25 answers

My 14 Month Old Daughter Isn't Talking Yet.

I have a very smart little girl who understands everything I tell her. She can sign several words: cup, eat, bath, please, change, up, etc. (she's even making up her own signs for things) but she won't say anything except "up" when she says cup, even though when we sign to her we always say the word. I have been dying for her to say mama, but I've never even heard her say the mmm sound. Sometimes she does babble, but it's never directed at anyone or anything. My sons were right on cue, but this baby girl is giving me a run for my money on everything from not talking to NEVER sleeping to learning to walk at ten months. I know girls are harder than boys, but I'd always heard they learn to talk first. Am I just paranoid?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

To T. S, If the doctors have not found anything wrong with her hearing, I personally would not worry. My daughter did not start speaking until just after 18 months. She potty - trained right at 18 months! She is a nine-year-old intelligent, sweet, "old soul" today and excels in reading and spelling in school. Some children just do not have much to say until they can articulate in their way. good luck, Tra- SAHM in Plainfield, mother of 4

1 mom found this helpful

Have you ruled out a hearing disorder? Not to compare between siblings. There are so many variables for children's progress, I think it's too early to be concerned, but mention it to her doctor.

More Answers

Hi T.,

As a speech therapist and mom to two I can tell you that recently my now 29 month old underwent an Early Intervention speech eval (yes speech therapists kids aren't all perfect talkers...how embarrassing though to make the call!)....anyway at the time of the eval he was 27 months...and could only say about 10 words...and they weren't super clear...and HE DID NOT QUALIFY...they use a percent delay and he didn't meet the criteria...yes, his expressive speech was behind but not enough to warrant therapy, his receptive skills were just fine and there were no other developmental concerns...from what you describe that she may or may would not qualify (they really have to be so far behind to meet criteria) and she is just approaching the time that many children really start to use and experiment with sounds and words....the fact that she is using some words (babbling counts!) and making signs indicates she does understand that speech and gestures are ways to communicate...ask your pediatrician at her 18 month visit and if you're still concerned of course get a referral to EI...but know she is very typical, especially as the youngest of three!

Keep talking to her, labeling items, saying things like "blue ball" or "big puppy" etc...keep it simple and related to things she can see/touch/play with etc. Look at books and describe the pictures in simple descriptive words- of course just keeping a running commentary while you're doing all the daily chores is the easiest....with 3 kiddo's I'm sure you don't have tons of free time or time 1:1 with her....I have two and can't imagine a third!

And I'm happy to report that my son is really starting to explode with new words almost by the hour and stringing two and three together sometimes...yeah!

B.

1 mom found this helpful

I know the feeling! I have a 21 month (18 months adjusted for prematurity) that is the exact same way. Developmentally things have been relatively on target, but slower at times, and a lot of the time people want to say it's because of his prematurity. My opinion...he's on his own time table for his milestones. He started walking more than just a few steps at 17 months. We tried and tried, becoming frustrated, discouraged and as you have spoken about, worried that something was wrong. Given the time he needed, he's a walking/running pro now. He just did it in his own way and in his own time. Talking is another slower developmental issues for him. He babbles up a storm all the time and does say Mama, Dada, giggle, but not much else. He knows lots of words, can recognize words when we say them, and has sportically said words, but never consistantly. We just had his 18 month well baby check, and even with his prematurity being taken into consideration (he's never been very far behind on his milestones), our pediatrician is not worried about his being a bit slower in this area. Her thoughts were that he does babble and it sounds like he is using sentences and inflection, he just isn't using the words yet. The pediatrician told us not to worry and that if we were still at the same place in three months at his next check-up, then we might consider looking into getting a specialist to see if there are any specific issues at play. I guess what I have been trying to do, and this is said with full knowing of how hard it can be, is to sit back and let him be. He's learning and developing, just at his own pace. I am learning to respect it and that is on some levels freeing for me. Mommies will always worry, but our children will always surprise us, especially when we least expect it :)

1 mom found this helpful

There was a discussion about speech delays at 15 months just last week -- you may want to take a look at it for some of the advice.

Our pediatrician said that the base speech guideline at 15 months of age is the ability to say 3-5 distinct words -- and my son cannot do this. The Dr. wants us to call "Early Intervention" and have his speech development evaluated to see if he is eligible for some speech therapy assistance.

The Pediatrician also gave him several requests to check his language comprehension. She said that it is clear that my son's language comprehension is where it should be, so she is not concerned about any mental or physical deficiencies. Furthermore, she said that research indicates that speech delays, without comprehension issues, have no correlation to intelligence or bearing on future success (not that we were worried about this.)

Talk to your Pediatrician next month at the check-up. But since your daughter's language comprehension is excellent, I would try not to worry too much. All children just do things in their own time -- and it won't ever matter that she wasn't talking at 14 months!

1 mom found this helpful

As a former speech therapist and now a mom, I can say with confidence each child has his/her own unique developmental path and there is a huge range of normal. What you describe is your daughter laying the perfect foundation for speech *for her* and it will come in its own perfect time. Also in my experience early walkers tend to be the later talkers and vice-versa. They're so physically-focused the speech can take a backseat for a while.

And keep in mind there *are* risks to seeking early intervention for a perfectly normal child (and delayed children as well)- labels, behavioral manipulation, and feelings of not being right or good enough or needing "fixing." I'm much more sensitive to this aspect of it now being a mom than I was as a practicing therapist before I had kids. Trust in your child's perfection and trust in your gut feeling about this (not your "paranoid letting worry sneak in" gut feeling, but the real Knowing gut feeling). You know your child best!

1 mom found this helpful

I posted the same question when my son was 15 months old and he would only say ma-ma and da-da but he would understand everything else we would say and point to it, Like where is your nose and he would point to his nose, well not long after my worries, he had a word explosion! Do not worry yet... give it a little while longer and then you will be wishing they didn't talk.... Because then you hear mommy over and over and over again. I Love it! Good luck and be sure to let us know what happens.

1 mom found this helpful

To T. S, If the doctors have not found anything wrong with her hearing, I personally would not worry. My daughter did not start speaking until just after 18 months. She potty - trained right at 18 months! She is a nine-year-old intelligent, sweet, "old soul" today and excels in reading and spelling in school. Some children just do not have much to say until they can articulate in their way. good luck, Tra- SAHM in Plainfield, mother of 4

1 mom found this helpful

Every child is different, and because she has the sign language, she may put off talking since it doesn't seem necessary. The fact that she says "up" for "cup", I think, means everything is fine, and she'll start vocalizing words when she feels like it. My son still only had about five words he knew by the age of 20 months - "gog" (dog), "dight" (light), etc. You have lots of time to worry about her - don't start now! She's fine! :o)

I do think one of the hardest things about being a parent is the temptation to compare your children to others and worry if they're not at the same place as the rest. But everyone is not in the same place - every child is different, and in that way, your little girl is NO different. There's no manual for children, so just enjoy the ride!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.,
My daughter is 18 1/2 months old now and is talking up a storm. That being said - she was very much like your daughter at 14 months. She has only been saying mama for about 2 weeks now. The focus on learning words and talking has only been here for 3-4 weeks. I think your daughter is fine. Kids just do it in their own time. Two theories I heard that made a lot of sense to me may to you too. One I heard is that babies do not say "mama" as an identifier for you because she still thinks she IS you. This sounded weird to me at first, but when we asked my daughter who "dada" was, she pointed to her dad every time. However, when we asked her who "mama" was, she would point to me sometimes and to herself sometimes. Her name is Evelyn btw, so no sound confusion there. The other theory I heard from my pediatrician was about signing. I realize I am risking being viciously corrected by saying this one, but it's what my doctor told me and in my child's case I think it applied. My daughter signs as well and our dr. said she may not have spoken earlier because she didn't have to. She had other communication means by which to get her needs across. So there you have it. I think your daughter is a-ok and sounds adorable :-)
Best,
Mary Claire

1 mom found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.