How can I tell if my baby's language development is on the right track?
Real Mom Problem
“I have an 18-month-old boy who isn't talking. The doctor is telling me that 'he isn't talking because he does not want to, not because he can't' and that 'there is a difference between kids who can't talk and kids who won't talk, and yours won't, so leave him alone.' But I am kind of getting nervous. He is turning two in a couple of months, and I would like him to do more than grunt and point at what he wants.”
- 1. Remember, all babies develop at different rates
- 2. Encourage talking by conversing with your child: talk to him, read to her, point out objects, and ask questions
- 3. Try not to compare your child's progress to that of other children
- 4. Talk to your pediatrician about any concerns you have regarding your child's language development
Real Mom Solutions
Each baby develops at his or her own pace, and babies start talking in different ways and at different times. If you're concerned that your baby isn't babbling or talking enough, discuss your concerns with your pediatrician, and check out these moms' tips.
They Start Talking at Their Own Pace
Einstein didn't speak until he was four. A child may be a slow talker but it doesn't mean he's not absorbing and learning efficiently. Please don't force him or let him overhear too much tension talk about your concern. He may very well understand you're upset with him and that can set him back.
My oldest only said a handful of words before two, and then started speaking in full sentences. It was like she was absorbing everything and biding her time until she was ready.
My son didn't take off talking till he was three.
I started by slowly pronouncing what she was pointing at, then started making her try to say it before she would get it. After a few weeks she slowly started saying things instead of grunting.
Do not allow anyone to speak to your son in gibberish. No goo goo ga ga baby talk. Insist everyone speaks English or whatever your primary language is.
Talk to him a lot, and when he won't use words, tell him to "use his words." It takes time but it does work.
Try early learning DVDs, flash cards, and asking him questions.
Go with Your Gut
A speech therapist wouldn't hurt, but I never took mine to one and he just decided one day he wanted to start talking! Now the problem is getting him to stop!
If you are concerned, bring him in to be evaluated by a speech therapist. That way if there is an issue then you can start getting him help right away, and if he doesn't have an issue then that's great.
My son was language delayed and everyone (including family members) made excuses (he is a boy, all the boys in our family were late talkers, he has an older sibling, you don't make him ask for things... etc.) He didn't qualify for services the first time I had him tested, so I waited the three months and had him re-tested and at that point he qualified. Trust your mommy instincts and don't wait! Early intervention is key.