15 of Babies' Most Common First Words, According to Parents

Unsplash / Chayene Rafaela

They speak! Few words are as eagerly anticipated as your baby’s first. After the initial excitement and cooing over their genius subsides, many of us wonder whether that first word was a common one. Well, wonder no more! We asked over 11,000 parents to share their baby’s first word, and have listed the 15 most common answers below.

Were one of these your child’s first?!

The 15 Most Common First Words

  1. Dad (or Dada, Daddy, Papa, etc.)
  2. Mum (or Mama, Mummy etc.)
  3. Hi (or Hiya, Hey, Heya, Hello)
  4. Buba (or Bub or Baba)
  5. Dog (or Doggy, Puppy)
  6. Ball
  7. No
  8. Cat (or Kitty)
  9. Nana
  10. Bye
  11. Duck
  12. Ta (or Tata)
  13. Baby
  14. Uh oh
  15. Car

Why Are These Words Commonly Babies’ First?

Not surprisingly, variations of dad and mum top the list, with 52 percent of surveyed respondents citing a first word related to dad (#1), and 35 percent of respondents offering up mum (#2). Why do dads seem to get the first word honour more often? One reason is that the D sound is easier for babies to utter than the M sound. On that note, animal words starting with a hard consonant are also common first words, so don’t feel bad if your little one says duck (#11), dog (#5), or cat (#8) before anything else!

Other high-frequency first words are the ones baby hears us say a lot – such as “uh oh” or “no.” Also in this group are words parents may say frequently, but never expect their little ones to repeat. Case in point: among the 11,000 parents surveyed, 10 shared that their baby’s first word was sh*t. Whoops!

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