As a Speech Therapist, I am often asked what a child’s first words will be. This is a difficult question to answer because each child and what they experience is unique. The ways they play or interact with family and their environment directly influence their speech development.
For families with pets, you may hear a pet name as the first word, for children that have a favorite toy that toy name may be the first word. Worrying about a child’s first word becomes more intense the longer a family eagerly waits to hear their child using words. For the late talkers or speech-delayed child, there are some areas/words you can focus on during play or learning in sign language to help the magical first word escape their precious mouth.
As a speech therapist we help support this process and focus on the following: Mama, dada, eat, uh oh, more, done, help, open, car, milk, bath, night night, sound effects (for vehicles and animals), animals, toys, food, hi, bye, ball, up, play, jump, baby, no. Please use these as ideas to help you know what to model during play with your child. If you continue to have concerns, a qualified speech-language pathologist will be happy to help guide and support you through this process.