Baby’s First Word Might Not Be the Word You Waited For

ather talking to his baby daughter

While I was pregnant, one of the moments I envisioned as I was throwing up in the toilet or dripping sweat in the 115 degree Texas heat at 9 months was the day I would hear my little offspring call me ‘mama,’ or call my husband ‘dada.’

The idea that someone in this world will consider me their mom is so beautiful, and I have been waiting to be called by my new name ever since a plastic stick told me I was knocked up. Just waiting.

And waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

It’s a trade-off, I guess. She was such a fantastic newborn – very observant, rarely fussy – and she (for the most part, because she certainly has her crabby/cranky days) continues to be that way now, at 9 months old. But that also means that she doesn’t talk much… or at all. My husband and I? We are total pros at saying ‘mama’ and ‘dada’. We probably say these words to her a hundred times a day while she stares at us with a knowing smile and giggles.

I swear, one day she’s just going to look at me and say, “Listen, mom, can I get some food over here? You’re a little late with the lunch today.”

We even discussed the possibility of hearing loss with her pediatrician, because she wasn’t making any sounds at all, other than shrieking several times a day – not the most pleasant sound in the world. I teared up in the office while looking at her, thinking… “What if… ?”

The very next day, she said ‘dada’. Clear as a bell.

She was in her playpen, roaming around, playing with her musical flowers. Her dad and I were eating dinner. And it came out of nowhere. We forgot the food, squished her between us in a gigantic group hug and bounced up and down. SHE SPOKE!

Now, she stares adoringly at her dad and says his name over and over again: ‘Dadadadadadada.’ Me? Oh, I’m still left in the dust, waiting, still waiting, trying to recall the time that my husband was in labor for 14 hours and pushed a 7 pound baby out of his body, which has to be the reason he gets his magical moment first. Odd, you’d think I’d remember something like that.


It’ll happen, though. She’ll say mom, and smile at me, too. It doesn’t matter, I get to be her mom for the rest of my life, anways. I can wait.

Did your baby start talking? What were his or her first words?

Rachel is a stay-at-home mom to her 6-month-old daughter and lives in Texas with her husband, who is in the Air Force. Moving 3 times and surviving 3 deployments is nothing compared to raising an active and very vocal child. She enjoys “beginning” a work-out regimen every Monday and then quitting it by Wednesday, teaching her daughter to stick out her tongue, and trying to drown out the constant airplane sounds around her house by blaring music and dancing. She also maintains a blog detailing her up-and-down attempts at parenting.