Babies don't normally start talking till around the time of their first birthday. But one mother in Northern Ireland captured video of her infant son making a pretty good attempt at the age of just 7 weeks.
"Had to share this, my 7 week old baby saying HELLO! Lol," proud mom Toni McCann wrote on Facebook.
She posted the video of baby Cillian online and it quickly went viral. In the clip, you can hear her repeatedly saying "hello" and Cillian cooing in response -- until the final repetition, when his baby-talk sounded remarkably like a real, clear greeting.
Comments on Facebook ranged from "Omg!! That's amazing!!" to "I can't stop watching this ... It's as plain as day! Unbelievable!"
McCann said she's been overwhelmed by the response. "It's been mad. I've had messages from everyone," she told The Belfast Telegraph.
But since his moment of glory was captured on video, little Cillian has not managed to repeat it. "He hasn't said anything since but you can tell when he's trying," McCann told the paper. "When he flicks his tongue in a certain way, you know he wants to say something."
Skeptics may note that babies cooing and making various sounds with their mouth and tongue is a normal part of early development and just the first step toward actual language use.
WebMD explains that by the age of 3 months -- about a month older than Cillian in the video -- most babies can make sing-song vocalizations, often in response to their mother's words. Distinct syllables like "da-da" typically come at about 6 months, but babies don't necessarily comprehend the meaning of what they're babbling at that age, experts say. Babies finally master their first real words like "mama" and "dada" for mother and father at about 12 months.
So was little Cillian really saying "hello"? Watch the video and judge for yourself.