Is your baby saying any words yet? Any bilingual babies here?

Laury - posted on 06/30/2010 ( 35 moms have responded )

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A friend of mine told me my baby should be saying at least 10 words by 1. He is almost 13 months and says dada and mama and oh oh here and there....he will say something one day and then forget for two weeks, he will wave for a week and forget about it and then all of a sudden remember and wave or say something. Is that normal or is that something to be concerned about? I have also heard that the fact that I talk to him in SPanish and my husband in English can have something to do with it. I have read studies where bilingual parents teach their babies both languages at the same time and it is actually great for them. But now I feel bad that I may be hurting my child. Please help!

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Mairy - posted on 07/11/2010

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you do not hurt your child at all by talking several languages at home. I do the same thing with my child; I speak French with her, and my hubby speaks English. Now we are on vacation overseas and she spends a lot of time with my parents and my dad speaks Greek with her. She is 13 and is very talkative. She says mama, dada, and she says many words of her own language, which is very funny.
Me and my siblings also grew up in a bilingual household. I started to speak at 12 months while my sister started at 3!!! And last month she just got her Master´s!! You cannot compare kids, all kids are different. Just keep doing what you do, your child is going to be just fine.

Brenda - posted on 07/01/2010

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Most children only have a handful of words at one year. What you should look for is if he is understanding more of what you say. Language comprehension comes before expressive language. Also, being in a bilingual home may delay his speech a bit. But don't stop! It is wonderful that he will grow up speaking two languages. He just has twice as much to process than other children. He will be at such an advantage later in life having two langauges under his belt. I have taught many young children from bilingual homes and they all pick it up eventually.

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Laury - posted on 07/15/2010

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You guys are awesome!!!!!! Thanks so much for all the responses.............I will continue doing what I am doing, after all, he communicates very well...somehow, we always know what he wants and he may not say a lot yet but he knows who his Mommy and Daddy and everyhting around him is! he is totally awesome and I am going to stop letting people worry me to death!!!!! OH, and just wanted to share that he started swimming classes this past Tuesday and in less than 15 minutes, he was under the water swimming and actually reached for the wall......I am sooo proud of my little monkey :)))))!

Yisselle - posted on 07/14/2010

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You are not hurting your child, so dont worry. I'm also trying to show my 13 months old both languages (Spanish and English). I talk to him in Spanish, my first language and my husband in English. First he said mama, papa, dada and suddently he stop saying the words. Now he only says, ma, ma, ma (trying to say mas, more in English) when he wants food. He also says "alli" y "alla" (there) pointing at what he wants or where he wants to go and is trying to say "leche" (milk). I was kind of worry too so I started looking for info and I found the article "Warning signs of a toddler's language delay" in Baby Center http://www.babycenter.com/0_warning-sign...

Hope it help.

Akeeba - posted on 07/14/2010

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Yes. Amarii says thank you, here, no, nana, here you go. I'll take it, bless you and a few others. Its amazing to here it when it comes out.

Mazy - posted on 07/14/2010

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My son doesn't have any real words yet, but some tones & noises for specific things or ideas, so we know what he's saying. He just turned 13 months & all he says is Dad (daddy), Mum (mommy), and didi (kitty). But he will bark if there is a dog, weird, I know! We speak to him in English, Latvian & a wee bit of Russian and he doesn't have any issues with the languages. If we say something in any of the three languages, he responds properly no matter what, so I really wouldn't worry about speaking both languages to him. I think it's good to use both languages right from the start so they learn them equally well & don't end up falling back on just one.

Olga - posted on 07/13/2010

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dont worry! in families with 2 or more languages kids usually start talking later but fluently in all these languages. dont worry, im a linguist and im a mom of 1 yo son who doesnt say even a word. and im ok with that. (when i was a kid i was raised in the family with i language and started to talk only when i was 2 yo, before that only mmmmmmmmmm, thats it)
so dont worry, talk to u baby, dont be scared that its to bad if he has a couple of languages, its truely good! while he is not talking teach him dif stuff like drawing with his own hands and feet (really good for the brain development), play with grits.

Andrea - posted on 07/13/2010

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My daughter is only 13 months and only says mama and dada and some jiberish. All kids are different.

Krystle - posted on 07/13/2010

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Don't listen to your friend: there is a wide range of what is normal. Tell her, "it's also normal for a baby not to say ANY words until 14 months"..... It's normal, it doesn't mean your baby is slow.

Sounds like you are doing everything perfectly! It is true that babies being taught two languages at once are slower to speak, but it doesn't mean anything is wrong - it's really good for them!

It is also very normal for baby to seem to remember something one week and forget the next.

Everything sounds perfectly normal to me - so don't worry! :)

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My daughter just turned 13 months on the 9th and she hardly has words of her own but she will repeat everything she hears. It is so cute to hear her say a word with more that two syllable. The words that she truly owns are mine, mama, dada, papa (big brother), ooooh, and punk. It is funny that you can hear a bad word come from your childs ,mouth as clear as day while everything else sounds like jibberish. Her father is half Chinese and I am part Hispanic and I am also learning sign language so, our children is being raised in a very enriched environment.

Andrea - posted on 07/12/2010

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Quentyn is 13 months and says daisy (our dog) grandpa, dadda tree but not mamma :( I say poopsie for poop and he will say goondie I try to say it everytime I smell it in his diaper so he can start telling me when he poops :)...You really have to repeat words over and over and over everytime you do something tell them what youre doing it helps a lot!!

Brijitte - posted on 07/11/2010

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There is nothing wrong with teaching him two languages at one actually the more languages in the early ages the better he will remember them for life.... and for the talking I have a 13 month old and all she says is mama and dada and sometimes she forgets mama for a while so every child grows at different speeds it's nothing to be concerned about unless your doctor seems to have an issue with it.

Janessa - posted on 07/11/2010

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Don't worry, as long as he is progressing you can be almost 100% sure he is fine. Never listen to what others tell you he should be doing. Also, with the bilingual thing, I wish we had done that with our little ones, because my husband and I both speak English and Spanish, but we were afraid it would confuse them and so we didn't. Now we regret it. It may have put them behind for a little bit, but in the end they would have been very much ahead. My one year old is only just barely saying uh oh, and we aren't speaking to him bilingually. He'll be fine.

Gina - posted on 07/11/2010

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I think 10 words is pushing it a bit. My daughter says 4 words. (dada, mama, boom, here). She'll be 13 months tomorrow. She went to the doctor last Thursday. Doctor said to expect atleast 10 words by 18 months.

Ava - posted on 07/10/2010

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Babies actually typically know one word by one year old. That is, one word they know the meaning of (i.e.: 'cat', and can point to a cat, or run after you screeching 'mommee!', or other demonstrations of saying a word with meaning and not just saying it). My daughter is a year old and can say mommy, daddy, ducky, and baby. She has a very loose idea of what the last two are. The word she knows the most is mommy (she's always at my heels shrieking it).

Krystal - posted on 07/10/2010

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Yes - I started teaching my babe french - as I am planning on enrolling her in french emmersion in kindergarten - nothing over the top - occasionally I will teach her a new word in french - Like - DOG she can say DOG now lets work on Chien (or is that how it's spelt) I am not french, nor fully billingual, but understand it's going to help her out in the world. My girl says Momma, papa (gramps) cat, dog, hi, up, down, milk, day care, her sister name. She also just learnt night-night, snack, yee-haw and she can sing songs!! (like the itsy-bitsy spider - she knows the tune and actions, or Baa-baa white lamb!) She also can tell me what a cow, dog, cat, lamb, lion says - It's all about the day - you constantly have to tell them what they are looking at, what sound it makes etc. Repetion is the key. She knows what so many things are too - just not verbally syaing them yet. When we look at her books we play I spy - i ask her where are the grapes - she can point to the grapes!

The spanish and english thing is not hurting your kid - no way - if anything it is helping! The "forgetting" thing is normal so I am told. You are doing an Awesome job mom!! :0)

Rebecca - posted on 07/09/2010

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All kids are different. My bub says Oh Dear, mumma, dadda, Yup and bubba. I think that's normal. Don't stress. Eienstein didn't say a word till he was 3 years old, or was it 4 but it was later on anyway so kids do what they do...

Meaghn - posted on 07/09/2010

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I wouldn't worry at all, I read that kids of bilinual families may delay speech, but when they do start, they have a better grasp of it. Also, my first was a chatterbox, she had probably about 3 dozen words or so and a couple 2 or 3 word sentances by one. However, my second daughter, who turned one on June 21st, says only Hi and Daddy. She's more physical than her sister was, though, so I think she's just focused on other things and the speech will come. Just as a little note, she also refuses to use sign language. Refuses. My elder loved it and was signing by 10 months, so it really just shows that all kids are different. Hope this helps set your mind at ease!

Jessica - posted on 07/09/2010

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Mine is saying quite a few words, but I attribute that to her having an older sister and going to daycare. My first wasn't behind based on what her Dr. said was "normal" but I do think my second has picked up words quicker than her older sister because she learns from more people than just Me and my husband.

Oh, and I have been told that bi-lingual babies may take longer to say as many words, but in the end, they end up knowing more because they learn more than one language. So no, you aren't hurting your baby, he's probably just still sorting out what is Spanish and what is English. In the end, he will know more words.

If you are worried, you could ask your pediatrician, but be sure to tell him/her that your baby is from a bi-lingual home.

Amy - posted on 07/09/2010

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My daughter doesn't say 10 words! She says mama, dada, raw-ra (laura) and "gone" when her dinner has finished for e.g. but thats about it. She's also nearly 13months ... I wouldn't worry too much. My daughter is fairly intelligent and I taljk to her all the time. She understands what I say more or less; she simply hasn't learnt to talk properly xx

Kate - posted on 07/09/2010

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I think you are giving your child an incredibly wonderful gift by speaking to him in both Spanish and English! How wonderful that he will be bilingual! It's a lot of work to learn to speak a language, and naturally, it's more work to learn two. He will likely have some crossover in speech and it will probably take a little longer (it would take longer to do any 2 things, than 1 thing!), and that's perfectly great and fine... Have fun. It's such a joy to watch babies learn to communicate.

btw, my son is 13 mos and only says a few words (and he does the same thing - he'll have a word than lose it for a little while then will have it again a few weeks later). I'm not worried. He is great at letting us know what he needs!

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You are most definitely NOT hurting your baby speaking to him in Spanish. I speak French to mine and they are both doing well with the languages. My 2 yr old was not as fluent in English as perhaps some of her friends mono lingual but now that she has hit almost 3 yrs, she says many things in English. . . understands it all. . . and UNderstands everything I say to her in French and she will speak to me in French as well... and to other people who encourage her to speak it with them. Babies learn at different stages and teaching your child a second language now is a definite help to them on many levels. I am a language teacher and have read many books on this and have seen the benefits of being multi lingual. Bravo et Courage!

Amanda - posted on 07/08/2010

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I have 15 nieces and nephews and my son who turned one on 6/2. They all learned at their own pace and they all are very smart now. My son says everything. He knows words in spanish and chinese and english. We do not speak spanish or chinese but he has learned them from Diego, Dora and Kai Lan. He knows how to say hi, buh bye, ada (dada), mama, dog, cat, bowl, what's that, did it, wow wow wow (wow wow wubzy), aunt, duck, yogurt and some words that I wish he would not repeat. We have been talking to him since he was born like he was an adult and he started talking at 4 months old. We have never used baby voices or talked to him like a child and he picks things up and comprehends like you wouldn't believe. I am not sure if that helped but it worked for my sisters kids too and they are all outrageously smart now. Not sure if it will help you but I have seen it work for several kids and I am not sure how you speak to your kids. You could talk to them like this and maybe they do know the words and choose not to speak. Some kids say nothing for a long time and then just start talking in sentences. I would not worry about it if I were you. They will learn at their own pace. And learning two languages is easier for kids when they are this age so that should not be a problem either.

Faith - posted on 07/07/2010

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When I brought my son to his 12 month check up, my dr said at his age he should be saying between 2-5 words

Lisa - posted on 07/07/2010

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i wouldn't worry too much. my little guy was the same way. we actually went to a speech pathologist to find out why he wasn't talking much. in our case we were talking for him. if we asked him a question either we wouldn't wait for him to answer or my husband would answer on behalf of him. we stopped doing that, he started talking more and now at 3 1/2 we can't get him to stop! lol he'll get there in his own time, each child has their own time frame that unfortunately we don't know about :)

Bathobile - posted on 07/06/2010

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My baby also 13 mnths and only says baba mama aunty and other but for now I'm not worried for now I think that she still need to explore and learn other things and really she is going great so far. I think you should give your baby time and she will get there.

Ashlee - posted on 07/06/2010

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my daughter just sayes dada & mama she tries to say bye but can't i teach her how to do stuff & wave good bye teach you bby things one at a time so they get to remember it

Amy - posted on 07/05/2010

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Sweetie you are NOT hurting your child. Each kid develops at their own pace. He obviously is understanding what you guys are saying to him and that's all that matters. We too are teaching our daughter English and Spanish (I'm White and my husband is Puerto Rican) My daughter turned 1 on the 22 and she says words in both languages, BUT she won't say mama for anything in the world. She knows that I am mama bc when someone asks her "where's mama?" She points to me and smiles, but she has no interest in saying it BUTshe says dada, daddy, and papi. lol. She also says "agua, leche, this, papa, nana, issac, andres, titi, wow-wow (thats what she calls dogs). I want her to learn both languages equally when I say something in english, I ask my husband to repeat it in spanish. His family only speaks spanish to her, and she's learning both. We have to rememeber that babies learn everything we say and o, even if they don't exactly show it at that time. My daughter heard my bro-n-law tell the dog to shut up, and 3 days later the dog started barking and she yelled 'UT UPPP'. I was shocked (and trying my hardest not to laugh because I do'nt want her to think that's funny) Of course it was in front of my mother in law too. She idn't say it again for almost a month, and we were at the mall and she heard a group of kids say it again, and wouldn't you know she repeated it. Don't worry...Keep doing what you're doing! GO MAMI!

Maria - posted on 07/03/2010

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my daughters 1 year also and all she says is mama and dada too..so i think it just depends on what the baby picks up and hears because ill tell my daughter something and shell repeat it...and she also understands spanish too..ahah maybe more than english so i wouldnt worry about it too much

Cristen - posted on 07/01/2010

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My son is learning English and Spanish. He is around both pretty equally right now. It's hard to tell but we think that he can understand a little more Spanish right now, but he doesn't really talk any yet. He says mama and dada and paso was his first word. His dr. said that it may take a little longer for him to talk because he is learning 2 languages and that he will probably use them together at first but that it is great that he is learning now and he will be completely fluent in both.

Laura - posted on 07/01/2010

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hiya, my partner is filipino im irish....my partner speaks his dialect and filipino to our kids i speak english and irish to them...they can understand all 4 languages. they speak words from all the languages....they call us dada and mama, tata and nene ...kids delevop at their own stages...sometimes they say words and dont say them for weeks again....i suppose they have maybe 15 20 words but i wouldnt be worried....i think that unless a child is extrememly behind there is no need to worry

Sheree - posted on 07/01/2010

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At my daughters 12 months check up, my dr advised that she should be saying 5-6 words by 18 months, so I wouldnt worry too much. I have also heard that being bilingual is a great thing for a baby as well. I really dont think your doing anything wrong :)

Sophie - posted on 06/30/2010

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According to the Canadian Hearing foundation chart I was given in hospital, babies start to say words other than babbling anywhere between 10 and 15 months, by 18 months they should have about 25 words give or take a few. I would say your baby is perfectly normal! I speak to my daughter in French and my husband speaks to her in English, I learned both languages this way also. I think you are doing great by your baby by teaching him two languages.... they are sponges at this age and now is the time to do it!

Kat - posted on 06/30/2010

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that's what tristan does. he turned 1 on 6/11. different kids are different. in my baby book it said i talked a ton by 1 year old. but my brother and sister didnt. tristan would say something and forget it for 2 weeks like your son. then all of a sudden, he started talking. now he says tons of words.

i'd teach him 1 thing at a time, then as he learns more words, teach him the spanish. i learned spanish (we lived in san diego at the time) when i was 4-6. and i retained all of it. but yah, teach him either the english word of spanish word, and once he gets a good handle on it, teach him the other language. like keep on him about "dog" til he knows what a dog is and stuff, then teach him "perro" and show him it's the same thing, but keep saying "dog..perro" so he gets the idea it's the same thing. i'm planning on teaching tristan the same thing. plus, he can watch Dora and Diego, too. but good luck, i think it's cool youre teaching him both languages

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