8 Things I Felt When My Baby Cried Out "Mama"

by Emily Westbrooks

My partner and I were sitting on the couch the other afternoon, silently wishing my daughter would stay asleep for more than an hour for her nap. While we didn't get that wish, we got something I wasn't altogether prepared to hear. As she woke up, she cried, "Mama!" and suddenly I felt a whole mix of emotions, from pride to anxiety. In fact, there were at least these eight things I felt when my baby cried out "mama" for the first time.

For years, I dreamt of being a mom as my partner and I struggled with infertility issues, so anytime my daughter uttered any words that remotely sounded like "mom" or "mama,"it was extra sweet. Still, having her cry out for me and wanting me to come in and scoop her up from her crib brought on a lot of emotions I, honestly, wasn't really ready to experience. It was simultaneously nice and terrifying, comforting and overwhelming, and I realized that one word had a lot of power over me. Luckily, my daughter hasn't realized how much of a hold she has over me when she says "mama," and only uses it sparingly.

For those of you with a baby still in the babbling phase, here's a glimpse into what it feels like when your baby cries "mama" for the first time. Bring on the feels, my friends.

"I Can't Rescue Her Soon Enough"

The minute I heard my daughter say "mama," and with such emotion in her tiny voice, I practically bolted off the couch to get to her. She needed me and there was no way I was going to stay there and listen to her need me any longer. I was coming to her side immediately.


What an accomplishment, little one! You're on your way to really saying real things, and not just "hot-hot" when you touch the radiator or "meow" when we walk by the house with the cat down the street. You knew what you wanted and how to get it, and that, my dear, is a big step.

"Oh, No"

That tiny lady now wields so much power. I honestly hope it takes a while for her to realize just how powerful that word is, and how quickly it can make me jump to her aid. If she does figure it out relatively son, I'm in trouble, because I really do feel powerless when I hear those two syllables.

"She's Getting So Old"

If she's crying real words from her crib, and not just babbling or repeating the same syllables over and over again, things are getting real. Crazy how you can't really understand how quickly the time will really fly, especially when your baby can't even hold their head up and the nights feel like eternity. All of a sudden you have a toddler standing up in her crib, crying "Mama! Mama!" and you totally get it.

"When's She Going To Cry For Dad?"

I think my husband was a little put out that she's going through such an intense mommy phase at the moment, and wasn't calling out for him to come rescue her. Honestly, I was sort of wondering the same thing. Will it always be me she needs to rescue her? He's getting off sort of easy in this equation, if that's the case.

"What Happens When She Can Speak Full Sentences?"

As in, how much trouble will I be in when she can explain herself or reason with me. I was instantly worried about how much of a sucker parent I will be when she can manage to put together more than two words!

"Let's Just Stop Time, Please"

Before she's too big for a crib and can just come running out of her room and doesn't need me to take her out anymore. By the time that day comes, I'll probably be ready to stop lifting her out, but right now, that is not something I even want to think about.

"Go Back To Sleep!"

Despite how sweet and fulfilling it might have been to have my daughter cry out for me from her crib, it did not change the fact that she had only slept for 45 minutes and thought that was enough to get her through the next six hours of the day. Think again, little lady. Go back to sleep so I can spend the next hour thinking about how adorable you just were.