Baby‘s first words are one of the milestones parents start looking forward to even before they are born. What can be even more moving and memorable, though, is the moment when they say your or your partner’s name. The day when they do is coming no matter what, but there are things you can do to help Baby get there faster!
- Be consistent
Before Baby can call you ‘mama,’ or ‘dada,’ they have to recognize that you are Mama or Dada. If you refer to yourself the same way every time, the same way you refer to cars, the family pet, or Baby’s favorite bottle the same way every time, they have the chance to connect that set of sounds with you, specifically.
- Use positive reinforcement
If Baby accidentally stumbles across the ‘mamama’ sound in their exploration of their own vocal cords, and you are happy and excited with them, they will be happy and excited with you, and will want to do the same thing again, to get the same response.
- Ask for help
If you’re Baby’s source for a lot of the first connections they make between words and the objects associated with them, referring to yourself as ‘mama’ might not make sense to them in the same way that referring to other people and concepts out loud to them does. If your partner, or your friends, start to refer to you as ‘mama’ when Baby is around, though, it might help their brain make the connection.
- Be understanding
If it’s taking Baby longer to call you by name than you were expecting, it’s nothing personal, and it doesn’t reflect anything about Baby’s feelings towards you. Many babies become familiar with the ‘m’ and the ‘d’ consonant sounds first, but every baby develops differently, so you never know where Baby is going to start out, word-wise. Don’t worry, though – they will be calling your name before you know it.