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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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[deleted account]

All milestones are an average. Some children come in ahead of the average, and so, others must come in behind... thus creating the "average." Both of my boys worried me in this regard, then ended up being quite chatty by the age of 2. A friends son, the same age as one of mine, had the same timeline in this area as mine. He ended up needing speech therapy to address some very real obstacles. If he is not more on target by the age of 2, bring up your concerns at his well check. If nothing else, this can give you peace of mind.

Good Luck,
V

Samantha - posted on 08/18/2010

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Yes normal it will come in time :) Make sure you are talking to you baby in adult words not baby words and before you know it they will be babbling away:)

Grandma Grandchild - posted on 08/18/2010

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We have had our granddaughter pretty much since she was 2 weeks old. I read ten minutes everynight before bedtime. I never did any baby talk. Reading is vital. Do talk to your pediatrician. We were shocked to hear her say "anpa"for grandpa at 8mos. But for sure she was saying words around 9-10 mos. 1 year she was saying short sentences. I think it has alot to do with reading to them and like I said, I was reading to her at 2weeks. But I also heard girls grow up faster than little boys. I really don't think you anything to worry about. I have always taken her in if I am in doubt about anything. Just a grandma that worries. Hang in there, one day he will blow your mind and just start talking.

Marlene - posted on 08/18/2010

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I have worked with infants and toddlers for many years now. They all vary on language. It's normal to worry cause you're a mom and that's what we do. But don't worry too much. Is he babbling? Making random baby sounds? As long as you talk with your son and he seems to be understanding you as well as explore the world around him he should be fine. A language rich environment will help his language along. If still at two you're concerned mention it to his Dr, But even at two language varies.

[deleted account]

First off if he has an older sibling they tend to talk sometimes a little later because they talk for them. Just keep working with him. I have a daughter diagnosed with dyspraxia (brain has to be taught how to move and make the mouth make noises) Now she won't be quiet lol. It will come in do time, all kids are different once he starts you will want him to stop. Hope it helps. Take care.

[deleted account]

Nicole, He sounds normal when he has something to say he will, then If you are real worried about it talk to the help nurse or his doctor. All baby's develop differently.some walk later some talk later he will talk when he has something to say.

Aurora - posted on 08/18/2010

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when my husband died, my son was 15 months old and could say only dad and mama. but he learned the alphabet at 18 months. just wait a little. my daughter could say only a few words until her 2nd birthday and how she talked at 2 years old!

Rebecca - posted on 08/18/2010

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My daughter is 27mths and she is only now saying very basic words. Her hearing is incredible and she understands everything very well, but has no drive to talk herself. We worry for a while and then she starts saying a few more words, then nothing so we worry again, and then she starts saying a few more words. Although she is slowly getting better with her words it does still worry although im told its normal for some children. I think it also depends on if they are first born children and how much time they spend interacting with other children. While ever we see gradual effort and improvements, we are happy that she is so happy and healthy.

She is our first born and we have very little interaction with other children due to location, so that could very well play a large part for us.

Fran - posted on 08/18/2010

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every child is different from speaking to walking. my dr always said as long as they are making sounds by 18 months then they are ok. but i would definitely take your son to the dr to have him checked out. boys do things later then girls do. i have 3 brothers. the oldest talked in full sentences by 10 months and the other two talked around 2 1/4. my own sons were also very different. the older one talked late and my 2nd one didn't really give me words here and there he just sort of started talking in full sentences too. these are just some examples to go by. you just keep pointing at objects and talking about them. like, look at the plane in the sky. or do you want a brown cookie. be descriptive. he will talk when he is ready.

Samantha - posted on 08/18/2010

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My oldest daughter didnt say but a few words until she was three. Then even at three her words were hard to understand. They ran hearing tests. Once they established that her hearing was fine, they said she had a speech impairment. She qualified for a state program that allowed her to receive speech therapy. She is now very opinionated with the ability to express herself quite well. She is no longer behind the curve and excels in academics.

Mariellen - posted on 08/18/2010

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Nicole, every child is different, Don't stress, you're little man will be fine. I he is meeting all his other milestones then he's fine.

Nancy - posted on 08/18/2010

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Have you had his hearing checked? If a child's hearing is not good, he can't distinguish the sounds he's supposed to be imitating. This is somewhat common in toddlers, and having tubes put in his ears to drain away fluid that could be impairing his hearing. It is working for my grandson, age 18 months. Talk to your pediatrician!

Wendi - posted on 08/18/2010

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My son didn't say a lot at that age and then some of the sounds came out wrong like t's instead of p's and he has been diagnosed at 3 with a speech disorder called apraxia but my nephew didn't really say anything at all except grunt until he was 2.

Diane - posted on 08/18/2010

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As the mother of an autistic son, I can say that it may be an indicator of a problem or it may not. Autism has other indicators apart from lack of speech, such as no eye contact, a lack of interest in anything other than what the child is doing. If your boy doesnt look at you, then it is a problem. You will know if he hears you or not. My son hardly spoke a word until about 19 months old and then just talked gibberish and echoed what we said. Try to get him to talk by pointing and naming, use short simple sentences, or just single words. He will start to repeat it. I found that singing was the thing that my boy liked and that started him talking (simple things like, if your happy and you know it, clap your hands). My advice is go to your doctor or paediatrician if you have one and speak about your concerns. I didnt, as I listened to everyone who said, boys are slower than girls, all kids are different. And they were wrong, my little man had a problem. If there are other developmental delays, your doctor will pick this up, and if not, then you will be reassured, plus you can plan to go back if there is no improvement.

[deleted account]

Since my son was a premie, we had a developmentalist, so that's where I get the following information from when my son didn't say more than 3 words until about 20mos . . . . He found ways to communicate with me, so he didn't really need to talk. If he wanted the TV turned on, he would bring the remote to me (or eventually learned how to work it himself). As long as he was communicating they weren't concerned and assured me he'd start with sentences. That's exactly what happened. The sentences weren't perfect, but improved daily. Now he's a yapper at 27mos. Good luck!!!

Maggie - posted on 08/18/2010

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my son didn't start talking until he was a little over two years old -- this distressed my MIL to no end, but every child is an individual and I did little things to check and make sure he wasn't having trouble hearing, etc. the point was, he didn't have to TALK to communicate with us so he wasn't highly motivated to do so. he did eventually begin talking and he hasn't shut up since. i'd say it's a little early to be worrying as long as that's his only "symptom."



my brother took a long time to start talking, and when he did he started talking in complete sentences!

Donna - posted on 08/18/2010

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I think boys talk later than girls. If his Dr. isn't concerned then relax. If he isn't talking by age 2 then you might want to have him visit a speech therapist. Right now he is still young. Talk to him a lot and tell him what things are and relax.

Leslee - posted on 08/18/2010

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I agree with everyone else, But I would have his hearing checked. My son had a lot of ear infections that caused him not to hear well.

Carla - posted on 08/18/2010

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If the pediatrician is not concerned yet, then wait until the next appt., readdress it with the dr. then. As long as your child has not had any signs of hearing loss, has not had numerous ear infections, which could leave him or her under what sounds like water, so as not to hear well, then he or she is probably just taking it all in. Many children, take it all in, then all of sudden one day, just start talking! These children are usually VERY smart, very observant of the world around them, and are very deep thinkers. He or she may not see a reason to talk just yet. So, test the baby, by making loud sounds when he or she is not looking at you, see if they react or ignore you. If you are concerned he or she does not hear you, address it immediately. Talk and read to your baby often. Daycare centers rank children by age, and he or she may not be stimulated enough as the exposure may not be enough. Use simple commands with your baby when communicating with him or her, and expose him or her to normal conversation as well. It will most likely all fall into place and you will move on to the next issue, unfortunately.

[deleted account]

I've been told that as long as he's understanding what you say to him, and communicating in his own way -- pointing, hmming, etc. you're not supposed to be too worried. My oldest is 5 1/2 and didn't start talking til well past age 2. When he did, it was in complete sentences and fully understandable (no baby-talk). My 2 1/2 year old son still isn't talking, but lets us know what he wants, follows instructions, and "speaks" with all the right inflections and number of syllables, but without opening his mouth :) Everything is "hmm, hmm, hmm." If you're really concerned, you should talk to your peditrician.

Susan - posted on 08/18/2010

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I was a speech path major in college and tend to be cautious when it comes to my baby's development. It may be perfectly normal for your child and he may start speaking any day, but be proactive. There are medical reasons why a child may have delayed speech. There's a condition called 'tongue-tied' that often isn't noticed and is very easily fixed. It's the first thing I would check. Sometimes the piece of skin under the tongue is too short or attached too far forward. Doctor's can snip it in a quick medical procedure. I've seen children w/horrible speech because of this minor condition and once it's corrected, you'd never know. You should also really pay attention to your child's sounds. It's possible he's saying things and you don't realize it. When they say your child should be saying words, it doesn't always mean everyone can understand what they are. Does he always make the same noise when pointing to an object such as his cup, blanket, etc?

There are other medical conditions that can cause speech problems but don't drive yourself crazy trying to self diagnose something that probably doesn't exist. You should be taking him to the Dr at 18 months. Make a list of questions and don't let your doc leave till you get all the answers. In the mean time, make sure you are repetitive and clear. When he wants something, point to it and clearly enunciate the word. Don't use baby talk or cutesy words like milky, babba or uppy. Keep working on it and when he's ready, he may just amaze you with the words that flow. Try not to worry too much. Right now is the time to enjoy every moment.

Breanna - posted on 08/18/2010

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My lil man is 19 months and now says very few words. He started saying many things around 15 months old but he was tongue tied so @ 17 months he had a surgery which is supposed to help his speech but for now is a set back. If you're worried I'd bring it up with your sons doctor. The one thing that has kept me from worrying too much about my son not speaking many words is that he points and shows us things if we ask for them, he also listens very well and does what we ask of him. Dont worry too much, in a year you might wish he was 15 months again because he talks WAY too much :) .

Kelly - posted on 08/18/2010

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My middle son didn't talk until he was 3! I was very worried, and his doctor assured me he was ok. Just to make me feel better, he had his hearing tested and we even went to speech therapy. His doctor told me that little boys "just talk one day". He said he would be worried if he had been a girl. (My son even made up his own "sign language" to communicate!) Sure enough, one day, he started talking!! It took him a while to get all the sounds down (s and r), but he is a perfect 13 year old today!

Debbie - posted on 08/18/2010

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My son is 16 months old and started saying words when he was about 11 months. Now he says over 30 words! I read to him a lot, and have never done the 'baby talk'. I'm sure you little guy is just fine, everyone develops different! And, one really odd thing, my son never says Mama! I have tried and tried to get him to say it, but he just won't do it.. it's always Daee (daddy). Good luck, and try not to worry too much, I'm sure he'll be talking up a storm before you know it!

[deleted account]

My nephew didn't start talking until he was 2 years old but he could follow directions and point to the correct objects after being asked. Boys are often slow in language. He is now 2 1/2 and won't stop talking. He started walking at 7 months so his dr said he would definitely be behind verbally.

Katie - posted on 08/18/2010

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If he's getting his meaning across in other ways, then he doesn't really need to speak. If he's gesturing or pointing at things and making sounds, encourage him to use his words and remind him what things are called.

Peggy - posted on 08/18/2010

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I would guess that you're anticipating what he wants and providing it, so he doesn't have to use words. If he goes to the refridgerator and makes a noise for juice, say "may I have some juice please" - then give him some. Hand him a toy and say "truck" then encoyurage him to say "truck". Don't worry if he doesn't respond right away. Give him time and opportunity to be verbal. He's not too young to be read to either. Expose him to vocabulary and his will develop. Get excited when he gets it right - let him know he did good. He should begin talking before too long, and before long you'll be wishing for quiet. :-)

Alison - posted on 08/18/2010

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Around 18 months my daughter was tested by early intervention. She also had a series of hearing tests, which showed that she wasn't hearing everything.

She had enough of a delay that she was eligible for speech therapy. She is now 3 and has great speech. Her ears did actually clear themselves up

Amy - posted on 08/18/2010

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Of you are still worried about it. Contact your local early childhood development program. Its free. They can help identify and correct any problems. If there is just a speach delay they offer speach therapy along with other services. Oh and ITS FREE.

Heather - posted on 08/18/2010

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My two kids both learned to speak around 2 years old and then they just took off with words. They have great vocabularies now. Your son is probably listening and learning now and he will take off soon.

Christy - posted on 08/18/2010

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seek help from his doctor.. My son was just the same, I didn't think about it... When he was 18 months I brought it up to his doctor as a matter of fact attitude... She had him do a set of tests.. come to find out he was having seizures.. Not all seizures are seen... So he is now seven still has the seizures but has the brain of a four year old... I can't believe I didn't say any thing to to doctor sooner... But I learned from my mistake and even the silliest things I think is wrong I talk to the doctor and she tells me if I should worry or if it will come to him...

Nancy - posted on 08/18/2010

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At 17 months my son wasn't talking much either and the doctor was ready to have his hearing checked and send him to speech therapy, but I stopped that. I felt it was too soon to worry. He's 22 months and not speaking as clearly or as often as other kids, but he talks when he wants to. He uses sign language for basic needs and jibber jabbers often with a lot of conviction like he's convinced he is communicating. My MIL is the "baby whisperer" because what we hear as jibber jabber, she pulls words out that afterward I can understand. So, the moral of the story is, it's early, all kids talk at their own pace, especially if he is an only child and/or doesn't go to daycare where other children are talking. He'll talk at his own pace. We decided that if at 2, he still isn't talking enough, then we would seek a speech and hearing consultation. Although I know he can hear just fine. Relax, your son is quite normal.

ROSALIE - posted on 08/18/2010

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SOME KIDS JUST HAVE SPEECH DELAY BUT DO CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR AND KEEP ON TOP OF IT. I HAVE A NEPHEW WHO HAS AUTISM AND STILL DOESN'T TALK MUCH , HIS FIVE YEARS OLD AND IT WAS HARD TO DIAGNOSE HIM

Michelle - posted on 08/18/2010

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At 16 months, my daughter said very few words beyond Daddy. By 18 months, she finally called me Mommy for the first time. By 20 months she could say her colors. Now at 24 months, she's using 6-7 word sentences. Just be patient. Don't compare your child to others, it will only stress you out.

Melissa - posted on 08/18/2010

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My son doesn't talke per say but he does have "converstations" with us in his little babbling.

[deleted account]

my daughter didnt start talking till she was after 2. she only said da-da, ma-ma, ba-ba for ages, slowly she started saying more words. even picking up on conversations with her dad and my friends. i wouldn't worry. every child is different. he will talk when he is good and ready.

Michelle - posted on 08/18/2010

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If he has older siblings that are talking for him . . . he may not feel the need to talk. Also, if you are fulfilling every need before he makes his own requests, he may not feel the need to talk. My son, who is very intelligent by the way (28 years old) did not talk until he was almost 2. He had his own melodic language that sounded like a foreign language. I told the doctor and he told me that when my son finally speaks . . . he will speak in sentences. Guess what . . . he did.

Amy - posted on 08/18/2010

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Go get a hearing test. My son did the same thing and everyone, including his Dr told me he was fine. He wasn't. He had fluid in his ear drum. When he was 18 months I took him to have a hearing teas regardless of everyone telling me I was overreacting. Guess what he has 5% hearing in one ear and nothing in the other. We were referred to a specialist and slated for surgery 3 days later. He is now a healthy 2-1/2 year old. His speach is coming along.
Just go have a test done. If everything is fine then don't sweat it. And remember this. You are the mother. Your gut is usually right because you know you child better than anyone.

Melissa - posted on 08/18/2010

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My son is 16 months old and says dog, da da, truck, cat, and that's about it. He does a lot of babbling but I wouldn't worry. It should come soon

Candice - posted on 08/18/2010

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I would go to my g.p. if i were you. My son is now 7 he has autism wen I complained about him not talking my health care profs laughed at me as i was a very young motherand said he was lazy and why would he talk if i gave him everythin. But don't think for a second he has autism as there are many minor things that can delay speach. Just get a referal to speach therapy.. Don't accept anything less!

Cassie - posted on 08/18/2010

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This is very normal. The best way to help is music and using to word phrases like..go eat..take nap..no no. It is easier for them to relate to a smaller phrase and help them communicate. like when you say baba! or mama! they give a quick responce. Just keep working with him. interact objects with the words. Keep your head up. He will be talking in no time flat.

~*~MaryAnna~*~ - posted on 08/18/2010

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No worries sweetheart !

YES ! It can be very normal !

It is always best to speak to your doctor RE:ANY concerns, BUT let me give you some GREAT NEWS

Albert Einstein did not speak until age seven~

teachers thought he was slow ...

I wonder if he was autistic,

as back then I believe that was undiscovered.



I have a 7 yr old autistic grandson who is a GENIUS...

but on to the more likely...



Children all speak at different ages & part of it has to do with how they process things.

What do I mean?

There are 3 kinds of learners

1)Visual ~learn best from watching

2)Tactile~learn best from doing

3)Auditory~learn best from hearing

Most people are a combination, but generally are stronger in one area.

Auditory learners generally speak earlier.

Tactile learners are the slowest to speak &

visual learners are somewhere in between.



I am going to make a wild guess that your son is

more of a tactile learner.

Do not be discouraged.



Always seek out the best resources for helping him

learn, but realize that God made him an individual & he does NOT have to conform to the "norm".



I have 5 children & 5 grandchildren, and I can attest

that it is NATURE over Nurture as each child was born with the Personality & Talents God gave them.



Nurturing simply helps to develop those talents in the best possible environment.



My oldest daughter Amanda{genius IQ} started speaking words at 5months and spoke clear sentences by 1 year. Soooo, when my second child came along and didn't speak till age 2 I was worried.

Thank God my best friend, and neighbor at the time kept telling me to quit comparing and pointed out the obvious to PROVE she was NOT retarded...lol...



When Lacey was 2 1/2 I had another daughter, Ciara...Lacey still spoke LESS than a handful of words...Mom, Dad, Ba(for bottle) & dog.

But I noticed she watched EVERYTHING... approximately 4 months later my sister had a baby and at approximately 8 weeks later she brought the baby for a visit...

by then Lacey was talking, and when my sister was changing the baby's diaper, Lacey pointed to his belly button and asks, "Where's the black thing?"

We were amazed that she remembered her sisters cord ~ she was not dumb and also has a very

HIGH IQ~ she was and IS simply different from her sisters.

Lacey as a toddler climbed high on everything~

even my neighbors split rail fence~just in front of a 20foot drop~she had amazing sense of balance and we alway called her a little monkey because she could get in to everything.

It also noteworthy that today she is a VERY ARTSY LADY and sees things differently than the average person.

As a small child we could be driving down the road

& she would ALWAYS be the one to see the smallest detail...like "look at that little birdie on top of that sign"...no one else noticed.



Recently she painted her 5 yr old daughters room with flowers, vines , mushrooms etc... to go with the owl bedding I had sent...it is gorgeous and Amazing

as is YOUR own son I am sure.



Look at little things~

If you tell him to go throw his diaper in the trash

will he do it? Lacey would at that age ~ even disabling the child latch under the sink to put in trash can there...lol.

Can he follow 2 step commands:

Put that in the trash & bring Mommy the baby wipes?

or do you need to help him follow through with each and every command?

NOTEWORTHY: children who speak later should NOT start potty training until speech is where he has comand of enough words to NOT make the entire process a strain on your relationship.

Also, not always, but OFTEN boys mature behind girls in being ready to start this activity.

God Bless and Best of Luck

Jody - posted on 08/18/2010

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my second didn't talk much and then around 2 she starts saying full sentences. Some kids just absorb and work things through in their heads first. ( I think delayed talkers are smarter kids :))

Johnna - posted on 08/18/2010

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I think every child is different on communication levels, but I would say you don't have anything to worry about. My LO is 23 months now, she didn't say a real word until she was 19 months and now she can say small sentences. Just keep repeating words over and over again and eventually he will suprise you!

Kelly - posted on 08/18/2010

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I wouldn't worry unless he shows signs of not hearing you at other times. Like if he is facing the other way you can try clapping or saying his name and see if he turns around and observe him at other times to ensure he is hearing alright. Some kids are just a little slower. If he is 2 years and not then I would talk to the pediatrician. He should start to develop language in stronger leaps between 1 1/2 and 2 years. Reading to them helps. I also am not a big fan of "baby talk" as is doesn't help them to speak and prnounce properly. They will learn from you. I always used a normal voice and language. I simplifies it but didn't dumb it down or do that high pitched baby'ish stuff. My kids were on the early side of it all and my first born was speaking clearly in full sentences by age 2.

Lauren - posted on 08/18/2010

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My daughter didn't really start talking until around 18 months. She said Mama and Nana around 10 months and that was it for a while. Then right after she hit 18 months she came out with a full sentence that blew us all away. Some children observe longer than others and sometimes it's just that they are learning by listening and want to get it right. My daughter is now 6 and entering the 1st grade, her speech skills are ahead of everyone else in the class. Sometimes kids just listen and process so they can start out doing it the right way!

Marsha - posted on 08/18/2010

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We had this problem with our son and were referred to an audiologist. Lots of tests were done and she came back to us with the results. Said his comprehension was great he understood everything up to 4 or 5 year old. Then she had us sit down with him and play while she observed. The result. . . we were talking too grown up for him. Full sentences, etc. We were told we needed to "talk baby talk." Start with one word then as he started to say the words move on to two and so on. It worked. Hope this helps!

Natalie - posted on 08/18/2010

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ive got a little girl and shes the same shes 18 mths and says about 3 words i wouldnt worry just yet stil very young i have 2 boys that talk for her it just takes some children longer than others

Colorfulaura - posted on 08/18/2010

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As long as he understands you and is jabbering or trying to make words to communicate (think vocal inflection) that is all normal. My first DD was talking in full sentences by this age, my second didn't until she was this age and my son is just starting to say lots of words - and we are a VERY vocal family. It sounds like what your son is doing is totally normal. :) If he is still having trouble in a year then I would look into early intervention speech therapy but only to assure he doesn't get behind. I am sure it won't come to that. :)

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