A mother in Northern Ireland recorded a video of what she thinks is her baby son’s first real word, “hello.” From the clip, it looks like the baby Cillian is attempting to copy his mother’s voice, until finally he gets it right.
Cillian’s mother Toni McCann explained to the News Letter that her baby had been at it all day.
“Cillian had been trying to say something all day. I didn’t think he was going to say it as clearly as he did, but he was really trying to communicate.”
Like any proud mother, McCann put the clip on Facebook, where it started going viral.
The baby is exceptional for being able to say “hello” so clearly, still it’s hard to put Cillian’s feat in context. There is no world record for the youngest talker, partly because defining “talking” is so difficult.
According to WebMD, at three-months-old babies will begin to “coo,” make simple repetitive noises different from crying. At six months, parents start to confuse early experiments with noises like “da-da” as the baby’s first real word, when the baby is actually just getting used to vocalizing. The common age for the first “real” word is about 12 months.
As for the youngest baby speaker, there’s only anecdotal evidence.
The Daily Mail describes Baby Izabella Oniciuc as possibly the cleverest baby in Britain. Her parents claim that she was “communicating” with them within hours of being born.
About.com reports that parents of gifted babies might be able to coax out a few words as early as three months, but that’s difficult to entirely believe since most children that age lack full control over their mouths and tongues. Child prodigy Michael Kearney spoke his first word at four months, but most astounding, at six months he told his doctor, “I have a left ear infection,” according to the book Accidental Geniuses.
Figuring that McCann actually got a clip of Baby Cillian saying “hello,” she might be able to claim rights to the youngest talker.
The problem is, Cillian won’t do it again. His mother tried to repeat the miracle with little success.
It looks like Baby Cillian may have just a prodigious moment; the next time he says hello might be at one year old — like most people.
[Image Credit: YouTube.com]