Tylo has been babbling nonstop lately, peppered with a lot of ear-piercing screams out of nowhere. So darn cute. So I've tried to take advantage by labeling everything, seeing what she can pick up. She always stares at me and listens very intently while I teach her things like momma, dada, kitty, bear, lamb, book, drink, light, and on and on. I also label actions like eat, change diaper, up (as in pick up), and her favorite: blow.
A couple of days ago I heard her repeat a new sound over and over and over. Different from her usual bababa, dadada, eheheh. "Bow . . . bow . . . bow". I thought, "oh that's cute, a new sound". Then it hit me as I was blowing a puff of air in her face to get her to smile. She was saying "blow"! Funny that of all the things I've been teaching her, she picks up that one.
Since then she's been saying "blow" to herself all day long. Sometimes she deviates and it sounds more like b-OW, instead of b-oh, but she gets it right once she hears me say it (minus the "l" sound). I try to get her to make the connection and use it when I actually blow in her face, but she only says it when she's playing by herself.
So if she doesn't understand the meaning, does it count as her first word?
Today I think she repeated "bye-bye" after me, but who can be sure.
How do parents decide what their child's first word is?