43 answers

8 1/2 Month Old Not Saying "MaMa" and "DaDa"

My son is 8 1/2 mo/old. perfect in every way, crawling standing and even trying to take a few steps! He has 4 teeth, is still really happy and laughs and smiles all the time! Problem is that he just isnt saying anything other than "Ah-ga" and "Ga-Ga" yet! He responds to us when we say things with smiles and laughs and he even yells at the darking dogs and the hair dryer (Ahhhhhh!!) but no other vowel sounds! I feel like all we do is talk to him and try to get him so say ma and da and ba but nothing yet! should we be concerned?

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So What Happened?™

I really did enjoy reading many other moms responses that went through or are going through the same thing. Your kind words really did put me at ease!! :)
But I want to say one more thing...
I am a college educated preschool teacher with a very level head on my shoulders. I do see many differences in the children I teach in all aspects of their development from speech to motor skills. But it’s always different when it comes to your own child. As mothers, a lot of us second guess ourselves probably WAY more than we ever need to.
My request for advice was more to reassure myself that my son was indeed “normal”. All mothers should have high expectations of their children but by no means am I trying to stifle my child in to talking too early!
There was one resposse to my request that "really rubbed me the wrong way" It was in fact harsh, completely unnecessary and at some points very rude and condescending. Some moms that post things on here really need to re-visit the basics of, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, than please don’t say anything at all”.

Featured Answers

No reason for concern! As a VERY general rule, boys don't speak a whole lot before they're 1 and even then it's not as much as girls. I have a couple friends with boys between 12 and 16 months who's boys might say up to 5 words including mama or dada. Sounds like you're doing everything right!

2 moms found this helpful

No, it is perfecty normal. Boys tend to develop verbal skills much later than girls. It is normal that if he is strong in his motor skills, he will be slower with his verbal skills. I have a friend whose son is 18 months and not identifying mama and dada yet. So, give it time. He sounds like a perfectly healthy, happy baby.

2 moms found this helpful

I was super concerned about my daughter too. She had a limited vocab early on, and I thought she should be saying more. She could communicate though, and understood what we told her. Anyway, she is just fine now. Jibber Jabbering a ton. She is 2 now. But, the point is that I think that they do things on their own time. Each child is different. It doesn't mean that they are going to have problems later in life. I wouldn't worry. I wish I would not have, it just drags you down.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

No, N.- there is nothing even slightly wrong. MANY little guys are behind yours-- and quite often physically competant little guys do put words on the ''back burner' while they get their legs to get them MOVING!!. So, as a 40 years plus mom/grandmom/preschool teacher -- here is the yardstick for words:
a one year old ( in 3 more months) might be saying one - syllable or one word ''pieces'' ( MA! --- 'DO ' ( for the dog) ---- and two year old ususally is putting two words or word-approximations together ( 'MY bo ' ' go ca - ) -- and 3s - are usually putting 3 words together and they are clearer ( 'want more noodles') --- BUT dear heart-- enjoy his fantastic progress -- in 8 months he has accomplished so much- let him be little--- it's not a race---

If it will be FUN for you- get some books or tapes from the library on baby signs - NOT BECASUE HE CANT TALK but to be fun for both of you and because it is so much easier for a baby to get their hands to say '''more'' '''done'' ''sad'' and express themselves - than to make those tricky little mouth muscles work--those are TINY and it's hard to tweak them. SO many parents have said '''we loved 'baby signs' and then my child started talking so fast --- we really just left the signs behind '' ---

He's ahead is so many ways- please don't worry- enjoy him-

''joy is the natural state of man'' and the more joy in his life ( and YOURS) the better your little eagle will fly.

Blessings,
J.

3 moms found this helpful

I was super concerned about my daughter too. She had a limited vocab early on, and I thought she should be saying more. She could communicate though, and understood what we told her. Anyway, she is just fine now. Jibber Jabbering a ton. She is 2 now. But, the point is that I think that they do things on their own time. Each child is different. It doesn't mean that they are going to have problems later in life. I wouldn't worry. I wish I would not have, it just drags you down.

2 moms found this helpful

No reason for concern! As a VERY general rule, boys don't speak a whole lot before they're 1 and even then it's not as much as girls. I have a couple friends with boys between 12 and 16 months who's boys might say up to 5 words including mama or dada. Sounds like you're doing everything right!

2 moms found this helpful

No, it is perfecty normal. Boys tend to develop verbal skills much later than girls. It is normal that if he is strong in his motor skills, he will be slower with his verbal skills. I have a friend whose son is 18 months and not identifying mama and dada yet. So, give it time. He sounds like a perfectly healthy, happy baby.

2 moms found this helpful

No need to be concerned yet...he's still very young. We have very close family friends who have two sons and neither one verbalized specific words in their first two years of life. They both are great talkers now!

What's important is that you are speaking TO him, speaking WITH him, reading together, and most of all being patient. If he's doing well physically at his age, the verbal part will come. Language acquisition is such a fascinating part of toddler development--there's so much out there to consider! I know what got our baby going was finding a certain book that she was REALLY interested in. (they love pictures of other babies) This was much more motivating than her papa and I trying to get her to say things "to" us!

Our little girl mixed up certain words quite a bit at first (she started "talking" at about 10 mos) and that concerned us--but she grew out of it. Kids are amazing!

Don't frustrate yourselves and just remember to be patient with your little guy!

2 moms found this helpful

If you are sure it is not a hearing problem watch out for other sign. My first child wasn't using common words. She was always throwing her blankets off and taking her shocks and shirts off. She seem to be hot all the time. Though her body didn't seem warm. When she did start talking she was like a parrot and was just repeating everything that she heard. The doctors just told me to wait, But at 18mos they sugested a hearing test which just proved that her hearing was fine. When she was 3 1/2 I finally had her tested and she was determined to be autistic. So if you have concerns don't wait the sooner you find out the better. Ask you doctor about your concerns, and I wish you all the luck. These are things to watch out for and not worry till he is 18mos and not talking.

2 moms found this helpful

That's actually really good! It looks like he's to the stage where once he figures out the "m" sound and "d" sound he will be able to say those things. Please don't worry about your baby's language until he's a year old - if he hasn't developed any other sounds besides 'g' by then you probably should see a speech pathologist or doctor, but it sounds like he will. Also, 'a' is almost always the first vowel - that's so normal for him to figure out other consonant combinations with 'a' before he moves on to 'o' and 'e' and 'i' etc.
In fact, right now he's probably not saying gaga with any purpose - he's just exercising all his little speech muscles and getting them ready!
So, don't worry about your little guy, in a month or two, he'll probably be saying mama and dada all the time!

2 moms found this helpful

N.,

I wouldn't worry at all. My daughter is going on 19 months now and still really only says MaMa for everything. On the very rare occasion she'll say Braba or buba or some such for her brother. And rarer still she'll say Dada. We've taught her some American Sign Language, but she just isn't as into it as her brother was.

She'll point to dogs and say Mama. She'll point to cats and say mama. She'll point to animals in books and say mama. It's just for her Mama is the vocalization for almost everything. She does communicate in other ways though. Obviously the arms up, hopping on the toes means pick me up NOW!. She'll hold one finger up, usually near her cheek and babble mama to the sound of one more slide/book/bite/fill in the blank. She'll use the signs for all done, milk and down.

As long as he's got baby babble going the sounds and variations will come when he's ready. Look for his cues for other ways of communicating. I wouldn't worry too much right now, especially since he's responding to your spoken words.

Most of all, listen to that little voice in the back of your head that is almost always right, but that you often silence. Some call that instinct, some might call me crazy, but whatever you want to call it, it's the little feeling you get that you can't describe to anyone but just know that you are right. If you truly are concerned talk to his doctor at his next visit which should be at either 10 or 12 months.

Hope this helps,
M.

2 moms found this helpful

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