Talking (or not) — The Bump
March 2013 Moms

Talking (or not)

I know comparing is the worst thing to do as a parent, so I'm coming here:

My DS does not have a lot of words. In fact, he has very few. He uses "mom" to get the attention of any adult and to tattle and he calls our dog and our cat by their name, but that seems to be the full extent of his words.

He is communicative, using pointing, gestures and grunts/sounds to indicate what he might want. For example, when he wants a refill of his drink he'll hand me his cup, point to the water bottle (or kitchen) and say "mom". He's also super independent. Rather than asking for help to get up or down from places (like his booster seat), he'll do it himself, so there's almost no need for him to practice a lot of his words.

My SIL just posted a list of 20-something words her 15 month old son has and of course, my first thought is to turn to Dr. Google to see if my son is delayed. Once rational thought returned, I figure he's probably fine and this is something I can bring up at his appointment next month. Until then, where is everyone else's child verbally?
DD- 11/17/08, DD- 11/16/09, DS- 3/20/13 
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Re: Talking (or not)

  • DD had 3 words, but is now only using 1. It is her brother's name. I looked to see how many words DS had at this point, and he was already up to 30. My friend who is a speech pathologist assured me that DD is just on the low end of normal. As long as she can communicate her wants/needs, it is premature to worry. She said if there are no more words by the 18 month appointment, I should request a hearing test just to get the ball rolling.

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  • DS can say "yeah", "no" (sounds like nah), "mama", "dada" and "car". He has had a ton of ear infections and I've been worried too. One of the bump emails said your child should have quite the vocabulary but really it's more common for them to have about 5 solid words at this point. It seems like your son is making a huge effort to communicate with you so I would not be worried.
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  • I totally understand where you are coming from.  DS communicates similar to your LO.  He has a few words, but not a ton.  A woman at the playground said her 12 mo old said 30+ words.  I felt like I was doing something wrong, but since the pediatrician isn't concerned, I'm not either.  However, I do have to reassure myself when I hear people talk about how their kids said all sorts of words around 14 months.  DS says around 5 words well, but some weeks he will only say 1 or 2 words. 

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  • At our last Parents as Teachers visit I was asking our educator about this, and she said to start a list of DD's words (which I know a lot of people have already done, but I hadn't) and that I'd be surprised at how many words she actually has.  I did, and was actually a bit surprised to see 10-15 words on there.  She doesn't use all of them consistently, and still uses a lot of signs to communicate actually.  I agree with PP that the fact your DS is communicating with you - however that is - is a good sign and no reason to worry.  
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  • My son is 17 months and doesn't talk very much either. He says "mama", "dada" (but not often), nana, and he started saying ball (he says BA) and that's about it. He points, grunts when he wants something, and understands when I tell him something like "go get your ball". But besides that he doesn't say much. My doctor said to just continue reading and using index cards with one syllable words like cat, dog, ball, etc. he says if by two he isn't talking, then we'll take other steps but he's not super concerned yet.
  • pavlovcat said:

    Could it be that he's saying things but you just don't recognize them?  A lot of times I know my daughter is trying to say something but I can't figure out what.  Lately she'll say "Moya" which seems to mean "I want" but I can't for the life of me determine what word she's actually trying to say.  She already says More (Mo), so it's not that. 
    This is a really good point, and was totally my problem at first.  I wasn't realizing certain things she was saying were actually her versions of those words.  FWIW, my list has grown to about 30 words just since I posted last in this topic... DD is saying new words almost daily at this point.

    And as a side note, I find it SO CUTE hearing DD's versions of words.  The way she says Moooww for more, DAH for dog, Goo Goo for choo choo... maybe I'm just that mom, but I think it's so stinking adorable :)
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  • It is super cute. DS only says about 6 words but he's working on it. FWIW in my area they don't test for any speech delay until at least 2. We had to push for DS1 to get tested at 2. It was worth it. Now he speaks much more clearly.
  • My son is the same way. He says mom, dad and doggy, oh and hi. I am always worried about his speach. Also very independent. Every once in a while he says a word perfectly out of the blue like more, juice, and book have been a few
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