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👶 French Baby Words

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis - updated on Oct 23, 2020

Do you talk baby French? Explore the first French baby words and essential French childcare vocabulary + French coo video: a French baby says “areuh” !

There are many articles out there on how to teach your kid to speak French.

However, I couldn’t find a good list of French baby words, and vocabulary useful for childcare in France or with French speaking babies.

So I put this list together.

1 – French Baby Words

French doesn’t have that many French baby words.

We tend to talk to our babies in a “normal” way – well, we simplify the tenses, use less French pronouns, and focus on essential vocabulary, but still, babies are amazing at guessing languages, and talking to your baby in a normal way is the best way to build up her/his vocabulary.

Let’s see what are the French baby first words.

  1. Papa – Dad
  2. Maman – Mom – Note the French don’t really have a shorter word for Maman, nor a synonym.
    Mother, Mommy, Mom, Mum = Maman in French.
  3. Lolo – this is milk in Kid French.
  4. Un Nounours – say the final S. A teddy bear. This one is fun because it came from the liaison of the N with the noun “ours” (bear) making it sound like “noors”, then nounours.
  5. Un doudou – watch out for this one. It means teddy bear or special blankie kid sleeps with: it comes from the French adjective “doux”: soft.
  6. Un dodo – sleepy time
  7. Un dada – a horse
  8. Un toutou – a dog
  9. Un joujou – a toy
  10. Un bobo – a boo-boo
  11. le caca – poop, doodoo
  12. le pipi – pee
  13. le prout – fart
  14. le zizi – weenie
  15. la zézette – I don’t know the English equivalent! A childish word to describe girl’s genitals. Sometime’s boys. And sometimes Zézette is used like a nickname for Suzanne or Zoé! Ah, the French…

Let’s now learn the vocabulary to talk about babies in French – the vocabulary for childcare.

2 – French Vocabulary For Childcare

  1. Une couche – a diaper
  2. Du talc – talc
  3. Des lingettes – wipes
  4. De la crème pour les fesses – anti-rash ointment (there ought to be a more scientific name, but this is what French moms would say :-)
  5. Une tétine, une sucette, une tototte (colloquial) = a pacifier
  6. Sucer son pouce – to suck one’s thumb
  7. Un matelas à langer – changing mat
  8. Une poussette – a stroller
  9. Un biberon – a baby bottle
  10. Un bavoir – a bib
  11. Un rot – a burp
  12. Un renvoi (in “mom” talk, we say “un crachouillis”) – a wet burp
  13. Un vomit – throw up
  14. Allaiter – to nurse
  15. Une garderie – daycare, childcare
  16. Une garde d’enfant (une nounou is “mom” talk) – a nanny
  17. Une aire de jeu – a playground

I used all this French Kid Vocabulary and much more in context in my French audiobook À Moi Paris L4. Chapter 12. Rosa takes her toddler niece and baby nephew to the “parc Monceau” and interacts with them. She talks about pregnancy and childcare with a friend.

L3 + L4 À Moi Paris Method – Intermediate
4.96 (171 reviews)
US$119.99

My bilingual novels are recorded at different speeds and enunciation, and focus on today’s modern glided pronunciation used in real-life like situations. My French audiobooks are exclusively available on French Today.

3 – What Sounds Do French Babies Make?

When a baby cries in French, it says: “Ouin-ouin”.

When it coos, it says: “areuh”. 

Areuh – is for sure the absolute first French word. All the difficulties of the French pronunciation: the French R and the EU sound in the first word said by French babies… isn’t that amazing!

Here is a video – you’ll hear mostly the French Mom saying “areuh”…. but she says it very well!

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