Does your baby love to babble? Here's why it's so important

Plus, find out adorable anecdotes from real parents about their babies' first words!

Of the many milestones parents look forward to marking with their kids, hearing them utter their first words could quite possibly be the cutest! But the journey to this is even more adorable as babies start to babble. According to Dr. Joselyn Eusebio of of University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center (UERMMMC), babies normally start babbling at 6 months of age.

"At 8 months, they are expected to mutter things like 'dada' and 'mama'," she tells theAsianparent Philippines. "So, the development of language should follow this sequence: at 1 year old, babies should know at least three words. Once they hit 18 months, it should be 10 words and at 2 years old, they should already be forming short phrases. Finally, at three years of age, they should be able to communicate in a complete simple sentence."

Parents should encourage babbling and nurture their curiosity, she says, as it boosts a child's development.

"As a child is exposed to new things, the child will tend to ask the parents questions, like "mom what is that?" if he sees a dog. 'What is the sound of the dog?', this back and forth is so important in language and cognitive development," Dr. Eusebio further emphasized.

We wondered what real parents had to say about this adorable part of language development. Over on ParentTown, a Q&A platform and community for parents, one user asked her fellow moms and dads about their babies' first words.

screenshot: ParentTown

Nooraini D.'s little one was right on schedule, as he started to babble at exactly 6 months. "Mine has been saying 'mama' for a couple of weeks now! Especially if I put him down and walk away, he will go 'mama' in his most pitiful voice as if I was never coming back. So adorable!"

As for dad of three BoonCheong, hearing his daughter shout 'papa' at 7 months made him so proud.

screenshot: ParentTown

Mom Jamie K. is not 100% sure if she already heard her little one's first word. "Mine actually said 'mama a few weeks ago, but I'm pretty sure it was part of her babbling. She has also made sounds which resembled "parrot", "squirrel" and "papa". Of course, I'll only recognize her first actual word when she repeats it with meaning. Other than that, I'll treat it as babbling in preparation for the actual thing!" she wrote.

"My baby's first word was 'mama' when he was 6 months old. But he stopped saying that unless he cries for me. Usually he says 'papa' and 'mom mom'," wrote mom Emeris P. who also offered some advice. "The best way to help your baby say his first word is by talking to him frequently."

How about you moms and dads? What were your baby's first words? Share them in the comments below!

READ: Baby talk: The importance of babbling for baby’s language development

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