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My son is 15 months old, soon to be 16 months, how well should he be talking?

He babbles a lot, just noises. He opens and closes his little fist and says something resembling "bye bye" more like "buh buh". That's it, he says "da" "ma" "ca" and tons of gurgles and other noises. His motor skills and reasoning are fantastic, he's great at "figuring things out" how stuff works, how to get to whatever he wants. I'm worried about his speech tho, many of the children his age or a few months ahead that I know are talking already. My nieces both had 10 - 20 word vocabulary by the time they were one. When I asked the doctor I got the "all kids develope differently speech" He didn't seem to understand my true concern. Should I be worried? Any advice would be appreciated.

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Asked by dayas625 at 10:51 PM on Jun. 9, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (7)
  • I wouldn't worry. My oldest and youngest were the same as your LO. My middle child was talking up a storm at a year. Your Doc is right. He will start talking in his own time.

    Answer by Nathskitten at 10:53 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • I found that kids who are very observant and has great motor skills focus less on talking. My dd was like that. She was almost 3 before she started talking in understandable words. Granted she did have a hearing problem (we found out late she had fluid build up in her ears) but I honestly think that even if her hearing was fine she still wouldn't have been interested in talking. She was to busy trying to figure out things work or get put together. My ds started talking in sentences at 18 months. He figured things out by asking lots and lots (and lots) of questions.  Kids develop at different rates.


    Answer by sadira29 at 11:03 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • Children do develop skills at different times. Some children are early talkers and others are early walkers. Most children utter their first word sometime betweeen ten and fourteen months. But it isn't unheard of for a child to say them earlier. It is also not unusual for a child not to have comprehensible speech until eighteen months. It could be that your little one has been so busy with his motor skills and learning how things work that he hasn't given much effort towards the talking.
    Observe your child's response to speech, does he understand questions? Does he follow simple commands.(Put that book back, please. or get mommy your shoes." Does he point, gestures, grunt? How does he communicate his wants and needs? If he does well with all of these, then he has the understand of speech/language that goes with talking.

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 8:50 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • cont.
    Also, has your child had many ear infections or lots of fluid in his ears? If children have reoccuring ear infections they miss hearing alot of the speech that others model for them. Our speech would sound distorted or "like we were under water"! Ask your pediatrician about a hearing test if you think that he might have hearing problems. Lastly, does he have siblings or adults that speak for him? Do you expect that he will at least make a sound or approximate a word for you when he wants something. When he wants a cookie, accept his response of "cu" or what ever he says, then you say, "Oh, you want a cookie!" I will get you one." He hears the words you have modeled for him.
    Sometimes, if little ones are getting frustrated because they cannot speak well, you can teach them simple sign language for commons words they use frequently. ex. more, cookie, drink, eat, etc. This can help cut down on frustration.

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 8:59 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • It is not unusual for boys to talk later than girls. I know how easy to is to fall into the trap of comparing your DS to other children, especially within the family. Been there, done that. It's normal, but can only add to your frustration. We did get Early Childhood Intervention involved after our LO was 21-22 mos as he wasn't saying many words. The only reason we started when we did is that ECI will only work with them until their 3rd birthday, but he didn't start saying anything much for about 3 months even AFTER the therapy started. She said that most boys don't start before their 2nd birthday. I believe that your dr. is right, and probably there isn't anything to worry about. That doesn't make the waiting any more "fun", but PP was correct in that if he can communicate his wants & needs to you by gestures, etc, then he really isn't "behind." He is growing developmentally on track, and will speak in his own time. ((hugs))

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 11:35 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • My doctor said kids should say 4-10 words at 15 months old. Your son is just fine!

    Answer by Glowing4Caleb at 1:08 PM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • Do not compare your child to others!! You will make your child, and you, crazy!!! Touchpoints by T. Berry Brazelton is a wonderful book on the first five years of child development; you should be able to find it at your local library.

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:43 PM on Jun. 12, 2009

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