Life
Little baby steals hearts by saying her name
She went insanely viral by just being cute.
Kenny Fernandez
09.20.21

Your adorable newborn is a chatterbox, goo-goo-ing, and gaga-ing inaudible sounds that make your heart melt. In between crying fits, changing diapers, and wiping up spittle, it’s a joy to listen to her coo while she smiles at all the world has to offer.

And one of these days that little bundle of joy is going to put together two syllables that sound like a word. It’s the type of moment you write down in your baby journal, or text to the grandparents the exciting news. And if your lucky, the moment is caught on video for posterity.

YouTube Screengrab
Source:
YouTube Screengrab

This video opens up the age-old debate of whether a baby’s first words are real or imagined by a receptive parent. When your baby goo-goo’s and points at the ball, is she saying the word ball? When she puts two syllables together is she mimicking something she’s heard and does she equate those words to an object?

Or is she just blabbing sounds? Or as an article in The Atlantic puts it…

“…wordlike forms wriggle one by one from the phonological mush like proto–land animals crawling from Cretaceous seas.”

YouTube Screengrab
Source:
YouTube Screengrab

Eela is an adorable eleven-week old baby. Her mother says her name and immediately after the baby seemingly says it right back to her. Did we mention she’s only eleven weeks old?

It’s surprising to hear a baby that young know her name let alone be able to say it back to you. In the United States, so much importance is put on a child’s first words and when they say them, but it may not be so important after all.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/adorable-baby-blur-boy-294173/
Aleksandr Balandin from Pexels
Source:
Aleksandr Balandin from Pexels

The Atlantic article points out how first words are not something that typically goes down in a person’s historical record. Last words are the more significant turn of a phrase that marks a person’s mythology.

“Last words appear as Trivial Pursuit clues. Biographies standardly rely on them as motifs.”

YouTube Screengrab
Source:
YouTube Screengrab

Two research scientists put together a database of the words parents have heard their children say. The database, called Wordbank, shows that early words revolve around very specific themes.

“Infants tend to talk about more or less the same things, no matter what languages they learn. Across 15 languages, they prefer to say and tend to understand words about sounds, games and social routines, body parts, and important people in their life.”

https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-man-carrying-baby-3536643/
nappy from Pexels
Source:
nappy from Pexels

Wordbank has gathered data from 29 different languages and dialects.

“In American English, the 10 most frequent first words, in order, are mommy, daddy, ball, bye, hi, no, dog, baby, woof woof, and banana. In Hebrew, they are mommy, yum yum, grandma, vroom, grandpa, daddy, banana, this, bye, and car. In Kiswahili, they are mommy, daddy, car, cat, meow, motorcycle, baby, bug, banana, and baa baa.”

YouTube Screengrab
Source:
YouTube Screengrab

Children’s first words are due in part to the need for engagement with the social mix of their family life. Kids want to communicate with their parents and caregivers. “Hi” is one of the most frequently sighted first words.

But words are a small part of social interactions. And baby’s first words might not be words per se, but an attempt to elicit an interaction.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-man-and-woman-playing-with-their-child-3819567/
Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Source:
Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

When you watch this video, do you hear the baby say her own name? Do you think that she’s mimicking her mother? Do you think she knows that she’s saying her name? Does this count as a first word?

Discuss this with some friends and family and see what you all think.

YouTube Screengrab
Source:
YouTube Screengrab

And what about your own child? What word do you remember as being their first word? Does it match up with any of the frequent words above? If not what does that mean?

And what about your own first word. Do you remember what it was? Might be a good discussion to have with your parents. Was it written down in a baby journal?

https://www.pexels.com/photo/little-girl-doing-her-homework-5088179/
olia danilevich from Pexels
Source:
olia danilevich from Pexels

Whether you believe that first words are important to the development of a child or not, this video is quite adorable. Little eleven-month-old Eela is quite the character.

She’s a chatterbox for sure. And she’s very inquisitive, plump, and giggly. She induces a smile to the face of YouTubers everywhere.

YouTube Screengrab
Source:
YouTube Screengrab

This video brings up a lot of questions and discussion topics, so share this with someone you know will enjoy the debate. Or just watch this baby smile while saying her goo-goo gagas.

What below for this tiny baby’s adorable first word!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Article Sources:
To learn more read our Editorial Standards.
Share this article
By Kenny Fernandez
hi@sbly.com
Kenny Fernandez is a contributor at SBLY Media.
Advertisement
Advertisement