my 19 month old isnt using her words how do i encourage her to try to talk?

Rebecca - posted on 02/19/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )




most of the kids around me are saying some words but mine just reaches and wines how do i get her to use her words to tell me what she wants?


[deleted account]

Hi! When my son was 18 mons, we were referred to a developmental specialist by my ped b/c he was not saying 10 words. The dev. specialist was able to determine right away that he was just fine developmentally and had no issues, he was just taking longer to talk. He gave us some advice about how to help him communicate.

Even before we met the specialist (right after we were referred), I started sign language with him. He learned, and used, 4 words on the first day. I kept introducing new words and he picked them all up very quickly. He still knows some of them but he talks like a champ now (almost 4 yrs old).

The biggest thing the doc told us to do was called 'broadcast mode'. Narrate everything you are doing and talk a lot. "I am walking into the living room. I am picking up the red ball. I am putting it into the box." etc. It drove me nuts and I couldn't do it all the time but I did try to do it at various times throughout the day.

Speak clearly. Ennuciate. Look at them when you speak. Sing too. You don't have to try to be a speech therapist (like breaking down words & sounds), just speak clearly.

Give lots of praise. Don't pressure her to perform but when she does, smile a lot, give hugs etc.

Don't correct her if you know what she means and she uses it consistently for that item. For instance, babies cant say 'blanket' but she may call it 'baba' or something. Don't say 'no honey, it is 'blan-ket' but do use the proper word when talking to her. 'Here is your blanket honey'. The important thing is she is communicating with you and using a word consistently for the same item. She will learn to say it correctly in time, they don't learn all the letters/sounds at the same time.

For me, the biggest things were the sign language and just talking to him a lot. He took a little time to get going but then it was like a dam burst. He talks so much and now he is definitely one of the most well spoken, clear and communicative kids of his friends.

At this point, you are really early in the stages of learning to talk and 'should I be concerned'? The bigger things to watch for are social interactions and comprehension. And of course, if you have any questions, do ask your pediatrician.

Hope that helps & good luck :)

Crystal - posted on 02/20/2010




When she points and whines wanting something like lets say she points at her cup and she whining. Look at her and say cup. Keep repeating the word and dont give her the cup until she says cup. She will see that she is not gonna get what she wants by whining and she will start to use her words. You can not give in to her cause that wont help. You have to stick with it. I wish you the best of luck

Katie - posted on 02/26/2010




LOL! Oh honey, I'm there!!! I have twins who are 20 1/2 months old. They CAN say words, but more often than not they choose not to. Here's what I figured out:

If she points at (example) a cup and whine, just look at her and ask what she wants. Pretend you don't know. After a few times, say, "oh, you want the cup. Cup. CUP." Then ask her what she wants. She'll probably whine again, and repeat those steps again. If she says cup, let her have it. Tell her "that's right, CUP, good job!"

If she's like my kids, she'll probably make you work for it, so just before mine get hysterical, I hold the cup in front of them and repeat "cup, cup, cup". Then I let them have it. It usually takes 3 or 4 of these little "skits" before I get them to say what they want, but after that, if they want their cup, they say cup. (No, they don't actually say cup...they say "juice".) lol :)

Britney - posted on 02/21/2010




My husband and I tried the "tell me what you want or you don't get it" approach, and that failed miserably with my 19 month old stepson. We let that method go, and started asking him to say it a few times and then giving the object to him while saying the name of it. He's picked up "snack", "juice," "outside," "eat," "uh huh", "nuh uh", "pee pee", and "play" in just one month!
Just don't let yourself get frustrated with her, and try to help her learn at her own pace! The "say it or don't get it" method will just upset her, because at that age she more than likely just doesn't understand why Mommy keeps telling her what it is and won't give it to her. She knows what "cup" is - and she wants it! She just hasn't figured out how to say it yet.


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Kristyn - posted on 02/28/2010




my 19mos old sees a speech therapist and we are using signing and repeating everything.... it seems to be helping... the bigest thing that i have noticed is big movment activities, like slides and swings he is more vocal during those times... try having her sit in the middle of a blanket and u and another adult pick up the ends and gently swing it back and forth or roll her back and forth in the blanket then ask her does she want more... after a few times if she likes it she should repeat it and more helps alot when the can use that word...also dancing around and singing seems to be a big one... i dont know how many words she has but if she has fewer then normal i would talk to her dr about seeing a speech therapist it really does help...i know how frustrating the whining and crying for things can b so remember u r not alone...

Kristy - posted on 02/28/2010




my son is 26months old and is just starting words. don't let anyone talk for her or even getr what she wants. it will cause tempers to rise and fustration but it will be awarded. my son has an uncle the same age that whizzes through words. he encourages my son to talk and since he is toilet train its a plus for me cause my son is so stubborn. have you gone to the doctors and inquired about lazy tounges. i did but he told me let it sit till his three then they will examine again if there is no improvement. all babies and toddlers work in their own ways. just encourage and sit with them and read and ask if she can say dad gone or walk time to go to shops start simple two word sentences and repeat your self like a broken record player. Day care or lotsa of interaction with other kids her own age to encourage. they'll get the idea eventually. only takes time patience and occasional help along the way.

Makaela - posted on 02/27/2010




I would say just like everyone else is saying, you have to just tell them the word and then don't give them what they want until they use thir words. Worked for my 18 month old. Shes even got animal sounds down now! :)

Candis - posted on 02/26/2010




My son didn't say a single word until he was 3! we talked to the doctor and had his hearing checked. we took him to the specialists and went through an entire ordeal! he just would not talk! then one day out of the blue he just started talking, I don't mean a few simple words or anything, he started full on talking! he used full sentences and told us stories and everything! when we told the doctor she wasn't shocked at all she just said "he was observing everyone to make sure he got it right" well he does that with EVERYTHING! we don't know he's learning anything until he shows us he can do it PERFECTLY! LOL all I can say is keep trying, like the other mothers said talk talk talk and encourage your kids to talk also. eventually they'll get it! good luck!

Breda - posted on 02/26/2010




has she got a older sibling that is talkin 4 her if so try an get them not 2 if she is on her own when she needs something try an not giv in 2 her till she asks 4 it properly if she is with grown ups she will no some words but if every 1 keeps givin her what she wants that way she will use it cause she gets 2 no she will get it that way hope this is some help 2 u lol

Tiffany - posted on 02/24/2010




I agree with the "use your words" approach and use lots of praise. Also, read, read, read. This will help with vocabulary. I've read a lot with my 3 year old son and his vocabulary and sentence structure is very advanced for his age. As well, talk to your child about everything. If you have to, narrate what you are doing with her. Try to involve her in your conversation. Things will improve, just have some patience and stick with whatever you decide to do. It will take time. Good luck!

Bethanie - posted on 02/24/2010




Whenever my now 19 1/2m son whined for a snack or his sippy, I didn't make him say the name of the object, I taught him "please" in place of the whining when he wanted something and "Thank you" when he received it. A lot of the words my son knows now are things he's heard us say; reading and talking with your child about the things and objects around them, without forcing them to say it, really helps. My son just the other day saw a dog on t.v and said "puppy" for the first time and not because I "made" him say it but because he remembered us talking about it in his books. Kids are little sponges and will surprise you with what they actually know in their own time.

Serena - posted on 02/22/2010




Our doctor said the same thing about not giving them what they want until they say it,and for me it was heartbreaking. I always gave in but told him what it was before I gave it to him. I got worried but all of a sudden one day the floodgates just opened and now we can't get him to be quiet.

If your doctor isn't worried, I wouldn't worry yet. Each baby is different and just like every other milestone do it at different times. I have a boy and was told that as a whole they speak later than girls but catch up quickly or if your child spends a lot of time around other older children who do talk it would help "pressure" her along.

Cassie - posted on 02/21/2010




That was like my daughter, and it does get better, I was always worried about her speech but she soon caught up with the words, I used to always say to Milly, use your words cause mummy doesnt no what you want. Its hard but they do start picking it up

Jessica - posted on 02/21/2010




I am having the same problem too with my 18 1/2 month old. The doctor was worried because she can only say about 4 or 5 words. He told us to read read read...that was teh best thing we could do for her. If we ask her what something is, she will point to it but not say it, so like our doctor also said, she is just probably being stubborn about saying words because she knows what they are just chooses not to say them.

Sara - posted on 02/21/2010




Like the first post said, when she wants something give her the word to say. Repeat it and don't give her the item until she does say it, or at least attempt. Even if it's the first syllable or something like it, she is trying. And even if they get upset you have to just stick with it. They will learn, quickly, too.

This is what I had to do with my son. He is 19 months, too, but we started that several months ago. He is using sooo many words now to tell me what he wants. I never thought he would, because he used to always just point and whine.

K.C. - posted on 02/20/2010




I think some kids are just slower at speaking. They catch up quickly though. To encourage speech in my little one I bombarded her with song. She would go to sleep listening to kids tunes, watch kids music videos and kids c.d.'s in the car. She is very forward with her talking now, puts all the other 3 year olds to shame....

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