Tips for getting my 16 month old to talk?

[deleted account] ( 6 moms have responded )

My son was born 07-08-07. He started gibberish a little early, so I got high hopes of an early talker. Everything else he's done has been a little ahead of the average baby his age. I've read online somewhere that a lot of late talkers are because of concentrating on other motor skills, and I'm glad he can do some things other kids his age can't. However, I get so jealous of moms with talking babies! My son only does "ah, uuh, mum mum (not meaning mom), doo, da, eee, ya, yoo", maybe a couple other sounds. Most of these are done squealing in the kitchen for the echo. He doesn't say "mom" or "dad" or any sound close to it on purpose. He seems to understand certain commands such as "lets go change your diaper" and he'll run for the changing station. I try, and practice, but I can't get him to mimic any words at all. He just stares at me briefly before trying to run away from me. He doesn't have any siblings and has never attended day care, so I hope his lack of social interaction with children his age, isn't hurting more than helping. I think he's just being stubborn and will just suddenly start talking to us without provocation. He did the same with rolling over, crawling, and walking. Maybe he's just too independent for my level of patience? Frustrated!

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Shannon - posted on 11/18/2008

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My son, born 7-3-07, is in the same situation. Early babbler, crawler, walker, etc but not even "bye" or "mama." I asked my pediatrician about it, and she said that the fact that he makes noises means that he is trying to communicate and will most likely get there soon. I don't think it has much to do with interaction with other kids - my son has been in day care since 6 mos old, while my niece is at home and has been saying things like blueberry and thank you since she was a year. One thing my dr said was that we might be anticipating what he wants/needs too much, so he doesn't HAVE to say anything. So we have been hanging back a little bit and not always picking him up if he tugs on our legs, for example, trying to get him to say "up" (of course you don't want to frustrate him by ignoring him, it's a delicate balance). Usually when my husband arrives home from work, he runs into the room calling my son's name. For the past week, he has been just coming into the house and waiting, making enough noise so my son knew he was home. Sure enough, the other day my son heard him and yelled out "Da?" and has been calling him that regularly since. Try not to get frustrated with your independent little guy. I think they all start when they feel like it and not a moment earlier!

[deleted account]

I forgot to mention: I've been trying to teach him some basic Signs since almost the beginning. A week or so ago, he finally started putting his hands in the air and saying "aH Ha" like he's saying "aLL Gone" or "aLL Done" if he sees the plate/bowl is empty, or if he feels it's time to run away. But, still not a single word. Not even "no" or "hi", let alone body parts or objects. I kind of hate you guys, lol.

[deleted account]

Sign Language has helped me communicate with my daughter (born 7/5/08). I found some basic signs on parents.com after finding out that they use it at her daycare. She is now able to tell me "more" or "all done" while in her high chair eating. I ask the question and sign and she will sign her answer back to me. We are working on others like "milk" and "ball" (she loves to roll it back and forth with me) and "shoes" (this girl loves to put on shoes). It takes consistency but I am thankful that she can tell me atleast 2 things between all of her gibberish. Its amazing the connection we make when she realizes I understand her! We also have lots of picture books and we point and say the word. My sister-in-law swears this is how her kids started talking so early. She had her kids at home and you could have a full conversation with them by 2 years old. For my daughter just when I get worried she isn't hitting a milestone she will have a burst of new things and I will forget that I was even worried. They are all different and it will all work out on their schedule!

[deleted account]

Brandie, my son is also not saying very many words but he is able to communicate quite well with the few that he does say, with pointing, with a couple of signs, and otherwise. the most important thing that i've heard is that your child understands what you're saying. if he can following a command like you said he does in going to change his diaper, than he's probably just fine in terms of verbal communication. my niece, who is now 27 months only started using words and putting them together into short sentences a month or two ago and she's still on track for normal development. and if your son is ahead and still developing other motor and cognitive skills that are a bit ahead of his age, than i also wouldn't worry.

i was actually surprised today that my son started pointing to my eye saying "eyes...eyes...eyes..." i didn't even realize that i had told him the parts of the face enough that he would remember let alone clearly say what he was pointing at. but i do think it helped him to repeat it knowing that he was supposed to be going down for a nap and the more he said it the more likely i was to play with him rather than continuing to insist on his going to sleep. :)

i wouldn't push it. just keep talking to him and naming objects, etc as you normally would. language development takes a lot longer than some motor development, so probably time is the best way to "induce" your son's speech.

Jessica - posted on 11/16/2008

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I think the best thing to do is continuously talk to your child. Try to engage him in conversation as much as possible even if hes not responding verbally to start. Ask questions to get him to point to things or respond in some way to be sure you have his attention and then prompt him to use words to communicate with you.

If your truly concerned don't hesitate to talk to your pediatrician or look for a speech therapist.

My daughter was born 7/7 and she has had a few words for a couple months now like, mama, daddy, more, shoes, hi and bye. Just in the last week or more she has suddenly added a bunch of stuff like no, coat, seat, juice, done, but she's pretty hard to understand.

Heidi - posted on 11/16/2008

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Brandie- I know what you mean about being frustrated. My little one would prefer to grunt and point to get her point across to us most of the time. She also makes tons of sounds and babbles most of the day. She says maybe 5 words that we can understand. I think it is great the your son is making all those noises, eventually they will turn into words. Everyone keeps telling me that each child is different, so even though it is hard try to be patient. I think you are doing everything right- just keep talking to him, encouraging him, and reading to him etc... Good luck!

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