How do i get my sixteen month old to start using words

Valerie O - posted on 10/10/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My sixteen month old is still just babbling away to himself and no words. He seems to understands certain things like when i say no to hom or look at certain things. He dosent respond very well to his name but i use it alot. He does use a dummy alot during the day which ive tried to cut down on but that can make him very cross at times til hes gets it again. If he wants something or my attention he will cry or try to get me to pick him up. The only time de does say mam is usually first thing in mourning when hes hungry wanting to get out of his cot, but isnt consistent. Im worried now as his ciusin is only eleven months and hes can say one or two words clearly. I do talk to him alot but he gets distracted easily or wont look at me when i repeat simple words to him.

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Ariana - posted on 10/10/2012

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I would start doing some baby sign language with him. I know this sounds counterproductive but it can give him a way to communicate that doesn't involve his vocal cords. He may just not be ready to talk yet.



While doing the sign language, start reading him books. Books can be a great way for children to hear sentences, or small books with one words can help. Try to repeat easy words involving things he's interested in. Water, food, special toy, w/e it is he loves make sure you say the word. Would you like some water? WATER. Yes? If he is saying mama make him say it more when he needs something. You'd like this toy? Say please mama, say mama (only if you're sure he can say it).



I knew a little boy who was 2 who couldn't speak at all but I managed to get him to do simple sign language within two days of babysitting him (I managed to teach him 'more' for more food). His mom seemed to know exactly what he wanted so I think part of it was he didn't NEED to speak.



Does he watch television? If he does I would completely take it away. Television isn't good for children under the age of two ( I don't know if that has any influence since I don't know what you do with him).



If you think it is a legitimate problem you can find resources to help you check. Where I live there are free resources to get speach issues checked out but the waiting list is at least 4 months. If you look into this now, and he later starts speaking just fine, then you can just cancel whatever appointment you have. Talk to your doctor if you can't find any resources online, they can direct you to places that can help.



It's also possible that he's just not talking that much and you won't be able to do anything. Every kid develops at different stages. It's better to check it out, but it's likely he's just fine. Do the sign language anyway because it can be a great way for kids who haven't developed language to communicate and alleviate frustration.



Good luck!

Colleen - posted on 10/12/2012

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My 4th child turned 2 in July and apart from the odd few words like mum and no was not speaking all of a sudden in last few months she has found her voice....all kids are different never judge yours by what others are doing you will find that one day soon you will be wanting him to give you five minutes of silence good luck xx

Shelly - posted on 10/12/2012

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Have you ever had his hearing checked? It is possible that he isn't saying much because he can't hear clearly. I would talk to your doctor about your concerns and see if s/he has any advice for you.

Sandra - posted on 10/11/2012

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It sounds like he may be developmentaly delayed my daughter hr has the same problem I would have him tested and if that's what it is they will help u set him up with a program that will help him. Work with him a little eachweek. Make it into games so it keeps his attention. It does help. It takes paitence and time but it brings u joy when u see it work.

Jessica - posted on 10/11/2012

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The area you live in should have some kind of free early intervention services. Just google your state + early intervention. They will be able to schedule a speech evaluation for your son. If they find that he does have a speech delay, he'll be eligible to receive free speech therapy. Some people will tell you not to worry about it yet, but the earlier you get it checked out the better. We didn't start speech therapy with my oldest son until after he turned 2 & he ended up receiving services through 1st grade. With my second son we started it much earlier & he only needed speech therapy until preschool. My youngest is 21 months & he just started speech therapy a month ago. Already I'm noticing a HUGE difference.



It won't hurt to try teaching him some basic signs as well. Just make sure that you say the word with the sign. I hope this helps - good luck!

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Christina - posted on 10/14/2012

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Every child is different and a blanky or a comfort item will not keep him from talking. Each child has a different level of comfort some need more comforting in the morning, evening etc. Give him lots of hugs and kisses, talk to him all day even though he can't answer you. Tell him this is what we are going to do today, now it is nap time and read to him often. Even if it is the grocery list. If by 2 still no words have him evaluated by a developmental pediatrition. They specialize in those areas of speech and development. As for him not looking at you that is normal his eye may not be able to totally focus. Play peek a boo with him that gets his attention on you. Then play faces with him. Look mommy is making a silly face, look mommy is making a sad, happy etc so he is looking at you and taking it in. If you feel something is not right then get that peds appt now. Follow you gut on your baby but don't compare you will drive yourself nuts. I know. Mom of 5, Christina

Mary - posted on 10/13/2012

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Every child is different so don't worry that he is not talking like his younger cousin. He is young yet. I know kids that did not talk until almost 3 years old and then it was almost like it was in full sentences! If your concerns continue, talk to his pediatrician.

Kkrjrpleggett - posted on 10/12/2012

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Have you had his hearing checked? He may not be talking and not responding to you because he can't hear you very well. My nephew went undiagnosed with a hearing impairment until he was 7 years old! By then he was way behind in school, had a severe speech impediment and my sister felt like she had to yell to get him to listen to her before the diagnosis. Now he is 14, has a hearing aid and has done speech therapy. He no longer has a speech impediment and my sister doesn't have to yell (anymore than you would anyway at a teenager! lol) to get through to him. It might be worth looking into.

Tina - posted on 10/11/2012

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Honestly....I see people talking about baby sign language. I think your child is beyond that already. I would work on the words not signing.

Tina - posted on 10/11/2012

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First of all be careful what you ask for...once they start talking, they don't stop..lol

When my kids were that age they would hold their hand out to something and make a noise indicating that they wanted it. We would tell them the name and they would have to say it to get it. Takes some time but they get it!

Valerie O - posted on 10/11/2012

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Hi thanks for your reply and helpful stratigies. No he dosent watch any tv not since he has four months old, then it was just short mourning while i got things done, now i rarely have it on during the day. His interest is music, as since he was very young he had nursery tunes soothe him to sleep at night, now soon as radio is on or hears any musis in background hes over doing his little dance and nothing distracts him from that.He has the ability to talk as lately he look at me trying to communicate but it comes out as baubling in his happy mood. Yes i may be over concerned at this stage, but what fuels that for me is my siblings have boys younger ans some just older and al forming clear words now. Yea they keep telling me not to concern myself yet as every other way hes developing and boisterous, amazing me every day what he gets up to. I may try the sign language if he continues like this in comong months, thanks for your advice, its always good to get someone elses view whos had similiar experiences.

Amy - posted on 10/10/2012

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He's still kind of young, but I know your concern. My first child was stringing words together when he was 14 months olds and by knew the alphabet by the time he was 20 months old so I was really concerned when my daughter wasn't even speaking when she was 18 months old, so at 19 months old we had birth to 3 come evaluate her. Although she wasn't speaking she still score very high on the verbal assessment because she could follow multiple step directions. The told us we could have her reevaluated after 3 or 4 months but they did send us a 6 page assessment with ideas and ways to help build her communication skills.



Before they came we had already started teaching her sign language, we taught her words that were useful like food, drink, more but they told us to continue to teach her more signs. When we went to her yearly check up at 2 the doctor was a little concerned because she was still only saying 10 words but would sign multiple words together and could sign at least 50 words. He told us we could give her another 3 months but if she wasn't putting spoken words together to have her reevaluated, it's amazing how much changed in that 3 months time. Now at 2 1/2 she doesn't stop talking. If you are still concerned in two or 3 months time you can have an evaluation done because early intervention is best but at 16 months I would be too concerned just yet.

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