Every parent cannot wait until their child utters their first word. This typically happens around one year of age, but can happen sooner!
I was so excited that my daughter finally said “mama” because she said “dada” around 10 months and wasn’t even close to referring to me! My son was the opposite and said “mama” first around 9 months of age and then quickly followed that up with “dada” about three weeks later.
Once my daughter was around the age of 2, we really saw her grammar and vocabulary expand. Even now, she says things that amaze me and I wonder what else she’s picking up (probably the things we don’t want her to remember, right?).
Recent studies in France looked at how soon babies actually use grammar. If you have your own child, you know that kids start to play with phrases and sentences, but that their grammatical complexity and accuracy don’t develop for quite a while.
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The study that was conducted found that “even before uttering their first words, babies master the grammar basics of their mother tongue.” They found that eight-month-old French infants can distinguish “function words, or functors — e.g. articles (the), personal pronouns (she), or prepositions (on) — from content words — e.g. nouns (rainbow), verbs (to drive), or adjectives (green).” These words are frequently encountered because there are fewer of them, and they are placed before content words in languages such as English and French.
They also went on to determine that babies learn content words at a slower rate and it varied even in children that were in the same family. The reason why? The study was inconclusive and stated that more research needed to be done to determine a cause.
From my experience in working with young children and from watching my own kids grow and develop, every kid is different. One child may develop their motor skills quicker than their sibling who spoke sooner. This was the exact case with my own two children. My daughter, although age appropriate, moved slower than my son. I chalk that up to the fact that my son wants to be with us and my daughter so he was more motivated to get himself going.
The brain is an amazing organ in our bodies and the fact that so much research is being conducted to determine what we are inherently born with is fascinating!
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