You can typically expect the gift of baby’s first words close to their first birthday.
To most parents, there is very little that sounds sweeter than hearing your child’s first words. From birth, your baby is learning about communication. From crying to cooing to babbling, your responsiveness to your child’s messages is a powerful teacher.
On average, babies will utter their first real words around 12 months, although there is a wide range that is considered “normal,” typically from 11-14 months.
Keep in mind that there is a difference between babbling a string of syllables (e.g. experimenting with the sound “ma-ma-ma-ma”) and using a real word. To be considered a true word, your baby must use the word on repeated occasions, and there must be meaning behind it. For example, if your baby consistently looks at you, raises their arms for you to pick them up, and says, “Mama,” this is a real word.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019