When should a toddler start to chew and talk?

Brenda - posted on 04/06/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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hello everyone,

its really my first time posting on COMs, but I have really been getting a lot of help from here since I was introduced by a friend. THUMBS UP ALL THE MOMS

back to my question, I have 2 sons aged 11 and 21months. My 21 month boy is starting to worry me as he refuses to chew any lumpy food or anything that requires chewing i.e. toast, biscuits, crisp fruit especially bananas. he does attemp to chew on oranges as he loves them, meat as he is a big fan but as soon as any juices are finished he will spit out the rest. he will NEVER swallow his lumpy food. well come to think of it, if he has pasta, rice or potatoes he will swallow them without chewing sometimes leading to gaging. Any ideas how i can encourage him to chew his food?

Secondly he has about 12 teeth now but seems not to want to say any sentences. he will say the ordinary words milk, car, mum, dad, his brother name which he call differently though. (Mutsa he is called but TJ calls him Wawa) not sure where he gets this from. anyway he seems to be very clever though because if you tell and show him a name/picture of something he never forget and says its name next time he is asked. although he refuses to call an orange its real name and calls it apple. (again not sure why). I know he is not too bad but i am a little worried as some kids almost his age say a few sentences. is this anything to get worried about or i should take it easy?

Ohh not forgetting to mention he refuses to repeat anything he is asked to say e.g thank you or please, greeting someone or anything along those lines.

any tips and help is well appreaciated.

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Brenda - posted on 04/07/2011

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hi Jennifer, Thank you for your reply. I am glad that he is not really behind speech wise, as my HV once said that being able to chew helps the speech mechanisim (if i should put it that way). He is ok with learning words as we went to a zoo over the weekend and as we drove by animals we said their names, stopped and took pictures. today when I was going through the photos i was asking him what hey were and he remembered the name of the lion, zebra, monkey, carmel, elephant etc. i was glad that he did say the names although they were not properly said but to me it did make sense.
thanks again for your reply and assurance that he is not far behind

Jenni - posted on 04/07/2011

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His language sounds normal to me. My son said very few words until his second birthday. Between 22-24 months he went from using about 10 words regularly to about 200 and short sentences. He also learned his letters, colours, shapes and could count to 10. :S it was like it all happened overnight. Well, in 2 months.
I'm sorry I wish I could provide you with answers about the chewing thing, but I honestly don't know.

Brenda - posted on 04/06/2011

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Hey Vicky thank you for your reply... well infact i should correct the choking part. he gags a lot. He did have mash as a baby but i did thrown in small bits in his food to train him to chew. but he has alway spat out anything he found lumpy. i have been to my paed before when he was younger and was adviced to start off with bits like bread sticks, apples etc but he still refused to chew all he did and still does, is suck on them like a baby then just throw the food on the floor. Its even harder at meal times as he will refuse the food no matter how hungary he is... if he ccontinues to find lumpy food he cant swallow he then crys uncontrolably which forces me to slightly mash it so he is able to swallow without chewing. it sure doesnt sound normal that he just swallows without chewing.

Vicki - posted on 04/06/2011

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With the language he sounds fine. My boy says even less words despite all the reading to him, speaking to him, doing all the recommended things. My nephew, same age same family is talking in sentences. Kids just develop at different rates. I've also read somewhere that the age they start talking at has nothing to do with their future intelligence/abilities so not to worry. With the manners maybe he doesn't like being tested? My boy is the same. He doesn't say hello, goodbye, please and thank you yet. He does wave, blow kisses, nod his head and communicate in other ways. I'm just going to continue to model appropriate behaviour and assume his vocabulary will catch up to his understanding.

The chewing thing... has he always had mush to eat then? I never fed my boy baby food so he's had to learn to chew from 6 months. I would persevere with giving him food that needs chewing. When you say 'choking' do you mean going red in the face, coughing and spluttering, retching and bringing up the food? That is gagging not choking and is what the body does to prevent choking. Choking is silent, they can't make a sound because they can't breathe. They then go blue around the lips and lose consciousness quickly. If he's regularly choking I would definitely see a paed! Babies often gag when they are learning to chew, move food around their mouthes and swallow. If he's always had mush he may have been slow to learn this. If he's been doing it for a long time despite plenty of chances to practice maybe check it out with your dr.

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