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When should toddlers start talking?

My daughter is 16 months old. She knows how to do so many things: throw stuff away, replace tops and caps, scribble on paper, turn on/off electronics, iron, put on shoes, take off/put on clothes, etc. But she still does not talk very well. She can say some words and definitely knows the meanings of hungry, sleepy, nap, done, yes/no. She knows how to say "da da" and "ma ma," but she usually doesn't call me until she really wants something. She also does point and show you what she is talking about. Is she developmentally on track communication-wise?? She gets so frustrated some times when we don't understand her baby talk. Is there something I could do to help her vocabulary?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 6:26 PM on Jul. 2, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (5)
  • EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT AND SHE SEEMS TO BE RIGHT ON TRACK FOR HER AGE. WHATEVER YOU DO, TRY TO MAKE HER SAY WHAT SHE WANTS BY REPEATING IT YOURSELF, IF YOU UNDERSTAND HER BABY LANGUAGE SHE WILL TAKE LONGER TO TALK, BECAUSE THERE IS NO NEED TO MAKE HERSELF UNDERSTOOD. BY HER TERRIBLE TWOS SHE WILL BE SPEAKING A LOT MORE, AND AFTER THAT YOU WILL WISH SHE NEVER LEARNED!
    older

    Answer by older at 6:45 PM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • I agree, she sounds exactly where she's suppose to be. Giving the object she's pointing to a name and having her pronounce the word herself will help her learn new vocabulary and give her plenty of practice. Example, if she points to a shoe, say that's a show honey, can you say "shoe" and don't give her the object until she attempts the word. Don't expect it to be perfectly intelligible (clear as day) she's only 16 months and the typical 24 month old child still doesn't have very intelligible speech. My son has frustration when people don't understand him the first time, so i've worked with him saying its not your fault mommy doesn't understand can you say it different and he will think for a second then figure out another way of communicating what he wants. He's 3, so a little older, but the same concept might help relieve some of your daughters frustration. Don't worry though, the speech will come with age.
    ba13ygrl1987

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 8:30 PM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • My son is 16 1/2 months old and only saying mama. At this age he should be able to say at least 5 words. BTW, he has speech therapy twice a month to help get him on track. His therapist says to keep repeating the names of everyday objects that he shows an interest in and give his actions words (for ex: when he stacks a block on top of another, say up. )
    SAndrews

    Answer by SAndrews at 9:10 PM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • She sounds right on track.
    By 18 months, doctors like to see 10 to 20 words. Those words probably won't sound right but they are words. She may drop whole chucks of a word, the beginning sounds, the ending sounds, sounds out of the middle. She may use sounds she can make and drop ones she can't. She may make up her own sound for a word. But if you know what she means when she makes a certain sounds, it's a word.
    By 24 months, doctors like to see 2 word phrases.... more cookie. Some do it a little earlier, some a little later. 24 months is an average.
    By 30 months, she should be using 4 to 5 word sentences and you should understand 75% of what she says. Strangers will understand far less.
    By 36 months, you will understand 90% of what she says and she will be having conversations.
    kaycee14

    Answer by kaycee14 at 11:01 PM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • My son seems to be exactly where your daughter is. I am trying not to worry, but as a mom who wants the best for your children, I understand if you are. My son is 15 months old and communicates very well, except with words. Every once in a while he will say a word that he really shouldn't be saying (for his age), like "outside" or "glasses", but not routinely. He speaks mostly in what sounds like gibberish. I think we just need to keep talking and reading to them, and they will catch up. As long as they are doing everything else on schedule, they will talk when they need and want to. By the way, the schedules our children are "supposed" to do things on are so arbitrary and seem to serve only to make parents of perfect children worry!
    MissiAnne

    Answer by MissiAnne at 12:45 AM on Jul. 3, 2009

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