how many words should a 17 month old say?

Shannon - posted on 03/11/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )




my 17 month old isn't talking. he babbles a lot, and has dropped 2 words within the last 2 months. Anyone have a simliar story? Should I be worried? THanks for your input


Kay - posted on 03/11/2012




We actually just started early intervention with our son who is seventeen months. We did an in-home assessment, but still have about a week to find out the results.

My recommendation is to talk to your pediatrician. Ours was very understanding of our concerns. Our son had never made hard consonant sounds and had (and still has) no interest in imitating words if you say them to him. We are up to about six words that he uses regularly.

Most likely, we have nothing to worry about, honestly, but it felt good to have someone take us seriously and help us work towards some answers.

Good luck.


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Shannon - posted on 03/12/2012




Thanks everyone for the input. My son will be evaluated next week, if he has a delay then i'm catching it early. I'm all about prevention. I do read with him at the very least 3x a day. He loves books. He does some signing, which is the cutest thing in the world :) he follows directions really well, and he understand a lot of what we say. So we shall see what happens next week.

Thanks again


Brittney - posted on 03/12/2012




My daughter dropped a few words, then gained a whole bunch. You shouldn't be worried. If you don't think he is speaking enough words you could try reading more to him, talking about your day, asking questions even if he cant yet answer you.

At a year and a half, most children speak a dozen words (or more) clearly. Besides "Mama" and "Dada," favorite words include "bye-bye," "milk," "cookie," "car," "oh!," and "my." Many 18-month-old toddlers can also link two words together to form rudimentary sentences — sentences without linking verbs or other connecting words. She may say "All gone," "Want ball," or "Me up."

Heather - posted on 03/12/2012




He is fine. He is only 17 months old. My daughter didn't start saying words till she was 22 months old. Keep reading books to him a few times a day, sing songs to him, sooner or later, he will get it. Try actually talking to him and carrying on a conversation with him a few times a day. Tell him what you are doing when you do things, go shopping, fold clothes, give him a bath, etc. Actually talking to your child, can help him to talk to you and speak actual words!

Amy - posted on 03/11/2012




Your son sounds a lot like my daughter. At one point she had been saying mama and dada but then she stopped saying those and only said hi, and quack quack. After her 18 month check up we had birth to three come do an assessment on her, not because we were overly worried but just wanted to be assured that everything was ok. I should say that my daughter has always responded to her name, at that point could follow complex directions, and we knew it wasn't her hearing because we could be in one room and call her and she would come find us.

Birth to three came out and assessed her, they scored her very high in her language skills even though she didn't actually speak, the reason was because she understood everything. They gave us some things to work on like having her repeat mamama, bababa, dadada. They told us to have our son work with her because he has the most luck getting her to actually say words, and they also told us to continue to expand on her signing skills to help keep her frustrations down. She is going to be 2 next week and she still signs a lot of what she needs but she is definitely starting to say a lot more, outsiders probably wouldn't know what she's saying, there is times I don't even know what she's asking for but her brother always knows. My son at the age my daughter was assessed knew the alphabet and was speaking 2-3 word sentences so there is a wide range of what is considered normal.

If you are concerned speak to your pediatrician, or you can contact birth to 3 if you are in the states and ask them to come do an assessment. They come right out to your house and it's all play based and they really do give some great suggestions even if you don't qualify for services. Good luck.

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