Baby smiling at mum

Psychologists from Indiana University believe they have mastered the art of accurately pointing out what a baby’s very first word is going to be.

How? Well, they say that a baby’s first word is down to their visual experiences up until that moment.

Testing a group of eight- and 10-month-olds, psychologists fixed each child with a head-mounted camera for 4.4hours a day, and mainly focused their observation on their mealtimes.

During each observation, the researchers were able to identify a strong correlation between objects they used or looked at often and first noun words that each child muttered.

"Visual memory may be the initial key to getting words stuck on objects – familiar visual objects like table, shirt, bottle or spoon," says Linda Smith, a senior author of the study, who is also a professor at Indiana University’s Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

“It's an aggregated experience; those very first words may be learned – slowly and incrementally – for a few visually pervasive objects. This may be how infants begin to break into language before their first birthday."

Not only that, but experts are suggesting that this key research finding could be instrumental in treating children who have autism or language difficulties.
"Difficulty learning words could stem from visual processing problems," she continues.

"Children who are late talkers have slow or age-delayed visual processing skills for objects, for example. Children with autism have object-processing problems as well."

So, do you think you can predict what your baby’s first word is going to be? Tell us by commenting on our Facebook page.