18 answers

18 Month Year Only Saying a Few Words

Hi! I had a question. My son is 18 months and only says mama, dada, yeah, doggie, hi, oh, and mmm! He does a lot of talking to himself in the baby jargain. How many words should he be saying now? Does anyone know how I could get him to talk more. For the most part when he says things I know what he is talking about or looking for. We have gotten together with friends whose kids are the same age, and some of them talk more them him or even less then him. ( I know I am not supposed to compare him to others but it can be emotional when you see others kids his age talking more) He plays really well with others. He was also a late walker (16 1/2 months) and I wasn't sure if that had anything to do with it. He is a very happy baby! I try to read to him to show him more words but he only last about 3 pages. I've also been working with him on animal sounds and where his body parts are but he seems to lose interest after awhile. Is this normal? For my first child I wasn't sure. Any advice would be wonderful. Thanks!

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My 18 1/2 month old son just started this week to add more words. All of the sudden he is copying what we say (oops! have to be really careful about that). His MD has not been too concerned since he is able to convey his wants and needs and is basically on track otherwise. Good luck!

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I think I asked this exact same question when my daughter was 18 months but she was saying far fewer words then your son is. Sounds to me like he's right on track. My daughter is 2 1/2 and she's just now starting to do a lot of talking. My doctor told me that if your child is very good at his motor skills then he may be a little late in talking and vice versa. That was the deal with our daughter, she had great motor skills for her age but not so much with the talking. I remember friends telling me to chill out that once she starts talking she won't stop and it'll take off from there and they were all right. Now there are some days I long NOT to hear Mommy! ha ha ha I think he's doing fine and your doing everything right. I bet in another couple months he wont STOP talking. Good luck. If you begin to feel he's behind and you want him to get help ask your doctor for the number of Early Education and they'll come out and test him, usually for free or reduced prices. If they find he's got a delay, they'll work with him. We almost did this with my daughter but it was like she knew because the week she had her appointment she learned like 10 new words!

My 18 1/2 month old son just started this week to add more words. All of the sudden he is copying what we say (oops! have to be really careful about that). His MD has not been too concerned since he is able to convey his wants and needs and is basically on track otherwise. Good luck!

Hi K.,

Our 18 month old says no words consistantly, although jabbers like crazy! He was evaluated a couple of weeks ago, through the Early Intervention program, and the speech therapist agreed that there isn't anything keeping him from learning how to talk (like autism for example), he is just going to learn at his own speed. So for us, speech therapy is an option for our son. The evaluation was free and everything was done in our home. And if we opt to have ST, that can be done in our home as well, at a time that works for us and our son. This is a really great program, and really made me feel at ease with his development. In order to start the ball rolling, you need to get a referral from his pediatrician, and they can also give you the number to call Early Intervention in your area. It's pretty easy! Hope this helps!


Try the Priddy Books. They are basically words and realisstic pictures. My son was two in May and has a large vocabulary and even speaks in small sentences. He loved these books. I think you reading to him is great. And keep in mind, some kids justg talk later. A friend of mine once told me that her brither didn;t say much until he was three and immediately spoke in sentences. Good Luck.

K. O.

Early Intervetion from the State of Illinois can do great help & if you are in duPage Ct. Communcation clubhouse at ###-###-#### will be able to assist you further for help your child needs. Good luch

I am going through the same thing with my 21 month old son. He only says mama and dog. I spoke with my pediatrician who seemed really concerned. I had him evaluated and he was referred to the department of childen and family services. They came out to my home to evaluate him and referred him for speech therapy. I was very happy with all of the therapists that have been involved with him so far. He will be starting weekly speech therapy in a couple of weeks. I have been given a lot of reassurance that he will catch up to all of the other kids and be just fine. Have you had your son's hearing checked? My son also had to have tubes placed and an adenoidectomy due to frequent ear infections and slight hearing loss.

At 18 months, the only word my daughter knew was "no!" The pediatrician was concerned and had us go through the early intervention program and have her evaluated. They did recommend speech therapy for her, but she was fine in every other way so we decided to wait. I talked to the speech therapist at the school where I teach and she told me to start using some baby signs with her. We used only 2 signs...more and help. Once my daughter learned those, she used them frequently and then started suddenly talking non stop. Our school district has a preschool screening for kids ages 3-5...we just had my daughter evaluated (she just turned 3) and they say she is now age appropriate, but they did recommend she be screened again for speech in about 4 months.
Remember that every kid develops at their own rate.
Good luck!

My son is doing the same things and he is almost 2 next month. We actually have a early intervention assessment for him on August 16. They assess his speech, gross motor, behavior and other things. It is free of charge to get him assessed. It is better to be safe than sorry. it is putting our worries to rest to have another person assess him and tell us if there is anything we should worry about. 16 1/2 months is on the late side to walk. My son was the same way-he walked at 14 months but was a preemie-born two months early. If you have any questions or would like more information on the Early Intervention Program, please email me at ____@____.com

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