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  • Look Who's Talking – Your Baby’s first words

    May 22, 2024 2 min read

    Look Who's Talking – Your Baby’s first words - The Nappy Shop

    Look Who's Talking – Your Baby’s first words

    Hearing your child’s first words is a moment cherished by parents and caregivers alike. Finally having a means of getting clear (ish) feedback is a joy (at least at first). However, these first words are months in the making, what they are and what they mean are all based on the environment your child has been in since birth. Let's have a look at the what, when and how a baby moves from babble to communication.

    The road to the first words

    Your baby has been immersed in a world of sounds and sights since leaving the womb and in the first few months, they can recognise familiar voices, especially those of their primary caregivers. By the time they are 6 months old, most infants start ‘babbling’ kind of like “ba-ba” or “da-da” on repeat. This is your child starting to control sounds they will use later on. It is also incredibly adorable.

    First words

    Around their first birthday, many children will say their first (recognisable) word. Common first words are often ‘mumma’ or dadda’ (keep in mind dadda is more likely, as it is easier to say). Often a word that is used a lot by caregivers can be the first one your child utters. Which can be very sweet, but also something to think about.


    The more you speak to your child, the larger your vocabulary when you are talking to them (yes, even though they can’t answer you back) is the foundation for your baby’s language development. Reading your child a book or singing a song are all beneficial. However, using words as part of meaningful interactions, like when you are changing their clothes or getting their bottle ready all lead to the connection between sounds and things.

    Average timeframes

    (Please Note: every child develops at their own pace, this is only a guide)

    12-15 Months: Simple words like "Mumma," "Dadda," "Ball," "Milk," and "Bye-bye."

    15-18 Months: Words for favourite toys or foods, like "car," "cookie," and "juice."

    18-24 Months: Toddlers start adding words together i.e.  "More juice" or "big truck."

    2-3 Years: This is when their vocabulary really takes off, including names of people, body parts, and common objects, even whole sentences, like "I want cookie."


    It does not always come easy (you will see the frustration in your child's face when you fail to understand) but the wide world of words is a beautiful journey. Encourage and embrace every attempt and your child will be talking (probably non-stop) in no time.