First Words

Month 11
Month 12
Month 13

Last Month's Wow:

The Joy of Jargoning

Baby's babbling has transformed into the human music of language, jargoning.

The Wow of Now:

First Words

Baby is using their first words not as a party trick, but on purpose, to express their needs and wants.

The Wow Ahead:

First Steps

New skills are popping up daily—a new word, a new step, even crawling up stairs. This is development in action. From cruising to walking, over the next few months, baby is on the move.

The Wow

Baby is learning new words constantly. The word drip may be slow over the next few months, but each word baby learns unlocks several more. Remember, receptive language (what they understand) comes before speaking. Focus on “where” questions to encourage them to understand you, and soon they’ll have so much more to say—even though you may be the only one who understands it.

Baby may already have some word approximations: words they use consistently and intentionally to describe a specific item. Like “wa” for water, as long as it’s used for only water, officially counts as a word. Don’t be alarmed when baby falls back to earlier ways of expressing their wants and needs, particularly when they’re too frustrated to use their words. Encourage them to experiment with the consistency of words for specific things, and though you’ve gotten good at knowing exactly what baby wants, try to let them work a little to tell you.

The How

  1. 1

    The Five Senses

    Routine: Play Time
     of 1

    During snack time, stimulate your baby’s five senses through taste, sight, smell, touch, and sound. Share a piece of fruit with your baby, allowing them to taste, see, and smell. Gently touch your baby's skin using a piece of peel or the fruit itself. Throughout the activity, talk to your little one about what they might notice. Ask baby, "What is different? What is the same"?


    Everytime we stimulate a baby's five senses, we are helping them better understand the world around them. This particular exercise helps them learn that each element is unique, and altogether inform the overall experience.

  2. 2

    Life Out Loud

    Routine: Diaper Change, Play Time, Feeding
     of 2

    Ask baby questions whenever possible and let them respond. If they point to the answer, name it and ask them to try to say it.

    For example, “Do you want a piece of cheese or an apple?” If baby points to cheese, say “Oh, you want cheese! Can you say cheese?” When baby makes any attempt say it, respond with, “Right, cheese.

    Model the opportunities for them to have a voice and keep the flow of conversation going. Spend time telling rhyming stories, singing songs, reading, and continue to fill baby’s days with words.

    Activate your child's voice and expand their vocabulary using color as your guide. Perfect for a few moments after a diaper chance, you can hold up one of Our EWG VERIFIED Diapers, pointing and ask, "Is this the color white?" "Is this soft?" - hand it to them so they associate your words with the object. Or you can hold up the Our Wet Wipes for them to see and point to the colors asking "Is this the color blue?"


    Mastering even one word leads to big breakthroughs in language development. But we as parents have become accustomed to anticipating baby’s needs and making decisions for them throughout the day. This is perfectly reasonable, but it may prevent baby from using language to communicate for themselves. In the case of language, their frustration drives development.

  3. 3

    Active Reading

    Routine: Bedtime
     of 3

    As baby begins to use words, simple picture books are an important addition to your routine. You’re likely already reading together daily, and now you can ask baby to point to the pictures in the book and practice talking about them. Find books that follow baby’s interests—trains, trucks, animals, etc.—and dive into identifying pictures and words together. This shared experience is a new level of connecting with baby.

    Books about senses, emotions, rhyming, counting, plus lift-the-flap books are all fantastic tools for exploration. Studies show that by letting baby choose what to read and how long to enjoy it, you’re encouraging building attention that can later potentially prevent ADHD symptoms. Let baby turn the pages and point to what they see while you use funny voices and sounds to hold their interest.


    Reading is undeniably a great way to spend time together. It’s also expanding baby’s vocabulary for life. The more words baby knows, the more they are primed to learn—and in the future, the greater their love for language and literature.

Support for You

By this point, you’ve probably racked up a few days (and nights) that made you feel like you’re not cut out for this whole parenting thing. And there are probably moments when you told yourself that you should be doing something better, faster, or more often. Well, we’re here to tell you that you’ve made it to this incredible milestone and that you’ve learned so much and taught even more. How many games of peek-a-boo has it been? How many smiles, cuddles, stories, and tickles? Even on the hard days, there is joy. We see you. We hear you. We celebrate you. Take a moment to feel proud of yourself. You deserve it.

Let's Check on the Basics

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Is baby eating?
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Is baby sleeping?
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Is baby pooping?

Yes on all three? Great! One or more No’s? Let’s talk about it.
Contact us for support resources!

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