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16 month old son not talking yet?

My son is 16 months old and he doesnt talk. He says "mama" and babbles constantly and makes "gaga" sounds; when he is babbling its really like he is having a conversation, just without real words. I see other babies much younger than him that have an extensive vocabulary and im just kind of worried that he still only says one real word. I talk with him and I say the names of things (ie, "this is a grape" or "here is your red ball") In other developmental aspects hes doing good, he started walking around 15 months, he laughs all the time, makes good eye contact, and it seems like he understands things when I talk to him. Hes just not saying the words yet. Have you had a child who was a late talker? How did you resolve it? Do you think his lack of talking is cause for major concern?

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:44 PM on Mar. 9, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (9)
  • nope, I used to do developmental assessments and nothing you said would throw a red flag. Does he have good receptive language (can he understand simple commands, understands what you are saying?) That is more of what we look for at that age.

    You can go to and do an ages and stages questionnaire, it will give you an idea of what kids his age should be doing

    Answer by peanutsmommy1 at 1:46 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • I think he sounds fine..If he weren't babbling or anything then I would worry but that at least shows he is trying..My daughter is 11 months and she can say about 10 words, her cousin is 20 months and is at about the same level. I wouldn't worry until about 2, but if you want extra assurance ask the doctor..Good luck =)

    Answer by imamommmmyyy at 1:50 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • That sounds like my youngest. At 16 months he had two words. But by 18 months he had ten words. Now at just over two years he says new words everyday. I would not worry about it at all. Just keep doing what you are doing and talking to him all the time and he will come along and start talking up a storm.
    BTW, his two older brothers were like the other kids you mentioned with huge vocabularies, so I was a bit worried, but should not have been. Good luck!

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 1:50 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • Late talkers is very common. Your son is already talking. You'll see his vocabulary expand later on. I don't think that you should worry.

    Answer by Energ8zr at 1:50 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • both of my daughters were the EXACT same way. my youngest says a few more word but thats maybe 5 words but for the most part still babbles my oldests i could not get her to talk but a few handful of words until she was three she just plain didn't want to talk. do not worry yourself at all. some talk sooner than others. I myself didnt talk til i was 4. just keep up what ever your doing. talk to him get some flash crd and try to get him to say what he wants before you give it to him. like for instance he wants milk try to get him to please or milk beofre giving it to him. they will talk when they get ready to talk. i learned that with my first child.

    Answer by laura970 at 1:51 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • My daughter is a little over 15 months and sounds very much like your son with the exception of she started walking earlier. In February, I left a post in a group I belong to for babies who were born the same month as she is, asking if any of their kids starting talking yet. To my surprise, all but one of the moms who responded said yes and of course they all had a long list of words their child is saying. I was a little concerned, too. But all children mature at their own rate and as long as her pediatrician isn't worried, I'm not going to be either. So if your doctor says everything is fine, it's fine. My daughter has started to say one phrase since I had left my post. She says "all done" but it's not that clear. So when your son does start to talk, don't expect perfectly pronounced words. He'll get there. It just takes time.

    Answer by HotMama330 at 1:54 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • I hope it's not a concern! My 15 month old is the same way - She says "Dada", "Cat", "Da" (for dog) and she tries to say "Fish"...but she's still working on that one! She doesn't even really babble that much.
    I'm pretty sure that this is normal for the all learn at different stages.
    I'm going to take the survey on the website that peanutsmommy1 posted, it looks interesting!

    Answer by StellarJKD at 1:54 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • thanks ladies! as for peanuts mommy, he does have good receptive language. for example, he has a rocking horse, if I say "go gittyup" he will walk across the room to the rocking horse and start playing on it. but thank you for easing my worries

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:56 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • I haven't looked at the milestone lists in a while, but I believe the rule of thumb is 50-clear distinct words by 2 years old. Many children have few if any clear audible words around a year old. You'll find one day he goes to bed with one or two and it'll seem like he wakes up with a boatload. once he starts, it'll be fast and furious with new words appearing quickly and regularly.

    Second, listen closely. He may have words already even if it doesn't sound like it. My DD said "Ba" or some variation for about 4 different things at one point. We knew those were attempts at words, though, based on the inflection, repetition and gesturing. "Baba" was bottle. "BABA!!!!" as she giggled was brother, "Ba" was ball and "Baaaaa" was sheep. It was only when we really focused on when and how she made that sound did we make the connections.

    if you're concerned, ask your ped. It never hurts to ask. Right?

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:59 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

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