There are many milestones in a little one's early life. There's the birth itself, taking him or her home, and unwrapping those unique baby gifts of course! However, few are quite as memorable as the very first word a newborn speaks. While some parents will try and nudge their babies in the right direction by repeating words – typically mum or dad – is there method behind the madness?
Well, research from Florida State University (FSU) explained that it's more likely that their early experiences will dictate most of their vocabulary building.
Nature or nurture?
"Children leverage their early world knowledge to help them unlock their language skills … but what's really new is that they are learning these words in clusters and there might be some words that are easier for children to learn and some that are harder," explained FSU Assistant Professor of Psychology Arielle Borovsky, as quoted by ScienceDaily.
So, if some words are easier than others for little ones to grasp, it is it possible to predict what their first word might be?
Popsugar surveyed 11,000 Circle of Moms users and surmised that the most common first word is 'Dad', followed by 'Mum' and 'Hi'. While new mothers may want their baby's first word to be 'Mum', the fact many baby's struggle with this at first is actually relatively simple to explain: 'D' sounds are much easier for little ones to make than an 'M'.
Ultimately, there's no hard and fast rules as to what your newborn's first word will be, and it could even be something surprising or funny. The only thing that's a touch more predetermined is when they'll first start using language.
Web MD suggested that most babies form basic speech patterns at 6 months old, and begin to say actual words over the following two to three months. While your little one is unlikely to speak up and suggest their preferred baby gifts early in their development, it'll only take a short amount of time for them to start understanding and appreciating language.