how well is your 16 month old's speaking?

Helen Katrina - posted on 01/28/2010 ( 66 moms have responded )

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i have a 16 month old girl and she speaks quite a few words but stringing a sentence together seems to be quite difficult for her still and there is alot of 'monkey talk'. is this normal for children her age still or should she be speaking a little better by now?

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Sherie - posted on 02/22/2010

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i think she is ok. they know a lot of words you may not realize it. My daughter doesnt say sentences but she knows and says a lot.

Amanda - posted on 02/16/2010

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1 have 4 children 1 could talk at 12 mths one at 14th months and the other 2 didnt talk till they were nearly 3 and4 all children are different and you will waste your time comparing them...

Stephanie - posted on 02/12/2010

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You have to remember, each kid develops at different paces. What is considered "normal" for most kids at her age, isn't "normal' for the rest of the population. My son is 17 months and can put simple sentences together. What I have discovered that helps is reading-A LOT! Also, speak to them as a person, not a baby. They catch on that way much better than keeping the sentences or phrases simple. Change it up a bit. As long as your Dr. isn't alarmed by it, you shouldn't be either. Somtimes you have to think of words in "baby" talk to help them pronounce it, and critique it later. Example, I wanted my son to learn puppy, so I taught him Pop & bee. about 2 weeks later, he understood puppy. Be creative with it, and good luck!

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Rachel - posted on 08/09/2011

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Children will start to string two words together when they have about 50 single words in their repetoire. 16 months is a bit young for two word phrases, so I wouldn't worry about it (I work in Early Intervention, so I am not just trying to make you feel good)

Kelly Smith - posted on 03/18/2010

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I actually just had a speech evaluation for my 17 month old because a county agency stated that he should have more words. The speech therapist said that he is with in normal limits...he still does the babbling, has about 10 words that he uses that we understand. She said a simple guideline was 1year old= 1 word, 2 year old= 2 words(simple sentence) , etc. Just make sure you are describing what you are doing and saying the words to objects that she wants and make sure you wait a moment to see if she attempts to say it, even if it is just a simple sound(I've noticed my youngest will use the same sound for some objects even though he doesn't say the word).

Sheri - posted on 03/18/2010

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from 18 months to 2 years you will notice a HUGE difference just in that 6 months. I remember with my son when he was like 18 months i always thought he should be talking much more. But by the time he hit 2, WOW he had quite the vocab. He is now 3 1/2 and i can't keep him quiet for the life of me...lol. My daughter @ 18 months now is speaking about 15-20 words that i can think of off the top of my head. Could be a bit more. Pretty average for her age.

Madeline - posted on 03/18/2010

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my 16 month old son says on average about 10 different words but only strings two word sentences an my health visitor said to me they should only be saying on average 6 words like mama dadda ,cat, dog,bird an it's all perfectly normal for him whereas my oldest you couldnt stop him from talking when he was my youngest's age but it does all depend on the child an they say every child develops differently at different stages which i have witnessed with my 4 sons they was all different if you have concerns maybe speak to your health visitor an see what she says.i did that with my son as i was worried about him but she said there was nothing to worry about ,it may ease your mind,all the best

Denise - posted on 03/18/2010

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WHEN MY DAUGHTER WAS THAT AGE TO USED TO ONKY SPEAK A FEW WORDS. BUT NOW AT 18 MONTHS SHES JUST PICKING UP WORDS FROM US. WHWN I TEACH HER WORDS SHE LEARNS IT BUT AS WELL WHEN WE ARE TALKING SHE LISTENS AND THEN SAYS THE WORDS.

Fiona - posted on 02/24/2010

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k wlli have a 17 month old lile boy and he can say mama dadda brum brum (car) monga (monkey) chocolate LOL and dog but he can not string a sentance at all ! he talks alot of baby talk is this normal gettin a little worried

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My son is a 16 month old and he can currently say about 12 words that he associates with the actual objects he is trying to talk about. I also have been working with him so now he can sign language and speak the words "more" and "please" in conjunction with each other. He usually says this phrase when he wants more food or if he wants what you have. A good way to train them in this is much like training a puppy. I use "treats" or mealtimes where I give him more of the treat if he asks nicely and correctly. I also do this between bites of food as well.

Joyce - posted on 02/23/2010

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My 16mths old can say up to 3 syllables already (bicycle, vegetables, etc), but has yet to string sentences. the most she can say is "XXX (be it mummy/daddy/ any other address) poh-poh (means carry in cantonese)." however, she tries to pronounce any word we ask her to, though at times, not that accurate. She can count from one to ten by herself & sing (maybe i shd say hum) "Twinkle twinkle Little stars", "ABC song", "You r my sunshine", "If u r happy" & a chinese nursery song, pronouncing only the last word of each phrase in the song. Her tune is very accurate though. :) Try to encourage her to talk more. who knows he/she may surprise u one day! :p

Kelly - posted on 02/15/2010

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My daughter is 17months now she can say alot of words but she chooses when she is going to use them!! I was really starting to get worried as i have always been told girls are quicker than boys but my son was alot more forward in alot more things than my daughter seems to be. Ive found that she talks to her brother all the time and she communicates through him which ive been told is normal behaviour for younger siblings! Even without saying anything at all he seems to no what she wants all the time!!

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Not much really. Lots of baby talk still. He seems to have little conversations and we just join in and chat about anything. He says things we as his parents understand, he sings a few lines from songs etc but most other people wouldn't understand him.

They all develop at different ages. Mine has only just started to walk across a room whereas most other children of this age have been doing it for ages. I am not worried and just take it as it comes.

Michelle - posted on 02/15/2010

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does anyone's 17 month old just say the begining of longer words. For example, my daughter will say sh for shoe or ju for juice. just wondering...

Jennifer - posted on 02/15/2010

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My daughter says a lot of words, to name a few: 1. Addison (her name) 2. mommy 3. daddy 4. cup 5. waffle 6. sauce 7. cookie 8. ball 9. dog 10. milk 11. juice 12. circle. There are more that she knows and it is insane to think that she knows this many.

Brian And Tammy - posted on 02/14/2010

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CJ is 17 months old now and only saying a handful of words but, I have a friend that comes in my home who is a speech pathologist and she evaluated him and he is fine, I think as mothers, we tend to worry more than we should...I have six ranging from 21 down to 17 months and one grandchild.. trust me when I tell you not all children are the same not even syblings, they develop at thier own pace..If they follow commands and comunicate with you evening signing while trying to be verbal than all is well.. Believe me, just like the others once he starts talking, I'll never shut him up!! LOL!!

Susan - posted on 02/13/2010

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I am a speech-language pathologist an a mom of a 17-month-old girl. You absolutely should not worry that your little one isn't speaking in sentences. Children are not expected to consistently put words together until about 2 years. The rule of thumb for little ones is the average length of their utterances corresponds with their age (i.e. 1 yr = 1 word utterances; 2 yrs = 2 word utterances...etc..) There is also a VERY wide range of normal at this early age. I have needed to remind myself of this as my little girl has developed. She was at the "late" end of "normal" for babbling, which had me in a bit of a tizzy for a while (given that I'm a speech pathologist, my kid should be speaking "perfectly" right away, right? ;)). Now she's right on target with about 20 words and an occasional "more ___" sentence. Much of her speech would be difficult for a stranger understand (she's JUST beginning to put the end sound on words i.e. "teeth" was "tee," now it's "tees"), but that's also very normal.

Pammie - posted on 02/13/2010

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my son is 16 months old and he has quite the little vocabulary. his father speaks another language (Nyanja, an african language) and we were worried that teaching him to be bilingual would slow down his speech development. quite the opposite has happened. some words he only knows in nyanja and some only in english, and some words (like animals) he often knows in both languages and knows which sounds they make. he knows all the self help words (help, please, more, thank you, eat, all done, diaper please, uh oh, sorry, milk, juice, and calls food by it's name instead of just eat.) he knows his animals often in both languages (farm, jungle, domestic) and the sounds that each make. he knows the names of most of his friends and family. some only from pictures and videos but he can always identify them. they don't always come out perfectly but close enough for a stranger to usually understand. he knows words for his toys and things around the house( couch, toys, kitchen, oven, computer.. compuper :), window, door, bed, room) knows what to call each article of clothing. he has several favorite abc books that have pictures to go with each letter. he knows about 50% of the pictures by name and usually another 25% if prompted to repeat them. (you know like those books A for apple, B for bear, C for car ) i think that he repeats almost anything we say but it takes a few times hearing and repeating that word before he will put it into his speech patterns. the words of the week are "surprise" when he jumps out and tries to scare us. and "pretty snow!" as we look out the window at the ridiculous snow storm in dallas texas! i think that it has helped my son's speech tremendously that his 2 year old cousin lives with him and he tries to imitate everything cousin does!

Tobey - posted on 02/13/2010

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Sentences are not common until past 2 years of age. My son has come up with a couple of impressive 4 and 5 word sentences, but they are still few in number. He does a lot of babble - he raises his voice and speaks with inflection, but I have no idea what he is saying. That is actually a VERY important developmental step, because it means they understand speech patterns even if they cannot yet form words. Mostly, my son's speech has to do with his needs "Ma, I wan Milk" or "Ma, I go nigh nigh" He also has a lot of labels for things - ball, dog, cat, bottle, car, etc. More complex speech is not expected at this age. Most toddlers can only speak 5 to 10 words clearly, so if your child is already occasiaonlly stringing together short sentences pr has a more developed vocabulary, it sounds like she is doing just fine.

Teachers who work with young children don't recommend "panicking" about a young child's speech since they develop at such different rates. Around the age of 2 there should be a "vocabulary explosion" where a child starts learning as many as 1 to 2 new words a day. But up until that time, pretty much anything goes. You should be concerned if your 1 year old still hasnt begun to babble, or if your 2 year old still does not have any labels or self-help speech. My nephew is now 5 was identified as at-risk for speech at the age of 3 - all he did was babble - what you call "monkey talk" - when he was 3. He literally could not speak ANY words until past 3 1/2, and did not start using sentences until well past 4 years of age. At 5 he still has trouble putting together more than a simple sentence. One thing therapists told us to do was to ALWAYS talk in sentences to him, and to never repeat his mistakes back to him. So, if your toddler says "Muck" for "milk" - say back to him, "Oh, you want some MILK? Okay, here is some MILK" There you are reinforcing what he knows while also giving him the corrected form of the word he said, and you are modeling sentence structure for him. I have spoken in sentences to my son since he was very tiny and I think that is why he attempts to put together sentences. I still get a lot of "Ma, ummmm, I, ummmm" from him as he tries to think of what he wants to say, but he is attempting to make sentences, and that thrills me.

Madeline - posted on 02/13/2010

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it all depends on the child and in which way their mind is developing we have 4 sons 2 of whom were forward in things from when they was young and 2 who were slow which we later found out was due to them suffering a rare disorder but we encourage them as much as we can and now they are developing just fine

Jennifer - posted on 02/12/2010

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yes-19 months sounds right now that you mention that. My oldest daughters speech took off at 19-20 months..forgot that was the age until I saw it on here

Jennifer - posted on 02/12/2010

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my daughter is 17 months old today and sounds the same. She says sentences like "That's Mine! Stop IT"...Bad Cat', and lots of other words, but there is tons of babbling still. My son had delayed speech (wasn't even babbling until he was close to 3), and our speech therapist explained to us how babbling and as you called it "monkey talk" (i love that experession), is really important to helping kids develope ideas into sentences. So I'd say your daughter is right on!

Lisa - posted on 02/12/2010

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Dont worry my son is 17 months old . I took him to a speech therapist because he is not talking either. She said she is perfectly normal for that age . If you are concerned I would say have her hearing check . If their is no hearing problem I would not worry at this time.

Melissa - posted on 02/12/2010

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My boys are 17 months and even though they have a pretty good vocabulary of small words they can only say sentences that have 2 words in them. usually the same words too. like "no no" "night night" . sometimes addng mommy a the beginning of most of the other sentences or boboo (which means brother). Still only 2 word sentences though.

Allison - posted on 02/11/2010

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My eldest is now 3 and was counting to 20 and saying three word sentences at 16 months (I wrote it all down in her baby book to prove it!). My youngest is 16 months and is barely past mama, dada, ball, juice. From what I can tell, just a different rate of various development. My two girls also happen to be exactly (minus 1 day) two years a part, but they are only 2 pounds a part.

Michelle - posted on 02/11/2010

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My daughter is doing 2-word sentences in ASL, but speaking, not yet. She can say at least 12 words, and signs at least 30. Her favorite word to say is "okie" (okay) when you ask if she wants something specific. Her favorite word to say *and* sign is "book." Reading books is her favorite activity. Most of her words are gibberish to me.

Caitlin - posted on 02/11/2010

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I think that is very normal. If she was making sentences by now that would be pretty advanced. It is very good if she knows how to use the words she can say. My daughter responds with the correct answer which is funny sometimes that she knows what to say. But she knows body parts and animals but she sounds like she is speaking chinese when she tries to add more. She looks at you like what she has said makes perfect sense though.

Cristen - posted on 02/11/2010

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DD does a lot of monkey jabber too, that's normal (and so cute)! She only has said a few "sentences" which I consider to be two or more words strung together. She has said "Where's Daddy?" and "Where's Nenna? (her sister Makenna)." One time she said "Go bye-bye Meemaw," when we were leaving to go to Meemaw's house. But yes, it's normal. Some 16 month olds can't even say a few words yet and they say that is normal too.

Annette - posted on 02/10/2010

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How do you teach them new words? Mine is 17 months and she still only says mamma, pappa, ta-ta, and baba, sometimes when she feels like it she will say grandma and grandpa. She is fast on all the other aspects but not on speaking.

Suzanne - posted on 02/10/2010

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My 16 month only says about 10 words, no sentences yet. Most kids don't start speaking in sentences until 2 years old.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/10/2010

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that's very normal. Usually at 16 months babies only know a handful of words. Don't expect sentences for awhile. My almost 3 year old is just beginning to start saying sentences

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2010

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I kind of lost track of all the words in Lilly's vocabulary, but she picks up about a word a day. She isn't really speaking coherent sentences, unless "No Mommy" counts. She does string together noises in sentence form though. Each child is different and will pick it up at their own pace. But reading helps a lot. We try to read to Lilly every night that we can.

Christine - posted on 02/10/2010

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My daughter is stringing a few words together, but not sentences. As far as I know this is normal.

Sonia - posted on 02/09/2010

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It sounds like your daughter is at the right stage, even doing very well. I would concentrate on all the words she's learning & what you can mutually understand. All my friends with older kids mention a language spurt, set to happen around 19+ months, where they learned several new words/day.

Darby - posted on 02/09/2010

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my first child, she wasn't speaking much until about 18 months...my 2nd, she waited until she was 2 and at age 3 she tripled her vocabulary and you can't get her to stop talking...my 3rd child, he is almost 17 months old and he says 'whoa', 'uh oh', 'ma ma', 'da da', and 'ohhhhh'. So, it is absolutely normal for her to be speaking a few words but sentences don't usually happen till around the age of 2 to 3.

Crystal - posted on 02/09/2010

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my daughter is the same way. there are a few words she knows pretty well but doesnt make sentences. she tries but you just have to give them time. my friend has a 2 and a half year old who shes just now understanding full sentences from.

Amanda - posted on 02/08/2010

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My sisteen month old son so far is on dada, mama and thankyou and nothing much else. Still waiting patiently

Nicola - posted on 02/06/2010

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my daughter doesnt say much at all, like you say - alot of 'monkey talk'!! lol. she can say 'mum' and 'dad' (randomly though!! usually says 'mumum' when she hurts herself which is sweet as i feel needed!!) the only other thing she's learnt in the last couple of months is 'row row row' from the song - row row row your boat, lol. i do worry myself sometimes that my daughter isnt talking as much as she should at her age. most people ive spoken to just say that they will talk in their own time and that the babble they speak is a good sign that they should start speaking soon (fingers crossed). im in the same boat bird. there is no specific time for them to talk - some are quicker than others at all the milestones that children have. my daughter understands everything we say to her and will point and go and get or do whatever we say to her but the words just arent coming out yet. dont worry - your daughter is progressing perfectly well - the fact that she is saying a couple of word means that shes well on her way!! look forward to catching up with you about how her speach is progressing, i feel the same way youre not alone!!

Rhonda - posted on 02/06/2010

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my daughter is very advanced...according to the doctor...she is on a 3-4 year old level. She repeats everything you say and she understands what you ask her to do. She started walking unassisted @ 9 months old and she was talking at about 4 months old. She can already count to 5 and knows her ABC's to F...she loves for us to read to her and she will sit down and try reading on her own. I got "Your Baby Can Read" program and started it when she was born and she can read the words (over 100 -150) before they are said to her! I love that program...each child develops at their own pace and your little one seems to be doing good! She is even potty trained already...

Kelly - posted on 02/06/2010

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My daughter has been saying words for a while now...still doesnt put sentences together..she will from time to time say " mama eat" but thats about the extent of her sentances! I wouldnt worry about it.

Amy - posted on 02/05/2010

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My 16 month old can speak a couple of words out loud, like pointing at a picture of herself and saying "DAT ME". She can also say mama, daddy, duck, and arf-arf, oh and her latest-ELMO! But her main source of communication comes from sign language--and she is signing over 200 words now. She knows the signs for colors, family members, clothes, food items, feelings, and other objects. As I am hearing impaired as well as my child's father, and her grandparents, sign language is a great way to communicate with her, otherwise--I feel that screaming is only an outlet for her inner frustration. Screaming... Sign Language... the choice is yours! :)

Amber - posted on 02/05/2010

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my daughter Lilly is 17months in a few days and she and she doesnt say more than 5 words we can understand. It worries me cause the docs ask when we go in for thier visits how many new words weve learned and we are lucky if its 2 in a month.

Sandra - posted on 02/04/2010

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I have a nearly three year old and a 16 month old. A lot of kids don't say many words before two, and while my daughter was saying about 100 words by 18 months, she didn't start stringing sentences together until she was two. My son has about 15 words and he is no where near putting words together. I don't think you need to worry about your daughter at all, she seems quite advanced is if she has a lot of clear words already.

Naddy - posted on 02/04/2010

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Monkey talk is very normal for this age - from what I gather sentences aren't really formed until realistically 20months+, brandon is 16mths too and says a few words but uses more gestures to convey what he wants to say tho have noticed the last 48 hrs he's babbling
a lot more than usual...remember stage not age :D

Amanda - posted on 02/04/2010

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my son is definitely not speaking nearly as much as any of your children are, but he was a month premature when he was born, so I don't know if that has anything to do with it or not. so far my doctor hasn't said anything is wrong or that I need to be worried. he does not consistently say mama or dad, but he says apple sauce (or something that sounds like it), ELMO, and all done. I going to talk to my doctor at his next appointment at 18 months to see what they have to say!

Michelle - posted on 02/03/2010

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my daughter is the same age and only says a handful of words like mommy, daddy baby.. They all go at their own pace :)

Tami - posted on 02/02/2010

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im just as frustrated bc katelynn is not saying any sentences and shes almost 17 months.. i try everything i can but nothing...

Jessica - posted on 02/02/2010

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I would not worry right now. All kids develop at their own pace. No two kiddos are the same. Just try having conversations about every thing you can and read. She will blossom with that.

Charla - posted on 02/01/2010

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My 16 month old chatters all of the time, but actually says very few words. He says "bye-bye" "gotta go, go, go" and "ma ma". He has started imitating a couple of words but nothing that seems to stick.

Susan - posted on 02/01/2010

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According to our doc, Lily has the vocab skills of a 2-3 year old. She says in excess of 80 words, that are understood and known, and can speak in sentences ranging from 2-5 words. When we talk to her you can see her studying our mouths and then she will repeat the sounds until the words come out. We never pushed her to speak or walk early (she said her first word at 3.5 months, sounds stupid but she did, and started walking at 9 months unassisted), it's something she did all on her own. That being said, all babies are different and none are better than the other just because one does something earlier or later. Eventually they will all say the same things it all depends on the child. Don't force the issue, your LO will talk in due time and then you'll never have a moment of peace! ;)

Ashley - posted on 02/01/2010

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i think that is normal my son says between 20-30 that he knows/understands and can do a 2-3 word sentence but he is ahead for his age.As long as she is speaking,i wouldn't worry,every child is different.Just encourage her by using more words and see what she picks up,or if you let her watch some tv see how fast she learns the characters.

Amber - posted on 01/31/2010

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When you say 'speak', does that mean words she says that actually sound like the words she means? Or the sound that she has given to a certain object? My 16 month old daughter says several words that I understand, but anybody who doesn't know her wouldn't have a clue. She says: uh-oh, Momma, Dadda, Pa, Nonna, Teh (uncle tres), Rae Rae, die duh too (I love you), bye-bye, dee (drink), teh tis (there it is), eye, oh ma (oh my), hey bubba (hey buddy), dah duh (all done), choo choo too (choo choo train), tatoo (thank you), dedoo (bless you), ball, cawcaw (the same for cracker, cookie, kitty cat), hi, ha (hot), ni ni (night night), daa (down), behbuh (belly button), and more smaller words. She also signs many of these words and others. She repeats everything I say even if she doesn't remember what they mean later. She has really started to talk a lot more in the last week or so, but I have yet to see whether the words she has learned will stick.

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