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Baby's First Words

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Googoo. Gaga. We all love the adorable sounds of a happy, inquisitive baby. While we simply swooned for the first bits of baby talk and cooing, most parents are equally eager for a first word. Seeing a baby developing language is a hugely gratifying milestone. Let's take a closer look at language in the first year.

Myth buster: According to webmd, when your baby utters "da-da" at six month this is not favoritism at work and it most likely does not mean daddy. Sorry to say, these are just random syllables.

Fact: Right around a year your baby will spout words with meaning. Get ready for your heart to melt when you hear mama uttered the first time.

Ways to encourage speech development
Turn off the TV: Your children learn language best form adults. A study in the in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics &Adolescent; Medicine found that for every hour in front of the TV, parents spoke 770 fewer words to children. Unplugged adults usually speak about 941 words an hour.
Skip the baby talk: Encourage your child to express himself with words. Don't respond to grunts.
Read books: Toddlers with parents who read to them have a decided advantage in language performance over children who lack early reading socialization.
Keep the dialog going: When shopping talk about the colors of fruits and vegetables or at home describe what you are doing, "Mommy is washing the dishes." Boring for you? Maybe. Fascinating for baby? Definitely.

Delayed speech
According to the University of Iowa it's important to seek out early intervention if your child shows signs of delayed speech. Nope, we don't expect him to recite Shakespeare at two. Here's a good standard: By age 2 a child should be able to put two words together. By age 3, a child normally should be able to communicate independently. Talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns.

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Beaba and Scandinavian Child are sponsors of Momtrends Baby's First Series.

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