"My 13-month-old boy says" daddy "for several weeks, but never" mom "... Is that normal, does that worry me?" Dr. Béatrice Di Mascio, pediatrician, answers Gaëlle's question.
The answer of Dr. Béatrice Di Mascio, pediatrician in Paris
- From 5 months, the child enters the so-called polysyllabic period. After training to repeat simple syllables "Babababa", "papapapa", "dadadada", the child around 1 year, improves its achievements through language interaction. His babbling becomes richer and he imitates the vocal productions and the intonation of his parents and his entourage. This is how he enriches his knowledge at the language level.
- At this period, around 1 year, he understands small sentences and his syllables become more precise: "Mamamama" turns into "mama" and "papapapa" into "dad". And it is most often with "daddy" that the baby enters into a bisyllabic language! So, no susceptibilities! It's not because he prefers his father to his mother, but rather because it's easier for him to say.
- When a baby of about 1 year repeats "daddy" even when addressing his mother, do not be angry but gently resume his vocal productions and nourish the language interaction: "Pa-pa, yes it is good ! Ma-man, me it's my-man! " Above all, do not worry, he will end up knowing how to call his mother!
- When this phenomenon continues, and the child does not want to pronounce "mom" beyond 20-24 months, there may be a psychological reason, jealousy for example. This is quite common when the mother is pregnant again at this time. If this is the case, do not hesitate to talk to your pediatrician. Everything returns to normal after delivery.
Interview by Frédérique Odasso
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Dr. Di Mascio is the author of My Child from Birth to Kindergarten (Albin Michel)