18month old son can not talk yet

Sarah - posted on 06/24/2010 ( 43 moms have responded )

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my 18month old son can only say mama and dada, he does babble alot but not anything i cn understand should i be worried?

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Nicola - posted on 06/30/2010

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I wouldn't worry it seems to be a common boy thing, My son is 29 months now (almost 2 1/2) and he still doesn't say much more then your son. My friends son is the same. If perfectly normal until the age of about 4.

Sacha - posted on 06/26/2010

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cant or wont? niether my son nore brother talked till they were 2 and then took of talking 90 words a min. einstien didnt talk till he was 3.

Christina - posted on 06/26/2010

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It's tough to wait, but hang in there. My 2 1/2 yr old just finally started talking about 2 mo ago. He went from a vocabulary of about 10 words to probably hundreds now in just that short time. I guess he's been learning the words all along and just finally decided to start using them!

Brittany - posted on 06/25/2010

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It's crazy how someone asks a question and then ppl scare them with the whole autism thing...my daughter is 21 mnths and she only has afew words, but is very intelligent, but just because she doesn't utter 100 words doesn't mean that she has autism...kids develop at different stages, give it time..if you are really worried, then yes, go check out the doc..but work with your child..some kids are stubborn and do't want to talk because alot of parents do it for them...so good luck

Jaqui - posted on 06/24/2010

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no you shouldn't be worried, kids develop at their own stage. kind of like potty traing, they do it when they are ready. one thing that i belived help my kids to start talking early was that i never used "baby talk" with them. i talked to them as if i was talking to an adult.

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Stephanie - posted on 07/07/2010

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Be worried - no, concerned - yes. My son had similiar issues. I got early intervention sessions set up once a week and worked closely with him, along with a private speech therapist sessions. What a difference. My son is now 3 years 3 months old He is a little behind, but strides ahead of where he was before. I would say his vocabulary is more up to speed with a 2 years 9 month year old.
Then there are some kids that simply don't talk, but understand everything and one day just start talking and talking and talking.

Hayley - posted on 07/07/2010

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Talk to your doctor.... he/she would give you the best answer and not an online formum.

Teresa - posted on 07/06/2010

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My niece was the same way, when my sister took her in for her check up at the doctor, she suggested speech therapy. This really was the best thing. First of all, most areas have free programs and in my sisters case, the therapist came right to her house once a week. My niece is almost 5 now and will be starting Kindergarten in the fall and it was a really good thing to get the help she needed early so that she was able to excel in preschool. She has always been very bright and ahead of her years so to speak with the exception of the verbal communication skills.... I would not worry but it is worth looking into and it will help you out also if he is able to communicate with you better.

Mari - posted on 07/05/2010

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Don't worry, my little guy started talking late too. I was worried too but everybody who I talked to said not to worry. They all have their times for everything, he is just observing everything and one day there won't be an end to his stories and then you will wish fo some quite time :) Don't worry he will be talking sooner than you know.

Monika - posted on 07/05/2010

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don't worry, my boy started talk 2 months before his 3 birthday, till then it was only a few words or something what only i could understand. his child health nurse was panicking, speach therapist also, but i didn't worried for some reason at all. im talking to him in 2 languages, my husband using english, i just had feelings he is just a bit mixed up and boy /boys usually starts a bit later/. now he is 39month old and won't be quiet for a second. just talk to him all the time about what you are doing, where you are going etc ..., play games, listen music together, watch dvd /dora, diego and mickey mouse are good for repeating words/.
good luck !!!

Debbie - posted on 07/04/2010

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My 17month old son is the same way. But my 3 year old son didn't really talk much until he was well past 2-now he talks in correct grammar most of the time-he even self corrects himself, complete sentences and all. And his vocabulary is outstanding for a 3 year old-he just turned 3 in April. He used to say "What's that?" all the time and said a few key words but if he wanted juice or something else, he would kind of point and grunt-we stopped giving it to him and finally he would come up with the word for the object he wanted.

Asha - posted on 07/04/2010

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Every child has his development time. Try teaching him few words and if he repeats them clearly, there is nothing to worry.

Anna - posted on 07/04/2010

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Absolutely no need to worry! Both of my daughters were talking very plain and sentences between 1 1/2 - 2 yrs. old;but my son was only saying a few words by the time he was 2.He is now 2 1/2 and is putting more and more sentences together.Once he got started talking his vocabulary increased very rapidly.And I had several ladies tell me that their little boy didn't talk until he was about 3 yrs. old.Different children develop differently,give him time!! Same with walking;I had one daughter that didn't walk until 13 mo. old and the next one was walking at 9 mo. old. Every child is different!

Hetty Zarina - posted on 07/04/2010

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i face the same problem and all of your comment are really helpful. TQVM.

Clea - posted on 07/03/2010

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We don't always realize how late babies start speaking, and it's still not too late to try baby sign language . . . I signed with my own baby and it was amazing how much it helped with frustrations and making himself understood. It did not delay his speech, helped to teach him a second language, it's a fun process with many games and activities to help and encourage his language development. Not only does it motivate you to speak more often to your son but as they experience what communication can do for them it motivates them to speak. It gets them excited too . . . check out You tube you'll find so many video clips of babies and toddlers signing!

Kylie - posted on 07/03/2010

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i wouldnt worry! i think most kids have selective hearing my son was very fast at talking but no of others older than him that only say a few words but definatly get hearing checked

Angela - posted on 07/03/2010

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The easiest sounds for a baby to produce are bi-labials such as 'p', 'b', 'm'... so short words with these sounds would be a great start. Also, If baby is exposed to other languages, he/she is picking up all the different phonemes from each language, and is essentially downloading an extensive grammar dictionary in his/her head. This can prolong verbal communication also, but will go away later... I say as long as baby is physically developing appropriately for his/her age, don't worry too much about verbal communication. Also, babies respond well to sign language. One word can replace a whole sentence and it is easy to learn important words. Babbling is good! That is baby's way of repeating the rhythmic way Mommy speaks. Keep up the conversation, and remember: babies are sponges :) p.s.- a lot is 2 words !!

Colleen - posted on 07/03/2010

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Definetly call early intervention. I wouldn't be overly concerned, but it won't hurt to get him assessed and to get professional opinions. EI is a fabulous program. Ihave 2 year old twins that were born seven weeks early and are both in EI programs. Also talk and ask questions more. Try sign language too. The common words used daily are super easy. EI will teach you some too. Such as please, thankyou, more, help, eat, drink, play, etc...

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My son is 18 months old and he doesn't say sentences but he can say alot of words. some children start later than others give it some time. try reading to him and sounding out words like puppy, frog, bird etc

Dawn - posted on 07/03/2010

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I always asked my daughter "what are you doing?" when she was just walking and getting into all kinds of things, then she started asking me so I would tell her: washing the dishes, folding the laundry etc. She picked up quite a few phrases from that. Also, I bought a bunch of flash cards-pay NO attention to the 3+ on those-and we would learn words, letters, the alphabet, animals, etc. But, also, kids learn at different paces so don't use anyone else as a judge. If your pediatrician says he/she is on pace then roll with it.

Lynnsae - posted on 07/03/2010

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no not one bit... my son is 20 months going on 21 months and still doesn't talk much he calls everyone mom and is now barely starting to say more words little by little.. but he is a very stubborn boy too and talks when he wants to.

Natasha - posted on 07/03/2010

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my son was like that as well, naturally i was very concerned and we seen a development professional and he watched him play and said that he is fine. my son also developed physically fast, he was walking at 11 mths and the first time he rolled over he was 6 mths old. bc he was faster in developing physically he might be a little behind on developing mentally. talk to him a lot, tell him what you are doing all the time, and when he does learn a new "word" expand on it (tree: is tall and green, it grows outside) and look at books and tell/ask what things are, dance, play, and do all sorts of things with your child and while you are doing it, tell him what you are playing with/doing. if you get concerned see a perfessional. :)

Pooja - posted on 07/02/2010

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My kid speaks everything now, he is almost 2 years. But I observed that chewing helped him to explore his tongue. He loves eat kellogs oat bites and that needs a lot of chewing. Sing with him, encourage him to babble along with you. If he tries imitating, don't frown, just laugh. He'll do it again.
Most importantly, you be positive that he will surely pick up speaking very soon. Kids connect with mothers the most, if mothers are optimistic then it helps. Keep trying :)

Sheri - posted on 07/02/2010

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Yes and no......most kids start using one or two words at this age...if he is not talking by 2 you may want to have his hearing tested......my son is slightly deaf and is 2 he is just now picking up words.....teaching sing language at this age is easy mine uses it to talk to me with words....I had him tested after he didn't talk much at 2...

Serena - posted on 07/01/2010

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18 months is a tad early to start worrying but if ur child seems to be lagging behind the other children in the same age group, it can't hurt to have him tested. In fact, if a problem is detected (hearing, speech delay, etc.) the sooner the better. My son is 32 mos old & just 2 months ago began catching up w/his speech. At 2&1/2 he was barely using single words; mama, dada, baba, etc. & seemed to be going backwards instead of progressing. Had his hearing chk'd, 2 speech evals & a neurological exam. All indicated it was a pretty heavy duty speech delay & I was referred to Early Intervention. As soon as his therapy began (and coincidentally after the birth of my 2nd child, his baby brother ;-) he suddenly started using more words, speaking clearly & combining 2-3 words together, something we were told he should have been doing for months but hadn't until now. He's continued speech therapy & is progressing beautifully -- on his own AND with help from all who are involved. The point is, u may or may not have anything to worry about but u won't be doing anything but good for ur son by getting him evaluated. And u may have to push a little for it but it will be worth it in the end regardless - and for your peace of mind alone. Best of luck to you & your son. I'm sure he'll be talking in no time! :-)

Sarah - posted on 07/01/2010

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Thanku for all the comments, i have tried playing games with him and talking to him i turn the telly of so theirs no distractions but he just seems to be in his own little world, i went to the doctors last week and he told me that he thinks he has selective hearing so when i tell him no he wont listen he'll carry on with what he is doing where as if his favorite cartoon is on he will run straight to the tv, i will keep playing and talking to him as often as possible hopefully he will start listen and talk

Jenny - posted on 07/01/2010

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Don't worry, when my son was 18 months it was the same, he only said a few words. But I knew he heard me and understood because he would follow directions. Shortly after his second birthday he started really talking and now at almost 3 he says tons of words. Just keep talking to him, and don't worry about it, he'll talk soon!

Colleen - posted on 07/01/2010

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We are in the same situation, and I'm a linguist and language teacher! We are constantly using games with repetition, reading books ad nauseum, and just overall conversing with him and commenting on everything. My husband is a little nervous, but he found a "test", so to speak, online from the State of Florida that determines if a child and their family needs to seek intervention (as studies obviously show, early intervention will be easier on the child and help them as they continue in life). This test has a series of questions and if answered honestly, if there are some "no's" that are repeated every three months in the same categories, then contacting the pediatrician is necessary. Our son did fine in all categories, but I think my husband is getting pressure from those parents out there that claim their child crawled at 2 weeks, spoke at 6 months, and could recite the times tables by one year.
Every child is different, but don't be afraid to take it up with your pediatrician...

Tracy - posted on 06/30/2010

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i wouldn't be too worried. my doughter is only 15 months old and she still only says stuff like that but not as much as i would like. but my oldest did talk. my middle son is 3 years old and still has a really hard time talking. every child is diffrent and they will talk when they want to. my mother said i didn't start talking until after i was 2. give him time.

Nicole - posted on 06/30/2010

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i would be. my son was the same way and although he has a better vocab now at 27months he still test 6 months behind and is in speech therapy. He is also being tested for other developmental delays. My theory is even if you are told he is fine and just a late bloomer there is no harm in testing. Have your pediatrician send him to a audiologist and a speech therapist. i know i had to really push the issue with mine but am so glad i did

Jessica - posted on 06/30/2010

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my daughter is 19 months and will only say mama and dada when we tell her to. And the only other words she says are bubba,no, and uh oh. And she doesnt say them very often. My son didnt speak well until well after he was 2, i wouldnt worry about it and dont let anyone frown upon it either. It will come.

Tiffany - posted on 06/30/2010

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LOL, sad to say but no, you shouldn't be worried. He's working at his own pace. My daughter is 3 and she still has plenty of jibber-jabber moments I don't understand. (Asking her to repeat herself only results in her repeating the blabber) Watch, a month or 2 will pass, and he'll be much more legible!

Shana - posted on 06/27/2010

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my son is also 18 mos and doesn't say a whole lot either. he says mama, dada, wuv wu (love u) and maybe one or 2 other noises. He babbles alot too and i am guessing he is trying to have conversations. I was told some kids don't start speaking until their 2 or older. ( i was also told that boys take longer to start speaking than girls - even though i don't know if i should believe that or not!)

Sarah - posted on 06/26/2010

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wouldnt be worried at all as long as he understands what you are saying my middle son didnt speak till he was 2 they all progress at different rates

Laurie - posted on 06/26/2010

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My son also was very quiet at 18 months but by 21 months he all of the sudden started talking more and more and now at 2.5 is fairly fluent. He's not quite fully grammatically correct but is generally undestandable even to non-family members.

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My son only spoke 5 words at age 2. But at age 2 1/2 he started speaking new words every day. Now he is 3 1/2 and his vocabulary is very advanced. He's quiet the motor mouth. Give him some more time and talk his doctor when you take him in for his 2 year old check up. He's still very young so I wouldn't worry yet. Boys generally start talking a little later than girls. In the meantime talk to him a lot during the day, listen to music and sing songs, and read, read, read.

Sarah - posted on 06/24/2010

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If you live in the US I would call your local school and they can connect you with the local AEA (early intervention) services in your area. They will do a hearing test to make sure his hearing is good. They will then do a speech evaluation. If they find that he is delayed they will then set-up some individual speech therapy. All the is FREE!! But one thing I have learned is that you need to push for people to listen and get things done. There might not be anything wrong and his words are coming. One day all of a sudden he will start talking and never stop. But sometimes there is something wrong and the sooner they get the speech therapy the better. Speech is the start of so much of our learning (learning shapes, colors, alphabet, reading). The longer the delay goes on the more parts of learning it can affect. Also follow your gut...I have seen doctors say boys just take longer to develop speech. That can be true, but not always the answer. If you feel what they are telling you does not seem right seek out another opinion. No one is going to fight for your child like you will.

Amber - posted on 06/24/2010

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I was totally against sign language for my son bc I thought it would put him behind... ya I was VERY wrong! At 2 and half when he started early intervention they started using it and that taught him communicating would get his needs met, and he started talking more and more. I think it's worth a try. But he is still pretty young but if your concerned ask his doctor for their opinion. I started pushing the non talker issue at my sons 18 month appt at his 2 yr appt he was diagnosed with autism. So don't be afraid to push if your worried!

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Read stories with lots of repetition. Get a few books that are exclusively pictures (real photos will work too) of animals or cars or what ever interests him. With our son it was animals. Then we would sit and ask him to show us where the cat was or the dog was. Then we started asking him what noises they make and then we progressed to what's that when he pointed to a specific animal. He would either try to say the word, sign the word or make the corresponding animal sound.

Sing songs with actions like Head and Shoulders, Wheels on the bus etc.

Encourage him to try and ask for things but after 3 attempts give him what ever it is. You don't want to punish him for not speaking.

Other things to take note of. How is his comprehension? Does he respond to his name? If you ask him to pick up a specific toy and give it to you can he do so?
If he isn't doing those kind of things then go back to your doctor and have his ears checked. If his ears are fine press for a speech assessment. It's better to have a child assessed then to wait. If he needs speech therapy, the earlier it's started the faster he will catch up to those in his age grouping.

My son said few words at 18 months and 3 months later he's started to explode with new words almost daily.

Another thing to consider that we found helped was baby sign language. We started signing because when the now 3 year old started with me a year ago for day care, she was completely non verbal and being tested for Autism. She was responding to signing so we all got on board and everyone else learned to sign right along with her.
I am a big fan of the signingtime.com programming.

I wouldn't worry too much right now, but follow your gut. You know your child best. If you strongly feel that something isn't right then get him into the doctor and have your concerns addressed.

Good luck!

Louise - posted on 06/24/2010

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Not yet. Try and play games which involve speach like Peeka Boo. Sing action rhymes with him like row row your boat and hopefully he will pick up the odd word by repetition. Another tip is to force him to speak by not getting things for him. If he indicates he wants juice then keep saying the words juice, do you want juice, what do you want juice. He should pick up the word juice quickly. If you are still worried then take him to the doctors and have an ear test to rule out things like glue ear or even a blockage. If given the all clear ask to be put on a speach therapy list but they will normally not see you until your son is 2.

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