Irish mom Toni McCann recently turned on her camera phone to record what she thought would be a sweet, one-sided convo with her 7-week-old baby, Cillian. And at first, everything seemed run of the mill. They cooed at each other, he stuck out his tongue, she said "hello" over and over to him. Then something wonderful happened: After a few warm-up gurgles, Cillian responded with his very first high-pitched "hello." The stunned McCann posted the video on her Facebook page, and it promptly went viral, CBS reports
But not everyone was feeling the love. For every comment about her "little genius in the making," there's a skeptic raising an eyebrow (probably the same Debby Downer who likes to point out that an infant's early smiles are just gas). And I can see their point: Talking is a major milestone that takes months to perfect. According to the experts, babies start out by making vowel sounds then moves onto coos and goos around 2-3 months. Babbling kicks in around month 4, and gives way to more speech-like sounds around months 6 or 7. Then comes a long string of gibberish followed by their first word, which usually happens around their first birthday. Although "hello" is a popular first word, the chances of a 7-week-old saying it are slim.
Still, if you watch the video, you can hear it clear as a bell: "hello." He said it. No doubt about it. Does this mean Cillian is a prodigy who'll be reciting the Gettysburg Address by the time he's six months old? Probably not. McCann says the boy hasn't spoken the word since, though talking to him regularly will certainly help with his speech development. But that shouldn't detract from the awe and excitement a parent feels when witnessing their baby doing something extraordinary, even if it is a flash in the pan moment. Check out the video for yourself and tell us what you think:
Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+
Image of baby courtesy of Shutterstock