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Not talking yet, is it normal?

My son is 17-months old now and he doesn't talk. He babbles all the time and he seems to understand what I am saying, but he doesn't call me mama unless prompted. He can say dog and cat, but again only when prompted. It just seems like he has no interest in saying the words I say. I was just wondering what others kids where saying?


Asked by mommy_jules at 2:29 PM on Jan. 30, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (9)
  • 17 months is still young enough not to be concerned. Try reading to him a lot and pointing to the pictures and telling him what they are. Then prompt him to repeat the word for the picture back to you. Praise him a lot when he tries, even when the word isn't exactly how it should be. I used to take my kids outside to explore, even at that young age, picking up things like leaves, rocks, flowers etc. and saying the word a few times as I held it out for them to hold. Let him feel it, smell it, move it around in his little hands while you tell him what it is. Sometimes just the tactile experience will help promote a verbal reaction.

    Answer by anniemom911 at 2:50 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Read to him and talk to him constantly. If he wants something, then as a parent, request and demand he make some type of sound to request that item. Talk to your doctor about his milestones and come up with a plan. Is he doing/playing like other children his age?

    Answer by ironkitten at 2:30 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • it sounds normal, but still you can get him evaluated to see if there is any developmental delays, if they find some you could get free speech/occupational, etc, therapy until age 3.

    Answer by dezandry at 5:56 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Yes, it is normal. He may take almost another year to talk, then it may be in sentences! Still, talk to your pediatrician.

    Answer by ironkitten at 2:30 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Thanks. I definitely will talk to his pediatrician. I think it just helps when someone tells you yes it is normal. I keep telling myself that's probably going to happen, because with most big milestones that's how it's happened. When he started walking, he started pulling up one day and within a week he was walking.

    Comment by mommy_jules (original poster) at 2:39 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • my dd didn;t really talking until after 18months. i could really see the difference. she understood and was learning new words between 12-18 but after 18 she just started little by little. she is almost 23months old now and speaks alot. just relax and be glad you have silence now. lol

    Answer by lambdarose at 3:08 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • @ lambdarose, that's what everyone keeps telling me. Being a first time mom, I guess I'm just anxious to know that I'm doing everything right.

    Comment by mommy_jules (original poster) at 3:14 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • Perfectly normal. My son is two years old and is just now starting to say phrases, sentences, and showing his broader vocabulary. I was starting to think he was never going to talk. Whereas my one year old is already starting to test out her vocabulary a lot more then her brother did. It all depends on their child and their interest in talking. If they have no reason to ask for what they want then they're less likely to ask for it. If they don't need to express themselves verbally they won't. Other children just don't care to either way. Just keep encouraging your child and he'll eventually start showing you all the words he knows.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 3:33 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • According to my son's speech therapist (my son was a preemie with major oral issues and significantly delayed speech), a 1year old should have a vocabulary of 5-7 words and a 2 year old should have a vocabulary of 200-300 words. Speaking is really difficult, motor-wise, and I would strongly encourage you to look into baby signs to help bridge the communication until he can speak better. Kids that were taught signs ('normal' kids) were shown to have a significantly greater vocabulary later in life than age-matched peers. Also, you do want to read to him a lot and speak to him in short, simple sentences. Don't forget to give him time to answer and reward even close approximations. He'll get closer with practice. Finally, talk to your pediatrician about Early Intervention, if it's in your area. Have him evaluated because waiting until it is obvious is too late to have as great an impact. You are his biggest advocate.

    Answer by JZ10FPM at 11:13 PM on Jan. 30, 2011