How many words can your baby say?

Elsa - posted on 06/30/2009 ( 19 moms have responded )

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I was talking to a friend the other day and her doctor suggests a 12 mos old should speak about 20 words, and at 18 mos, they should say about 30-50 words? I think I've lost count of what my soon to be 17 months old can say.. but my husband and I have also been the type who doesn't care about "statistics"., and let her grow up in her own time. We think what's more important is she understands what we are saying to her.. and we think she understands us about 90% of the time. that's why we are extra careful when around her.. we don't want her to pick up words she shouldn't be using...

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Ashley - posted on 03/20/2012

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Actually, It IS possible for a 12 month old to say 20+ words. My son, by the time he was 11 months old, was able to say 18. Now he is saying more than 20 words at 12 months, and these words are spoken on a regular basis. I do not put pressure on him to do anything. I just think that he catches on really fast. I actually want him to stay a baby as long as possible. If you just sit and watch them, you would be amazed at all the things that they CAN do.

Melissa - posted on 07/10/2009

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My son was 1 1/2 months early so I sort of think he is delayed a bit although the doc says he should be caught up by now. Anyway, he doesn't say much, "Dada, Nigh Nigh" (night, night), and just started saying "Momma". He sure babbles and whines a lot. Now he screams when he's mad!

Tiffany - posted on 07/10/2009

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oh yeah, he says "uh oh" all the time too. like if he dropps something it is Uh Oh, then if he throws food, it is Uh Oh also. So he is not exactly clear on that meaning, but he says it all the time!!

Tiffany - posted on 07/10/2009

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at 12 mos, there is no way a baby could speak 20+ words... Too high of pressure is put on kids these day! My son is 17 mos, and babbles from sun up to sun down, and speaks about 5 words, but understands what we say!! Especially if i say Night Night Time, or Bath!! he says momma,dadda, no more, and dog. Just this week, he has started to add more constanants to his babbles, so he sorta sounds like he says "tired " now, and "Joe" ( our dog) instead of dog. He has not learned no yet, and i am not stressing over that one!! oh, he will occasionally say Yeah... hope this helps!!

Shirley - posted on 07/10/2009

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Lol.Yesterday I was holding 17 month old while she repeatedly asked for "milk, milk,milk" (still breastfeeding).My helpful husband approaches to take her out of my arms so I could cook dinner and she says as she makes her physical objections "No I can not. I am getting Milk from Mommy!" clear as day bold as brass @_@ lol. Its in there. My 17month old has been asking me "what is that?" since she was a year old. After I answer her if she asks me again I know she just wants more information about whatever she is referring to.When she was satisfied she would smile and say "thank you mommy". Repeating what little you may understand may help them grasp the need to use a few more words each time.I believe and have found that the more you talk to your child the more they will understand the need to use their words.If we take baby short cuts with our speech so will they. Signing is fun and helpful too :) With a child that is understanding what you say reminding them to "use your words" is productive along with playing the a fill in the blank game.signing a song she likes and adding an unfamiliar word my boost a bit of speech.
My oldest had the vocabulary at 1 of the recommended 2 year old and was reading and spelling before her second birthday.

With yes and mostly NO I decided early on to use "no thank you" and "that is not ok" instead of only saying no, especially if I want them to stop something. It worked great!

ME - posted on 07/08/2009

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Miles understands almost everything we say directly to him, but his vocab at 17 mos still consists of mama, dada, hot, kitty, down please, truck, car, and baseball and bat...he also knows a few signs that are very helpful...but I am not stressed...I can tell he understands us, and I know his speech will catch up with his understanding!

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When my cousin was three and wasn't talking much yet, so my Aunt took him to be evaluated. It was found that his comprehension was right on track and there was no worries at that point. Today he is fourteen, very intelligent, in advanced classes and extremely well spoken. Guidelines are just that- guidelines. Comprehension(complying with requests, using gestures) and interaction skills(making eye contact, turning towards your voice or favorite TV show, smiling at caregivers) are good indications of understanding.

Kathleen - posted on 07/07/2009

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my son is 17 months old but he isnt realy talking yet he only realy says ta dad and mum but only sometimes.. but he fully understand when people talk to him. i can ask him to shut the door and he will go and do it.. also he shakes his head to say no etc.. i think babies all just develop at different times. like my son was crawling and walking super early.. i have been a little concerned that he isnt talking as much as other peoples babys i know, but im sure it will happen soon

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I would not be worried about the number of words... as long as she has a few words that are meaningful, understands simple directions,and that she is communicating to you. Plus don't forget about how much they are working on in all domains- cognitive, motor, social-emotional and adaptive skills, it is amazing.

Stacey - posted on 07/06/2009

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by about 16 months they should b saying around 8 words....20 words is alot of a one year old...my 17 month old says alot of words...dont keep track either...as long as he is talking. By this stage (17 MONTHS)the should start trying to say 2 words at a time...like "all gone" or "go bye bye"...my son says both of those.



The other day he did the cutest thing..we were outside playing n he turned n looked at me n said "Bye bye momma" n turned n ran off. He wanted me to chase after him...which we do alot...my heart just melted.



Nehoo...just so long as she is talking I wouldnt worry bout it. U sound like a very concerned parent so ur a good mom....she'll do great.

Jamie - posted on 07/06/2009

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Quoting Jamie:

My daughter Kyra says about 20 words and starting to string together two, like "uh oh" and "no way". One things for sure, her favorite word is no. She says a lot of just beginnings of a word. She doesn't say yes yet. That will be a welcome word.


I am so glad to hear that someone else's daughter says "no way"! I will be welcoming yes, when she finally says it too! "no", no way", "no mine" are very well known with her, lol.

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My daughter Kyra says about 20 words and starting to string together two, like "uh oh" and "no way". One things for sure, her favorite word is no. She says a lot of just beginnings of a word. She doesn't say yes yet. That will be a welcome word.

Toni - posted on 07/05/2009

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My son at 12 months was saying about 5 words, his pediatrician said that was great. Now he says about 20, but not on a regular basis. He still babbles 99% of the time.

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Oh.. well.. Actually.. a 12 month old should say 1-5 words. A 18 month old should say 5-10 words. As a teacher i can tell you, NO 12 month old is going to come up to you and say 20 words. Maybe mama, Dada, dog. Ya know that type of stuff. My doctor just told me a few weeks ago that my 17 month old should say 5-10 words. You should expect your toddler to talk somewhere in the 2 range. so don't worry. your daughter is fine.

Sandra - posted on 07/02/2009

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If your worried about vocab get some flash cards just show a few to them every day and you'll be amazed at what comes out of their mouths :) I always laugh at the question when the doctor asks...like we have time to count words we have toddlers! *L* Thankfully when the doctor asked about my daughters speech she looked right at him and said "look at that!" He just laughed and said it was clear she's ahead of the game! I just started the flash cards because she asks what everything is. I think its important to not talk down to them. They're probably smarter then we are!

I had a lady tell me "she can't understand what your saying to her" at the grocery store. Before I could get mad at the lady for knowing it all my daughter handed her a "red apple" Thats all I needed to know I'm doing this the right way!



One thing that helps with the sanity... get the baby einstins first signs video. Learn the signs yourself and use them with your child. I know it seems crazy but the only reason I know when my daughter wants her baby doll or wants a drink sometimes is because she signs it to me.

Jennifer - posted on 07/01/2009

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My son only says Dada, Jaedan (his older brother) and stop. He was at the pediatrician a couple weeks ago for a checkup and I asked her about it and she said not to worry, at 16 months they generally say about 5 words, so he's not too far off track.

Katrina - posted on 07/01/2009

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You are right when you say you shouldn't worry about how much they can speak at this age. My brother-in-law did not say a word until he was three years old and then it came out in full sentences. Now at 35 he is one of the most brilliant, well spoken people I know.

Katrina - posted on 06/30/2009

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My daughter Anaiyah (2/21/08) says Mama, Dada, and she just learned how to say up (while putting her arms up in the air). She mostly babbles. I was a little worried that she wasn't saying the amount of words toddlers her age...but I will continue to put a name to every object she come in contact with. I too agree that Anaiyah understands more words than she says.

Samantha - posted on 06/30/2009

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I think Rhayne understands more words than she actually says. I think she has said about 10 or 15 distinct words, and the rest is just babbles. She knows what a lot of things are but can't say a whole lot of them, like if we tell her to get her blanket, she knows what blanket means, but can't say it. I agree though, i think right now its more important that she understand what we say and the rest will come when she is ready.

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