*Update* -- Language development - what is going on?? — The Bump
Babies: 9 - 12 Months

*Update* -- Language development - what is going on??

themarquis0themarquis0
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edited December 2013 in Babies: 9 - 12 Months

I am starting to get concerned about DD's (about to turn 9 months) language development.  I know that all babies develop on their own timeline and blah blah blah, but I'm starting to think that something might not be quite right.

DD makes lots of noise and is very 'vocal' but is not babbling.  For example, she says a lot of vowel sounds,  rasberries, coos, squeals, etc.  In the last two months or so she's started to *sort of* make consonant-like sounds.  So she can sort of do a muffled 'b' sound.  She can make sort of a muffled 'mmm' sound.  No 'd' or other consonants.  No clearly combining consonants and vowels, so no 'ba', da', 'ma', etc.  I may have heard her say 'ga' at one point but I'm not sure.  She does say 'hoooo' and 'gooo' but I don't think those really count because they sound more coo/vowel like.  Definitely no repeated 'syllables' like ba ba ba or whatever.

The kicker is I went and started watching random you tube videos of babies and realized DD doesn't sound *anything* like babies of her age.  I looked at videos of 9., 8, 7, and 6 month olds - she doesn't sound like them.  She sounds more like 4 and 5 month olds.  I also looked at the ages and stages evaluation for 9 months and she would score a zero on the communication part because of the lack of babbling and some other stuff.

She *does* wave, point, and clap.  She usually responds to her name.  She does not seem to recognize any words as far as I can tell and has never said anything at all word-like.  Her development in all other areas is normal.

Thoughts?  Do any of you have a baby with slow language development?  What is going on?

Re: *Update* -- Language development - what is going on??

  • DS says bababababa and makes the MMMM sound and GA sound but no words. I am not concerned at all and hes 10 mos old. hes totally fine! She will get there, just make sure you talk to her all.day.long. Point to items "Baba, Baba, say Baba". we do that all the time. Now if i say Wheres Elmo? He turns and looks in the right direction. He is very smart...just no clear words yet. and thats ok with me.
  • I posted about this a few days ago if you look a couple of posts under "babbling worries." I had (still have?) the same worries and brought it up at DD's 9 month appointment and she sent us to get evaluated by Early Intervention. When I called them they said that it's too early and to wait until 12 months to test. 
    We just practice "mama, baba, dada" type sounds with her daily and do lots of play time and hopefully she'll catch on and start repeating it. Otherwise at 9 months there isn't really anything they can do. 
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  • My 9 month old doesn't do the usual gagagag or babababa or anything.  She clearly says "Mum" and "Dada" in context, all day long and started this about 6weeks ago.  Usually when she wants our attention or isn't getting what she wants.  She is constant noises like you say but never did the usual mamamamam, dadadadadada, bababababa or gagagaagaga type sounds.

    I would be more concerned if a baby wasn't communicating or conversing than them not babbling in textbook style.  Does your baby look at you and make noises.  Does she repeat noises you make (not the same noise but that conversation of you make a noise, they make a noise and back and forth).  When you walk in the room does baby make noises at you, when you leave a room do they get upset and make noise etc. 

     

     

  • Thanks, folks.  we do have her 9 month appt on friday and are going to talk to the ped then.  I think I'd like to ask about early intervention (it would be nice to have a professional take a listen even if there isn't much to be done at this point) andalso ask for a hearing test. 

    DD generally seems bright and developmentally on track, makes lots of noises, and is very responsive to us, so I guess it's likely she's just a bit behind in this one area and will catch up. Hopefully!  But we will get her checked out anyway.
  • DS babbles, squals, gargles, etc. But he doesn't wave, point, or really repeat things I say. He's started clapping. It just kinda sounds like your DD may have been working on other skills first. I also sing a lot to him. You could always try that too.

  • sounds fine. Sometimes they learn new things at different points. DD straight up stopped babbling for a week and just made a sound like a motorboat (like "brrrrrrrr" with her lips) every time she was trying to communicate. 
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  • I could have written this post (and did if you search back!) right when dd was 9 months old. Our pediatrician wasn't worried and said to give it until 12 months. So we met with an audiologist at the Children's hospital on our own and dd was diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears. Hearing loss is not common, but if it is present, you want to know as quickly as possible to get LO in hearing aids. Even a mild loss can lead to a language delay. Somehow we passed the newborn hearing screen and dd did startle to sounds and turn to loud sounds, and was also very tuned in to body language so when we would call for her, she could pick up on subtle signs and turn eventually. In other words, we just couldn't tell for sure. We never expected her loss to be as severe as it is given how responsive she was. Anyhow, if you are getting the mmm and bbb sound, your LO IS accessing at least some sound, so most likely she is just on her own timeline. That said, rule out hearing loss too
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  • It doesn't mean anything is wrong, but it doesn't mean you can dismiss it.  I agree to talk to your doctor and try to get a hearing test.  Consider being evaluated by Early Intervention, or if you want, wait a few months.  Babbling for us happened suddenly, so it could happen any day for you. We did a lot of "ba ba ba, ma ma ma" to encourage things, and it probably helped.  I honestly think she said "hi" before she babbled, but I started every single day with "hi M" so I guess that's not surprising.  
  • I actually just called my friend who is a speech pathologist about this last night.  My DD sounds like yours, she makes vowel sounds, but that is it.  The pediatrician asked me about it, and seemed concerned.  She said to wait 6 weeks and then we can check back.  If DD isn't doing any babbling at that point, we will do a referral.

    The pedi did say a few things that helped ease fears. She asked if DD is mobile, which she is.  She has been doing a lot of crawling, pulling to stand, climbing up stairs, etc.  The pedi said babies can only work on one thing at a time, gross motor or language.  She may just be focused on gross motor.  She said personality plays into it as well.  DD is an observer, much more than my DS ever was.  The pedi called DD's name a few times from places around the room and she responded, but pedi said we would first do a hearing test if there is no improvement as 6 weeks.

    Of course, I was still nervous, so called my friend.  She said there really should be some babbling at this point.  She asked if DD is blowing raspberries, or making clucking sounds, which she is.  She suggested getting in her face and doing the babababa, mamamama sounds.  She said to focus on b, d, m, n as those are the easiest and first sounds.  She said when DD is making noises, tap her mouth like an Indian call.  She also said to be silly and get DS involved, not sure if your LO has siblings.  I asked about hearing issues, and she said the fact that DD responds to her name does not necessarily mean that she is hearing well. She may be responding to the rhythm of her name, not necessarily the sounds.  

    Finally, my friend reminded me that her DS was saying words at 10 months, but did not walk until 19.  She reinforced the idea about working on one skill set or another.

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  • Thank you all!  Update: we did DD's 9 month well-baby today and shared our concerns with the ped.  She agreed with us that it may not be anything serious (she may just spontaneously catch up) but we should get her hearing checked and have early intervention evaluate her.

    So we have a game plan - she'll get her hearing test early next month and we'll go from there. 

  • I could have written this post (and did if you search back!) right when dd was 9 months old. Our pediatrician wasn't worried and said to give it until 12 months. So we met with an audiologist at the Children's hospital on our own and dd was diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears. Hearing loss is not common, but if it is present, you want to know as quickly as possible to get LO in hearing aids. Even a mild loss can lead to a language delay. Somehow we passed the newborn hearing screen and dd did startle to sounds and turn to loud sounds, and was also very tuned in to body language so when we would call for her, she could pick up on subtle signs and turn eventually. In other words, we just couldn't tell for sure. We never expected her loss to be as severe as it is given how responsive she was. Anyhow, if you are getting the mmm and bbb sound, your LO IS accessing at least some sound, so most likely she is just on her own timeline. That said, rule out hearing loss too

    Thanks for sharing your DD's story.  This is good advice and echoes my thinking about the issue!  I would really hate for us to be back at the ped at 1 year or 1.5 years with continuing concerns and find out she's had some kind of low or moderate grade hearing loss all along.  She passed her newborn hearing test and seems to obviously respond to sounds, mostly responds to her name, etc., but I read that some kids can have a bit of hearing loss right in the range of sounds necessary for speech, so even if they can hear okay in general, they're not going to understand speech properly. 

     

  • DD wasn't very vocal around 9 months and I was a bit worried but she's been around other babies a lot recently and is "chatting" all the time now. She seems to say "mama" "dada" "Aggy" [our neighbors daughter is named Abby but she can't quite do the "b"] "Ada" [our dog] 

  • st.augbridest.augbride
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    edited December 2013
    I could have written this post (and did if you search back!) right when dd was 9 months old. Our pediatrician wasn't worried and said to give it until 12 months. So we met with an audiologist at the Children's hospital on our own and dd was diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears. Hearing loss is not common, but if it is present, you want to know as quickly as possible to get LO in hearing aids. Even a mild loss can lead to a language delay. Somehow we passed the newborn hearing screen and dd did startle to sounds and turn to loud sounds, and was also very tuned in to body language so when we would call for her, she could pick up on subtle signs and turn eventually. In other words, we just couldn't tell for sure. We never expected her loss to be as severe as it is given how responsive she was. Anyhow, if you are getting the mmm and bbb sound, your LO IS accessing at least some sound, so most likely she is just on her own timeline. That said, rule out hearing loss too

    Thanks for sharing your DD's story.  This is good advice and echoes my thinking about the issue!  I would really hate for us to be back at the ped at 1 year or 1.5 years with continuing concerns and find out she's had some kind of low or moderate grade hearing loss all along.  She passed her newborn hearing test and seems to obviously respond to sounds, mostly responds to her name, etc., but I read that some kids can have a bit of hearing loss right in the range of sounds necessary for speech, so even if they can hear okay in general, they're not going to understand speech properly. 

     


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  • At 9 months, this is very much like my DS.  DH was getting concerned, but I wasn't because I saw so many other forms of language and communication (mimicking conversations, receptive and body language, pointing, lots of "yayaya", raspberries, and clicks).  Then, around 10.5 months, his babbling took off: dada, mama, baba, buh, duh, etc.  But definitely get it checked if you're concerned because you know your own baby best.
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  • TheNewMrsYTheNewMrsY
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    edited December 2013
    Hi! I hope you don't mind me jumping in. I haven't posted here before but I am a speech pathologist and my DD was the same. She's just over 10 months and at her 9 mo ped visit I brought it up. I went to the audiologist and everything was fine. Being a SLP, I'm in this poor kids face all day, every day trying to get those darn babbles! All other areas of development are normal. Well, on Friday I was doing my usual babbling to her and all of a sudden she started babbling back at me! Friday and Saturday she was nonstop babbling. Today not as much (but she was cranky today and I realized tonight that she has a molar coming in, so I'll give her a pass! Haha) it's definitely a good idea that you talked to your pedi and have a plan, but if that's not proof that babies will do things when they're ready then I don't know what is lol. Just wanted to share my experience. Now I'm hoping DD will keep it up once she gets relief from that tooth! Good luck :) ETA: dd has also been very motor-focused. She's always hit motor milestones early or at least on the earlier side of normal. Like PPs mentioned babies can only focus on one thing at a time. It is so true!

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  • my 10 months old, 1 week isn't saying much. She started with "ba ba" not meaning a bottle but just babbling; then she said "dada" and then "mama" but she says them rarely. She will only say "mama" when she is crying and desperate for me.

    I too have been worrying but my pedi keeps telling me those are more aligned to 12 month milestones and she is on-track/advance in gross motor - standing independently, cruising non-stop, etc.

    This is my second child, I have a daughter who is 2.5 so I understand how WEEKS make a huge difference in a babies life so I am trying to hold out with interventions that may scare me or can only evaluate so much at this age and see if she makes progress in the coming months.
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