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Mom’s Question:

Is it normal that a 10 months old refuses to say mama? My 10 months old daughter will only say dad, dadda, daddy, and shake her head NO when asked to say mama?  It hurts my feelings.

Plus she doesn’t have a sign of a tooth in her mouth.

She can say ba ba, bye bye but when it comes to mama the closest I can get is BOB. So for now I’m BOB. My seven-year-old girl calls me mom, my 10-year-old stepdaughter calls me Kelly and my 10 months old calls me Bob. Sometimes I forget who I really am!


Baby Help Line:

10 Months Old Refuses to Say Mama – Normal?

Talking When 10-Months-Old

Hi Kelly (or should I say Bob?),

Good on you for having a giggle about it all! Don’t take it personally, sounds like Da Da and Ba Ba are the easiest to make. Your little girl is not learning the language to please you or refusing to learn to hurt your feelings.

A 10 months old not saying mama yet, is completely normal. These things come in time and your baby is still very young to have much cognitive control over her language. She can understand a lot more but is only just beginning to get control of her vocal cords and experiment with sounds.

Most of her chatting will be just cute babbling gibberish, with accidental words popping out. It may even just be a coincidence that she says Dadda, it is an easy sound, and she may not even associate it with her father yet.

Some babies do say a word or two and actually mean what they say at this age, but most don’t.

Talk to Her to Stimulate Her Language Development

The most important thing is just to have fun with her and talk as much as you can around her.

Studies have shown that babies that are exposed to lots of languages, conversations, and words excel in later life in many areas.

So tell her what you are doing, even boring things like vacuuming and washing dishes.

Play naming games – pointing to things like cup, ball, toes, Mommy, milk, etc. (You can find more game ideas for 10-month-olds here.)

YOu can read simple books together too and point at things in the book.

Finally, remember to listen to her babbling and show her that you are engaged. Even if the words don’t make any sense on their own, her facial expressions and body language may give you clues to what she is trying to communicate. Being heard is an important part of communication too!

But don’t feel your baby’s language achievements are in any way a reflection of her love for you, you will still be her primary attachment at this stage.

And as for her teeth – they will come in time. Many babies do get their first teeth when they are between 6 and 10 months old, but it varies.  They will most likely all pop out quickly in a short period of time! When babies have not had a sign of a first tooth after their first birthday, a quick check is usually carried out by a dentist, but not before that.

Wishing you lots of fun with your children,

More On 10-Month-Old Baby Development

Find comments below.


Mar 13, 2018thank you
by: Anonymous

thank you for taking the time to respond to my question. Your words eased my heart. I’m a big softy. As far as the teeth, I get neurotic and start to think she won’t grow any, and I’ll have to get her dentures, then the other kids will make fun of her. My mind gets away with me sometimes. Thank you again.

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