Why Baby Archie's First Word Might Be 'Dada'

Baby Archie may only be 6 months old, but according to royal insiders, the youngest member of the family is one happy boy. Born May 6, 2019, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who is seventh in line to the throne, is already showing off his lovable personality and gentle nature. This week, a source close to the family told Us Weekly that Archie is "such a happy baby" that he "rarely cries," revealing that "he takes a keen interest in his surroundings and is already engaging and interacting with people."

"He's a strong baby and you can tell he's super smart," the source continued. "He can sit up without support and roll over, and he's almost crawling. He can't talk yet, but he's trying!" Predicting that Archie's first word could be "dada," the insider explained, "When Harry walks into the room, Archie gets so excited, he puts his arms out — his way of saying, 'Pick me up!' You can tell Archie's going to be a social butterfly. He's at his happiest when he's around people."

The family will celebrate baby Archie's first Christmas in England

Though these details are yet to be confirmed by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (or any official royal representative), the information supports what the first-time parents said in the days following Archie's birth in May. "He has the sweetest temperament," Meghan Markle said of her son. "He's really calm. He's been the dream." According to the source, Archie is now sleeping through the night, which is a welcome relief for the couple. "There were times [in the beginning when] they'd bicker over the smallest things because they were so tired, but now... there's less strain on the marriage. They can finally enjoy some 'couple time' in the evening."

Though their schedule is full until mid-November, the family is planning on taking an extended break over the holidays (via Today). They're expected to celebrate Thanksgiving in the U.S. this year with Meghan's mother Doris, before returning to England to spend the baby's first Christmas with the royal family, including his cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louie.

Is 'mama' or 'dada' more common?

According to Yahoo!, experts can't seem to agree on whether "mama" or "dada" is easier for babies to say. Russian linguist Roman Jakobson believes that "m" (for "mama") is easier because it's similar to the sound they make when drinking from a bottle. Breyne Moskowitz, Ph.D., on the other hand, claims "m" is more difficult because it's more of a nasal sound, meaning "d" (for "dada") is much simpler to say as you don't have to force air through your nose. 

Regardless, Judit Gervain, who conducted a language study for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explains, "It's probably no coincidence that many languages around the world have repetitious syllables in their 'child words.'" However, though "mama" and "dada" are assumed to be common first words for babies, it doesn't necessarily mean the young ones are referring to their parents when they say it.

Sandra Disner, Ph.D., a professor of linguistics at the University of Southern California, told Yahoo!, "Kids start with simple words that have various meanings." She continued, "The word 'up' could mean 'pick me up' or 'the moon in the sky." 

In recent years, the royals first words have differed

If we look to previous royals and their first words, "mama" and "dada" aren't as common as we are led to believe. Visiting Australia in 2014, Prince William suggested that Prince George's first word might be "bilby," a type of bandicoot, which is native to Australia (via The Telegraph). "I suspect George's first word might be 'bilby' — only because 'koala' is harder to say." During a speech at Sydney Opera House, the Duke of Cambridge joked, "George is now busy forging his own link with Australia," referring to the young royal's visit to Taronga Zoo, where he was introduced to a bilby named after him.

While Prince George's first word was never confirmed by the family, Princess Charlotte said her first words on camera. As seen in the footage, Prince William and Kate Middleton's only daughter is playing with balloons at a children's birthday party before she turns to her father and says "pop." Their youngest son, Prince Louie, who was born in April 2018, is believed to have muttered his first words behind closed doors, but if he's anything like his older brother and sister, his first words won't be anything close to "mama" or "dada."