Word Wars for a Bilingual Baby

At ten months of age, the Backpack Baby seems to be hinting that she might like to try and say her first word. 

She chatters all the time.  Only recently did I realize that these cries, coos, and sputters will eventually be words. 

I have begun to wonder if her first expressions will be in English or in Spanish.  At first, I had imagined it would be English, assuming that she has heard it more at home and outside… that and I often wildly accuse Billy of not speaking enough Spanish to her.

However, lately I have noticed that she responds more when being spoken to in Spanish.  It then occurred to me that I am at work all day while Billy may actually be filling her head with Spanish.  And then there’s the four months of these ten that she lived in Argentina… and the time spent with her abuelos in Guatemala… and of course Sid, El Niño Scientifico.

It’s on.  The contest for the first word in our OPOL Challenge.

It seems, however, that Ella has decided to play it safe in this grand battle.  We think she is starting her verbal journey with “Daisy”… the name of the dog.  Right now it sounds like “Deh-dee,” so we’re not totally sure, but she’s looking at the pup and shaking her legs in wild enthusiasm.

She feels a special kinship with Daisy… they play together, they crawl together, and they lick the same bowl.  It makes sense that she would choose Daisy as her first word rather than engage in her parents’ War of the Words. 

Any other bilingual babies out there?  What were the first words?  Was one language favored at first over the other?


  1. We are a bilingual family. My wife and her family spoke Spanish to our son and I and my family spoke English. He did not speak as early as single language babies do, but he caught up quickly once he started. Even though my mother in law baby sat him during the day while we worked, his first word was still English ("look"). So score one for me!

  2. Hey, Loyal~ Thank you for sharing... you made me laugh! How old is your baby now? Are you still both speaking different languages and how is he doing?


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