16 month old not talking..normal?

Nicole - posted on 08/13/2010 ( 208 moms have responded )

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my 16 month old son...doesn't say any words yet. He's says momma..but that's it. I've always heard that they should be saying momma plus another word by now..and its starting to worry me. Any advice on how to get him to start talking...and is it normal??

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Jonna - posted on 08/13/2010

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My daughter didn't say anything but a few words till she was almost three and then just began speaking in sentences one day. I was worried about her because all the daycare kids around her were talking a lot. I wouldn't worry about it unless she becomes really delayed. Talk to your dr if you have any other concerns about her development, but he'll probably tell you it's normal. Good Luck. Oh, and my daughter is 4 1/2 now and she talks so much it makes my head hurt, so enjoy the quiet time now!

Rebecca - posted on 08/14/2010

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i work in a childcare centre in the nursery and honestly all children are different, children will speak when they are ready and the specialists don't worry too much until they are atleast 2 and sometimes even three. your son may be taking every word in and he may be waiting for the right moment to let you know just how clever he is. continue to repeat familiar words during everyday activities and don't make too much of a big deal when he doesn't reply. hope this helps

Sasha - posted on 08/13/2010

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well my daughter is 12month's and she say'd about 20 word's! But every child is different. Do you incourage him to start talking? Do you say normal word's to him?

Alison - posted on 08/16/2010

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This is not uncommon at all. I would say relax until his 18 months appointment, then discuss it with your doctor. I think it is the 2 year mark that is really important. So much can happen in a few months. And remember that EVERYTHING counts. Momma is a word, bye bye is a word, "oh no!" is a word. Be patient and don't compare him to other children. The rate of development varies SO much.

Ashley - posted on 08/15/2010

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I didn't speak until I was about 3 and a half, my sister was the same way, it isn't an indication of the child being slow or anything of that sort, He will speak when he is ready, he is just more of an observer, sit with him, and practice words... Show him Nose, Eyes..ect... and just do that sort of thing every day for about 15 minutes a day and he will pick up on it :) My 2 year old just started talking, and she hasn't stopped since

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Evelyn - posted on 08/20/2010

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Hi Nicole
Sometimes it is normal,not all children are fast in doing things especially boys. But I will advice u enroll him in a school, This will help him becuz he will learn from others kids.

Jimmey - posted on 08/20/2010

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Like most of the other mom's are saying, if you're concerned talk to his doctor. All children are different and talk when they are good and ready. Just be prepared for when he does starttalking, because it is almost impossible to get them to stop. Both of my children were slow to start talking andare or will be in speech therapy. My oldest is 6 and started preschool at 4 since she qualified for speech therapy and other programs, but the teachers even tell me she is smarter than she wants us to know. My son is 3 and will be starting speech therapy this year. One thing the doctor and therapist told me is try to make him ask for things he wants. i.e. Don't give him a drink until he tries to ask for it. Keep in mind, even if he is slow in developing his speech doesn't mean other areas are developing slowly. Einstein didn't speak until he was 4. I would say if he doesn't start talking by 2 1/2 or 3, you may want to find out the steps to get him in speech therapy through the school system in your area. I hope this helps.

Susan - posted on 08/20/2010

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You should go and see a paediatrician, my son has a language delay and early intervention (and the earlier you start the better) is the best thing. I didn't do anything until he was 2 1/2 and it only took a few months with speech therapy to see significant improvements, I wish I had gone earlier, as I put off checking it out until he was 3.

Melissa - posted on 08/20/2010

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My daughter at 18 months would only say mama, papa and there (to point to something)--just keep talking to him. It may be a bit early to worry as boys speak later.

Rene - posted on 08/20/2010

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Hi Nicole. My son only started talking by the age of 2, he is now 5 and doesn't stop talking - so enjoy the silence :-)

Olga - posted on 08/20/2010

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Does he have ear infections? Mine did and his speech was delayed and now we still have to have speech therapy and he's already 8. Don't delay checking his hearing.

Etrezia - posted on 08/20/2010

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My child started talking around 2 years after I had her ears tested and started to panic. Dr told me that see dont need to talk becouse her older sister talked for her. Today she is 7 years and never stop talking!

Heather - posted on 08/20/2010

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I have two boys and a girl. Both of my boys did not start talking until 16-17 months. My oldest said his first word at 16 months my youngest at 17 months. Every child develops at their own speed. I'd wait a few months and see what happens. Don't get to worried. . .he'll talk when he's ready : )

Sharon Loi - posted on 08/20/2010

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its normal.Boys tend to start talking later than gals. My son starts only at 2 plus years ! He didn't even say 'mama" at all ! His first word is 'mama" and at age 2 plus.He is now 3 and is talking very well. So no worries !

Shannon - posted on 08/20/2010

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My son is 2-1/2 and just recently started using about 20 words and still hasn't started using sentences. I was just like you, starting to get a bit worried. But my husband is a physical therapist and he reassured me that this is completely normal. At 16 months, I wouldn't worry at all. I wouldn't get concerned unless he becomes significantly delayed in more than one area, such as speech and comprehending what you are saying. You can check into local speech therapy programs. In my area, they offer speech therapy services in your home and it is billed through your insurance. But you can also look at resources online. Amazon sells dvds geared toward speech development. You can also google child speech therapy exercises to find activities and mouth exercises you can do with your child. Now don't worry because he is doing just fine! {hugs}

Emma - posted on 08/20/2010

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Hello I have a 15 month old daugther and she is saying single words at the moment like mum, dad, nan, bub, and at the moment she babbles on to her self in baby langue you might have to keep repeating some words to him thats how i got my daugther to say mum i just kept repeating that to her and all of a sudden she said mum then after a while she was saying dad then nan and bub.

Sharyn - posted on 08/20/2010

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yes every child is different...but if you are worried, go see a doctor....maybe wait till he is 2. My child was the same age when i started to worry about how many words he had. By the time he was 3, he was having regular speech therapy for a language problem (different to a speech problem) When he turn 4 he was excepted in a kindy with a language program. The improvement was amazing!!! He is now 5 and at school...his speech and language is not up to the standard of other children his age... but with more therapy he will turn out just fine....
Read and sing to him all the time and if you are in eg. the kitchen... tell him this is a cup...this is a fork ect... the little things you think they know, sometimes they don't.
Hopefully your little man starts talking very soon. But if you are worried go and see a doctor they will point you in the right direction. :)

Shakirra - posted on 08/20/2010

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It may not be a problem because every child develops on his or her own schedule, but go get him a hearing test from an ENT doctor..All 4 of my children had to get tubes because of fluid in their ears and two of them had massive adenoids. Not to scare you, but just know what you are working with.

Heather - posted on 08/20/2010

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Unfortunately it is not normal. Many people told me it was normal for my son who was the same way, but the new pediatrician quickly informed me otherwise. He gave us contact information for the local Easter Seals and they came to our home to evaluate him. They will provide the evaluation and speech therapy free of charge up to age 3 then the local school system should provide services. I live in Texas and they have excellent services. My son attended school half-days to receive speech therapy. He has a speech disorder called Apraxia of Speech. It is only his speech (no motor or other delays). The sooner you get your child the help the better. My son is now starting kindergarten and will continue to receive speech therapy at school. His speech isn't where the other kids' is, but it's amazing the improvement he has made in just the past few years. Yes, there are children that are the exception and just start talking later but please have your son evaluated as soon as possible. My son was almost 3 before we got help.

Nayyara - posted on 08/20/2010

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well until a month ago i was really worried abt my son's delay in speech and walk and now all of a sudden at the age of 20 months he started making rapid improvement. kids do things at their own pace. just make sure his hearing is ok and btw does he understands what u say? my son understood simple instruction like bring ur car etc. he understood many words but was just not speaking them.

Jooyoung - posted on 08/20/2010

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my son was the same way at 16 months. but he's almost 18 months now, and just in the last two weeks, he's been adding new words like crazy. it almost happens overnight that they start talking more. just be patient. he'll probably start with "doggie", "duckie", "apple", "cookie", "car", "outside", "poo poo", etc. But even still, we've been trying to teach him "blankie" and "bear" for many months now and he still has never said those. i found that some words are easier for him to say than others - especially ones that end in "ie", like "doggie" and "cookie". just keep repeating words over and over, especially nouns. also, keep in mind that he might have his own versions of words that you don't really understand yet. it might make sense to him, but it's just hard for you to decipher! anyway, just keep talking and reading and one day it will all just click in your little guy's head. don't worry, he's normal!

Andrea - posted on 08/20/2010

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thats sounds like my no almost 8 yr old girl melissa she was saying Bob, mum dad, cat, no arrgg dont touch, car, nan nan oma narna, bottle and afew more words at 7 mths old now she just doesnt shut up hahaha.

Andrea - posted on 08/20/2010

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Yes my 4 yr old LOVES trains (thomas) he saus ta tas for bye and waves, he shakes his head for no says Yuck, mum, dad, desr tis (there it is) toot toot, does animal noises etc but he uses a photo board as communication, he is getting speech therapy also. he is always happy, has abig smile, used to say car, dice and hasnt for ages, Gilk ( milk and Juuce for juice. hes getting there but we havent had any movement for a while now. he has just starting saying eat he also says toast, he understands everything just he doesnt talk as such.

Helen - posted on 08/20/2010

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when I was working in nursery a few years back there was a little boy who at 2 1/2 still wasn't talking - but his none verbal communication was spot on! I remember having a conversation with his mum about it, saying that he knew his numbers (he was a Thomas the Tank Engine fanatic!) and communicated in other ways, so had no need to talk, and not to worry too much as once he started he wouldn't stop! And sure enough thats what happened. They took him to speech therapy for a bit as he struggled with some of his blended sounds (th, pl, bl and the like) but he was soon discharged!

My son is 18 months old, and to every one else he doesn't say much, but dad and I can decipher: ca (cat), d (dog), dopt (dropped it), da, mama (that was a new one last week!), t (ta), nai nai (night night = good bye). 'No' is also a new one, but we have to watch what he's doing as well as what he's saying because sometimes 'no' means 'yes'! :)
Listening and watching what he's doing while he's 'gabbling' helps us to understand what he's trying to say.
Remember that all children are different, and learn different things at different ages. I wouldn't be to worried at the moment, but increase his exposure to the spoken word - but not TV, radio or talking books - you need to be talking to him as much as possible - read to him point things out, ask him what he can see, then tell him what you can see, sing songs and rhymes (he won't care how or what you sing, just as long as you sing).
sorry I've rambled a bit, but hope it helps

Melissa L - posted on 08/20/2010

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i know this might seem funny but have a jack russell terrier that's my dog who;s my son named skippy who knows how to talk too and dose alot of tricks at age of 8 months he now 4yrs old. but i luv him dearly

Melissa L - posted on 08/20/2010

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well my niece was not even a year old and u could have a conversation with her. my nephew on the other hand he was about 1year when he first start to talk

Andrea - posted on 08/20/2010

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yes reading is good and talk constantly to him say words for everything. My 4 yr old weas deaf for the first 2 years. as ,long as he says more words by 2 yrs old. 16 mths is still young.

Melissa L - posted on 08/20/2010

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well u should read to him and pick up books that have tapes to go with it also that way they listen while there reading .maybe write spell words to him.

Andrea - posted on 08/20/2010

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Hiya dont worry too much about it my daughter who is 15 mths old says mummum daddad and yuck and there it is. but thats it. my 4 yr old has limited speech. have you had his ears checked?? is he an only child?? they often learn from older siblings.

Arleen - posted on 08/20/2010

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There is a book entitled "The Einstien Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late......Einstein was 4 when he began talking......you can find the book thru amazon.

Renee - posted on 08/20/2010

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With my 12 month old son I try to repeat actions for him to say, like when he wants up from his crib i will say up and hold out my hands, he has since began to make grunting sounds that start with u, so i think he is begining to figure out that if he talks he can get more, maybe you can try that...he loves to say Mama but rarely says dada or baba anymore
Renee

Kimberly - posted on 08/20/2010

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I wouldn't worry TOO much, yet. My daughter has a language delay, and out of concern for her younger siblings I've learned a lot about the professional benchmarks. Some children do start expressing words this early, some don't. The main thing to look for at this stage is joint attention and pointing. Does he bring you toys to show you? Does he look at things that you point to? Does he point at things he wants to show you? Does he "check in" when he sees something new to see how you're responding to it? All of these are markers of early social language development. At age two speech pathologists like a child to have 200 words (basically more than you can keep track of) and speaking in two word phrases (up, momma; big ball; look! dog; etc). If you're still concerned at age two, then talk to your pediatrician and/or ask for a developmental screening. Meanwhile, talk to him a lot (receptive language develops earlier than expressive), consider using sign language to give him an alternative way to express himself - Signing Time videos are a great way to learn this, and make sure when you talk to him that you give him plenty of time to respond. It takes a while for all the circuits to receive your message, process it, formulate a response, and then spit it out...waiting lets him know you're interested in what he has to say. Listen closely, too - he may be saying more than you realize. When my daughter did start talking it sounded like gibberish, but as I paid more attention I could decode some of her "words" and respond to them more appropriately, which encouraged her to talk more. She would say wee for swing, ritty for flower (like pretty), and juice for the color orange. Have fun!

Raelene - posted on 08/19/2010

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My boy is 4 yrs old and not saying alot of clear words so that is one end of the spectrum. Depending on what state you are in, maybe go to your local MACH nurse or community health centre and they will be able to give you some information on how to start encouraging your child to talk. After many years of speech therapy you learn alot about how children start to interprete sounds and then how they apply it to themselves. Trust your instincts and if it is playing on your mind then get some professional help even if it just puts your mind at ease.

Heather - posted on 08/19/2010

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Each child is soo different He just might be one of those little people that listen, observe, and soaks everything in, and then one day when he's confident and knows he has it down will just come out with it... i'm sure you already do this, but I get a colorful book full of large pictures of animals and shapes and what have you and point out every detail and say the names from colors, shapes to what type of animal.. And also when i say the animal I make the sound the animal makes... I do that as a routine every day. And I find my son coming up with new things when I least expect it... Good luck lady!! I'm sure your doing a wanderful job!! Just be patient!:--)

Chantal - posted on 08/19/2010

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please do not worry or do anything. I had a big fight with my pestering sister when my triplets were not talking (at all) at 22 months. I said they were completely normal. at 24 months (on their birthday or close to) they started chatting away and very quickly got into sentence making straight away. Hope that alliviate your fears Nicole.

Lorna Lorraine - posted on 08/19/2010

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Children develop differently from one to another. I think some socializing with other kids in his age group may make a difference. He could just surprise you one day and start talking up a storm. I would wait a little longer -- 18 months- 2yrs. If you are really concerned, then have him evaluated for early intervention.

Sarah - posted on 08/19/2010

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Yes, very normal! My first daughter said her first word at 5 months--my second at 20 months. Both smart and wonderful kids. I read Bill Sears books for information on development. You sound like a caring mom!

Christina - posted on 08/19/2010

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My son turned 3 in April, and for the longest time I was worried about him as well, he didnt start truly talking until right after he turned 3 and he is still working on it, he has 2 older sisters that were talking by about a year old, so I was really worried about it, but I was told that children develop differently. Some start sooner and some start later, your son my know more words but he just isn't ready to speak, and once he does start talking, it may just explode! If it does bother you, you can always talk to his pediatrician about it, and they can give you advice. Don't stress to much, but either way good luck! :)

Geneva - posted on 08/19/2010

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quit worrying, every child is different,give him time, and when he starts,you may wish he would just be quite for awhile,my children are grown but each one started at different ages,my granddaughter who just turned 6yrs.old didnt start until she was almost 3 and now,she a little blabber mouth. God Bless You and Your Little one

Melssa - posted on 08/19/2010

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Nicole don't worry abit I had 2 boys 21 months apart and they didn't speak much at all until 1 was 21 months and the other almost 23months. They are both very good speakers and it came on all of a sudden. They are now 3 &5 and chatter bugs. The health nurse asked if I was concerned and wanted to look into their speach more ,my reply and advice to you "Not at all! It is a blessing cause I already know what is coming and once it does there is NO stopping them!"
Take it as it comes ,
Melissa

Corinne - posted on 08/19/2010

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I only read a few replies so this might be a repeat, but you have some very good advice to follow. Take a deep breath and remember that every child is different. I would first ask if you son has any older siblings? Second, does he go to a place that has older children around him? The reason I ask these two statements is because (as a mother of three taking advice from my grandmother who had 8) sometimes older siblings tend to speak for their little brothers and sisters. They don't need to speak because there is always someone speaking for them.
If that isn't the case, then I would get your child's ears checked for any blockage/hearing damage or loss. Sometimes children need tubes in their ears. Not a big deal, as it is really rather common. Typically over time, these tubes work themselves out and the child is fine.
You shouldn't worry needlessly. He is saying Mama at 14 months. Start there...you have built a great foundation...just build on that!! Good luck and rest easy. There will come a day when he WILL talk your ear off ;)

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Is it possible that he's attempting to imitate words but you aren't understanding them as words? My son (who is 17 months) says all sorts of things but they aren't always clear. Half the time, doggy comes out as doddy and half the time it's doggy. I think as long as he seems alert and communicative, everything is probably fine.

Melissa - posted on 08/19/2010

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I just went to the pediatrician for a 15 month check up. In conversation, I asked what would be evaluated at my daughters 18 month check up. Dr. said 6-8 words is normal for 18 months.

Christie - posted on 08/19/2010

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i think boys learn slower than girls mt son just started saying momma about a month ago and he turned 13 mons on the 14th of this month it will be ok hun and if u r worried u can alway go have him checked but i think he'll be talking b4 u know it :-)

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hi it is normal my son only turned 2 in june and is now just saying heaps more i was worried also and i asked my doctor at his 18 mth needles he wasnt worried just talk to him about everything and read lots to him

Lisa - posted on 08/19/2010

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Not every child is a chatterbox at that age. He is on his way. My son worried us about his lack of speech, he said only a few words, so by 2 and a quarter we took him to a speech pathologist who found nothing wrong physically. We joke that the Dr.must have scared him because he started talking much more after that and by the time he was 2 and a half he said more 3 word sentences. I would be concerned if your child had autism spectrum behaviors like lack eye contact and inappropriate behavior like repetitive plate spinning or excessive rocking.

Jennifer - posted on 08/19/2010

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I'm sure it's normal. My oldest daughter didn't talk until she was three. Mostly because she didn't have to. There was no delay, just didn't need to talk yet.

Mandy - posted on 08/19/2010

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At the moment it isn't anything to worry about. Children start talking at different rates my daughter was a real chatter at that age but her cousin didn't start talking more than the words no, mum and dad until after he turned 2. Your son is at least saying momma so that's a start. As long as by 2 he is saying a few more words everything is ok.

Elda - posted on 08/19/2010

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I wouldn't worry about it. He'll talk when he's ready. You will find that even when he does start talking he will understand a lot more than he can reply to. That's normal, even as an adult learning a new language, you can always understand more than you can speak.

Elicia - posted on 08/19/2010

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From what I know, my girl is also 16 months and isn't saying much, but anyways as long as they are communicating some way, like pointing or grunting and they are getting what they want then that's considered normal communication. Also as long as they understand you. Like if you say to him go get me the ball and he does, sit down, lie down etc.

I wouldn't worry, is he walking yet? Sometimes if they are working on another milestone others sort of go to the back burner. My girl just started walking so now she can concentrate on talking, if she wants.

Hope this helps and eases your mind a bit. It did for me. Oh one other thing, it's not always about how many words they can say it's also how many they understand. So just because he can't say dog if can point to the dog if you ask him to then he knows the word dog and his brain is functioning normally.

Joanne - posted on 08/19/2010

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I think it is too early to be concerned. Talk to him a lot, and get some word books to read with him.

Karen - posted on 08/19/2010

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My daughter (now 12 y/o) was the same way. She wouldn't say anything but Mama, Daddy and Scooter (family dog). She would however use sign language to communicate if she wanted something. Then one day when she was about three years old, she just woke up and spoke in complete sentences. I asked her why she didn't say anything before, she said she didn't know because everything was fine. Maybe you are taking such great care of your son that he doesn't need to say anything. I would continue to talk with him and just keep what you're doing. If you are really concerned, talk with his pediatrician.

And I agree with the other moms too. Once your darling starts talking, there's no off switch. My daughter can talk the plastic off the phone if I let her. But at least she has interesting things to say. Enjoy the time with your little one, they really do grow up too fast!

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