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Why Babies Say “Dada” First

It’s not because the da sound is easier to say or that dads are the favorite.

08/10/23

John Stonestreet

Timothy D Padgett

It’s an experience that drives many young mothers crazy. After carrying a child for months, enduring labor and childbirth, nursing through many sleepless nights, what are the first words she hears from the kid? “Dada!”  

It isn’t always the case, but across time and cultures, babies are more likely to name their father before their mother. However, rather than a preference for dad or a slight to mom, according to a tweet by Dr. Dan Wuori, it more likely reinforces how important mom is. At that young age, the mother/child bond is so tight that babies simply can’t see her as “other.” She is the world, with Dad more of a visitor.  

This is a reminder of what Ryan T. Anderson has said. Kids don’t need just “parents.” They need a mom and a dad, and each provides unique and distinct gifts by their presence to children. 

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