when do babies start saying mama?

The magical moment when a baby says “mama” for the first time is a significant milestone in their language development. As parents eagerly anticipate this heartwarming occasion, it’s natural to wonder when it will occur. Understanding the typical timeline for when babies start saying “mama” and how parents can support their language development is crucial. In this article, we will explore the average age at which babies begin to say “mama,” signs that indicate readiness for speech, and tips for encouraging language development in infants.

when do babies start saying mama

When Do Babies Start Saying Mama?

Babies generally start saying “mama” between the ages of 8 and 12 months. However, it’s important to remember that each baby develops at their own pace, and some may begin saying “mama” as early as 6 months, while others may not start until 14-15 months. These variations are completely normal and should not be cause for alarm. Parents should remain understanding and patient, as every child reaches milestones on their individual timeline.

Signs That Indicate a Baby is Ready to Say “Mama”:

  • Babbling sounds that resemble “mama”
  • Making varied consonant and vowel sounds
  • Indications of understanding and responding to the word “mama”
  • Attempting to mimic other vocalizations from caregivers

Tips for Parents to Support Their Baby’s Language Development:

  1. Engage in frequent, positive verbal interactions with your baby, using simple words and phrases.
  2. Read to your baby regularly to expose them to different sounds, intonations, and vocabulary.
  3. Respond enthusiastically when your baby attempts to vocalize, particularly when they make sounds resembling “mama.”
  4. Create a supportive environment for language development by minimizing background noise and distractions during conversations and playtime.

The Babbling Stage: Paving the Way for “Mama” (6-10 months)

While “mama” might not materialize overnight, the journey begins around 6-10 months with babbling. Your baby will start experimenting with sounds like “ba,” “da,” and “ma,” practicing the tongue movements and vocal control needed for their first words. This playful vocalization isn’t just random noise; it’s training for speech!

Early “Mama” Attempts: Can They Mean It? (9-12 months)

Around 9 months, the “ma” and “da” sounds might start blending into recognizable word approximations like “mama” and “dada.” However, at this stage, these words may not hold specific meaning. Your baby might say “mama” to anyone, not just you, simply because it feels good to say. This is a crucial step in their language development, so celebrate these early attempts!

The Big Moment: When “Mama” Means Mama (12-18 months)

The true magic happens between 12 and 18 months when “mama” and “dada” become intentional and directed. Your baby will finally understand the connection between the word and the person it represents. Hearing them call you “mama” specifically to you will send shivers down your spine (and melt your heart).

Remember: Every Baby Has Their Own Timeline

While these are general milestones, every child develops at their own pace. Comparing your baby’s “mama” timeline to others might only cause unnecessary worry. Trust their natural progression and focus on fostering communication through singing, talking, and reading together.

Tips to Encourage Early Communication:

  • Talk to your baby often: Use simple language and clear pronunciation.
  • Respond to their babbling: Mimic their sounds and encourage them to continue.
  • Read regularly: Choose age-appropriate books with colorful illustrations and engaging rhymes.
  • Sing songs and play games: Make learning fun and interactive.

When to Consult a Doctor:

If your baby isn’t babbling by 12 months, isn’t saying “mama” or “dada” by 18 months, or has difficulty understanding simple words, talk to your pediatrician. They can assess your baby’s development and recommend any necessary interventions.


The joyous moment when a baby says “mama” for the first time is a cherished memory for parents. By understanding the timeline for when babies start saying “mama,” recognizing the signs that indicate readiness for speech, and providing a nurturing environment for language development, parents can help their little ones as they take their first steps towards expressive communication.

Read More: