Being a speech therapist you would think I would know how to identify a real first word but I am a little hesitant. So for a couple of weeks now it seems as though you are imitating some of the things Daddy and I say. For example, one of your favorite books is about Elmo and bubbles. When we pull it out we say, "bubbles!" and you say "bubu, bubu". Also, you love to play with balls. We say, "ball" and you say "ba". Even though the 'b' sound is the most frequent sound you make, you are adding different vowels to say different words. So today I held up your ball and said, "Jackson, what is it?" and you said, "ba". Your first spontaneous word?!?! I will have to test you a few more times to make sure but it was accurate and meaningful...which adds up to your first real word!
A few other things: There is a Baby Einstein book that is really cute called "Mirror Me". On each page the characters are making different faces and there is a mirror so you can make the face back. You have started doing this! There is a cow puffing his cheeks and so you puff your cheeks. There is another character opening his mouth and you open your mouth and say "aahh". You understand and follow simple directions, like: "give it to me" and "come here". However, you still aren't clapping and you don't point to things that you want. You do point to pictures in books and to other things but you don't use pointing as a way to communicate.
I am finding your development fascinating. I am learning that real life is much different than the text books I had to study in school. There is a very large range for typical development and I try not to be anxious about things you aren't yet doing.
Countdown: 12 days until your first birthday! Here you are enjoying a sunny day in May: