thought, babies don't understand that mom is a separate entity at all, and therefore doesn't feel the need to address them as much as other adults, like dad.

Another expert in their field, Dr. Mayra Mendez, explained that babies view moms as the prime caregiver, but it also goes deeper than that. Infants rely so much on moms to do everything for them, from feeding to dressing, that they subconsciously experience life through them. To the baby, there is no distinction between them and their mom. Isn't that sweet?

On the flip side, some of us might've mistakenly thought we'd heard our baby utter "Mama" or "Dada" when they were just making sounds. Generally, any sounds or noises babies make before the age of 9 months are just that - sounds and noises that are just them testing what they can do. Once they start playing around with their vocal cords, it won't be long before they start picking up language.

Which word did your child say first? Do you remember which was first?

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