JB studio 7
21 Jun

Mama vs Dada

I’ve heard people complain that parenting can sometimes feel like a competition, but I thought they were talking about with other parents, not between the mother and father.

James is a great dad. He laughs with Baby, plays with her, and does her 23:00 feed every night and her first feed every morning. I’ll even admit he’s a better burper than I am.

The other day I walked in on him cooing to Baby. Aw, how cute, I thought. But then I heard what he was saying: “Da-da. Da-da. Da-da.”

“What are you doing?” I asked.

And without compunction, he answered, “I’m making sure her first word will be Dada. She already has the ‘eh’ sound down.”

Apparently, he’s been doing this for 3 weeks.

One thing you’ve got to understand about me is that I was served extra helpings of competitiveness when I was created. I think I may have mentioned before that I haven’t played the board game Risk since 1997 because I actually almost killed somebody when she broke our truce, switched sides, and decimated my armies in Asia.

So seeing James get the jump on me with the first word has been like applying jumper cables to my competitive gene. I’ve started singing to Baby all the time, but the only words of the song are “ma-ma-ma-ma-ma.” For example, Do-Re-Me is now Ma-Ma-Ma. And I spend significantly more time with Baby than James does. He chose the wrong Italian-American to tango with on this one.

Just watch, she’ll out-fox us both and choose a completely different first word, like “milk” – in a similar way that I’m sure she’ll choose pink as her favourite colour, despite my dislike for it (or maybe because of my dislike).

Babies can start saying words like mama and dada by 4-5 months. With one month already down, the game, as they say, is most definitely on. We’ll just have to wait and see which one of us will have the last word on her first word.



  1. 21 Jun

    Ali Lovegrove

    Haha your posts never fail to cheer me up Julia, I cannot wait to experience all this for myself. You and James have such a fabulous relationship and it is so interesting to hear what goes on behind the scenes. You guys really do keep the rest of us entertained, thank you! xx

  2. 21 Jun

    Birgitte @ BabyBeamers.com

    Ha ha ha! Brilliant!

  3. 21 Jun


    My nieces first word was ‘Cat’.

    My sister in law and her husband both hate cats!



  4. 21 Jun

    Charlie M

    One of my best friends little girls didn’t speak for AGES – and then her first words were ‘look at the purple car mummy’… genius!

  5. 21 Jun

    Andy Gregor

    After having 3 children with my lovely wife, I never really thought about the competition side until recently. With our youngest now 9, a lovely new neice has recently arrived, and we are worse than smitten teenagers trying to impress her to gain a smile.
    p.s. I’m winning :-)

  6. 22 Jun

    Mavis Dee

    No matter what you coo to Baby, you’ll find her first words will be something you say ALL the time and probably don’t notice. Aside from the “it’s a word, it is, he said Ninja!!!” grunts, my twins’ first words were “oh dear” and “bye bye”.

    The latter because nobody says bye to a baby, they say bye bye, bye bye, bye bye byeeeeee, bye bye, bye bye…

  7. 22 Jun

    Ali Harper

    Most of the babies I have known (quite a lot!) have all said the same first word: “Ali” – at least that’s what it sounds like :)

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