Why Is A Baby’s First Word Mum Or Dad?

11 July 2017, 14:17 | Updated: 11 July 2017, 14:21

Picture: Google Labelled For Reuse

James O'Brien was asked a question about why babies say mum or dad before any other words. This is the answer.


Why it is that a baby’s first word is Mum or Dad, not their name which they hear the most often?

Eid, Twickenham


Name: Siri from Woking

Qualification: Family medical professional, native Norwegian

Answer: Words like Mama and Dada technically don’t mean anything - they’re just sounds that are the most easy to make developmentally. In English we interpret ‘m’ sounds as if they’re saying mum and 'da' sounds as if the child means dad. In Norway the word for father is papa, so over there the ‘da’ sound refers to "look over there."