20 answers

My 15-Month Old Isn't Talking Much

Hi. Our 15-month old doesn't seem to be talking much and I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on things I can do with him to encourage talking. He does a lot of babbling and does make animal sounds. He also says "bye-bye," "night-night," "boo," and "no no" but he has yet to really say "mama" or "dada" and doesn't use words for objects like ball, cat, dog, etc. Our 3-year-old was quick to talk and had close to 40 words already at this age. I know all kids progress at their own pace, I just want some activities to do to encourage him to talk. Any ideas?

I should have also mentioned that we have done some signing with both our kids and our 15-month-old does sign "more" as he says it.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi there! My son is almost 15 months, and isn't saying one word!!! Not even animal noises! A friend told me that that means he is content. I like to believe that. :o)
I am due in March......if you need a pal to gripe at everyday about swollen feet and being tired, feel free to chat with me privately. I'd love it.

The best idea I was shown, (my son didn't even say mama till age 3) was baby sign language. Kids are really quick to learn it, and everytime you sign a word (please, drink, eat) then say the word along with it. This taught my son to speak. And congratulations on the pregnancy!

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Hi, I am the mom of eight and foster mom to over thirty-five children. Yes all kids learn at their own speed and your son does not sound as though he is behind. To answer your question of what can help. The best encourager for language developement I have found is using sign language along with the spoken word. I have had foster children who were three and four years old who were almost non-verbal and not expected to talk by the medical community, but with signing and speaking to them at the same time, it seems to trigger something in them and language came. Not only is it great for helping develope language skills it is also wonderful for here and now communication. Simple signs as water, milk, no, eat, happy, etc can end many frustrating guessing games between mom and child. Look at your library for books and videos. One I recommend is called Signing Time, developed by a mother of a deaf child. Don't be intimidated by the idea of learning sign. Remember you will be learning toddler words right along with your son. I have said enough, except congratulations on your upcoming new son. We had four boys under three years old and it was fun. Don't let any comments about being crazy or asking how you do it scare you. Each little one is a blessing, keep counting. J.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E.,
While other kids my sons age (18 mo at the time) were speaking clearly, my son hardly ever spoke and when he did, he babbled, He was a quiet baby, however, when he turned 2 (and maybe a couple months), it was like someone turned on a clear-talking switch, he spoke full sentences, like a little adult and never baby-talk, I read somewhere that some kids just observe words and sentences, practice them in their head, then, when there comfortable, start talking. I did, however, worry and follow the instructions of talking about everything I was doing, at grocery stores I'd talk to him like I was shopping for a blind person, "Do we need Catsup? Lets see what kinds there are, Hinds, Hunts, etc" I did that with everything all day, I guess it worked, he's 11 yrs old and still won't stop talking (lol). Good luck

My Son is 27 months now and is just now starting to speak more clearly and repeat everything we say. I worried for months and months if there was something wrong with my son cause I was comparing him to others his age.
I'm telling you right now that I would not worry at all if he is already saying a few words... it took my boy almost 2 yrs to say moma... now I can't get him to be quiet.... and it's only been a few months. Boys are almost always behind when it comes to speaking... you're oldest was most likely more outspoken because of the personality that comes with being a first born... your 15 month old may not feel like he "needs" to speak if his brother is doing all the work for him... or if he's accomplishing tasks or getting what he wants without needing to speak. Challenge him to ask for things... sign language for simple words (more, thank you, please, ect.) works well - but make sure he trys to say the word with the sign.
The best thing I found was to purchase multiple picture books for "First Words" & "Colors" and ask him "What's that?". Give tons of praise when he does use words... trust me you have nothing to worry about at this point... I bet he's a active little guy... most boys that are really active are a little slower on the vocal side.
Both of your boys will be completly different... no two children are the same... and especially no THREE children are the same... I suggest you read a really cool book that I recently found by Dr. Leman called THE BIRTH ORDER BOOK.
If you are really concerned by 2 yrs of age then consult your Doc.... my guess is that he's just fine.
Good luck with your boys x3!

My daughter is also 15 months and not talking much either. She only says, 'mama' 'dada' and 'uh-oh'. She is starting on other sounds now too. I just sing to her, read books to her, and talk to her when she talks. It seems to work because of the other sounds she is starting to make now. I hope everything works out for you.

Sounds like he's right on track to me. Neither of my kids started talking much until they were at least 18-months. Then they just took off learning words right and left! My advice is to talk to him as much as you can and to always label things. When you talk about a cat, point to it (or a picture) and say things like, "That's a cat. The cat has soft fur. Can you say 'cat'?" Just repeating the word will teach him the word, even if he doesn't say it...yet! And I've heard a lot of kids who aren't the "first" speak later because the older sibling tends to "talk" for them.

I don't think you need to worry at all.

Hello I have two girls one is almost 2 yrs old and my lil one is almost 2 months old

best thing I can tell you is be patient with your child and Spend time with him and Give him books to look at and teach him some works and Just keep teaching him to say Mommy and daddy . just gotta give it time sometime some babys can be slow at mind. My oldest daughter she only says Mommy and few other words its cute though. shes doing pretty good its taking her time to learn words. It take time .........
im pretty sure we all wish they know everything as word wise.
but it dont happen that quick but when ur kid start school thats when it get alot better cause they will get more Exp in school to know words and every other subjects.
ok well good luck and be patient with him alright

No worries, it is very common for the second child, especially when close in age, to talk later. The younger sibling doesn't have to try as hard to communicate because the older sibling somehow always knows what it is the younger wants or is trying to say, so the older does most of the talking. I have a few close friends who are going through the same thing right now. One of the children was 5 before he really started talking "good" it took going to school and having to communicate with other kids and not having big brother around to help all the time. This is perfectly normal and I wouldn't worry about it unless the child goes to school or daycare and doesn't improve.

Well my son had the same problem. We discovered he has a form of autism. Not saying your son does but I would suggest seeing a pediatrician who has some knowledge on the topic. It is very common anymore. Sadly. Here in omaha there is an autism association that could help you. My son got looked at by the school system actually. We live in the la vista/papillion area.

My youngest didn't talk much until he was 2 and then used sentences. I would just keep doing what you're doing and make sure you have lots of educational toys. He will talk when he is ready. If he still isn't talking by 2-1/2, I would ask his pediatrician.

This should make you feel better:

My 27 month old REFUSES to talk much! Don't get me wrong, she communicates pretty well. We use some sign but mostly sounds. She pants like a dog for "dog", meow's like a cat for "cat", 'bee' is used for all bugs/insects, we have a sound for potty and have few accidents. She calls herself Nanna and does alot of pointing and signing. The doctor said the most important thing is developing communication.

She is a smart little girl and understands very well! We like our kids to acknowledge us when we talk to them, she says "Ma'am mom" for yes ma'am and will throw in a "No Ma'am" when she doesn't want something.

I've even tried using bribing. If she would just say 'bunny' she can get one.

Good luck! I'm sure he's ok, keep showing him love and keep notes so you can blackmail him later *wink*.


your lil one will start talking when he is ready 15 months is still early dont worry soon you wont be able to get him to hush up! lol kat

Hi there! My son is almost 15 months, and isn't saying one word!!! Not even animal noises! A friend told me that that means he is content. I like to believe that. :o)
I am due in March......if you need a pal to gripe at everyday about swollen feet and being tired, feel free to chat with me privately. I'd love it.

The best idea I was shown, (my son didn't even say mama till age 3) was baby sign language. Kids are really quick to learn it, and everytime you sign a word (please, drink, eat) then say the word along with it. This taught my son to speak. And congratulations on the pregnancy!

Hi E.,
I didn't talk much when I was young either. My mother actually took me into the Dr. and thought I was deaf. Rather embarrassing for my mother when she learned I wasn't talking because I had an older brother {5 yrs older than me} that got everything I ever wanted for me. He would figure out what I was pointing at and would get it and bring it to me. They use to call him mother Johnny because he was sooo attentive to me. When they instructed him to get NOTHING for me unless I used my words they learned I could talk in complete sentences. My youngest daughter just turned 4 and I get complimented often on how well she talks and I believe it has to do with her older siblings age difference. The youngest of the older kids is 13 yrs old. I wouldn't take to much concern about it, maybe just encourage the use of words more or at least an attempt before giving him what it is he wants. Encouragement is a fabulous thing, worked well with my little girl. Good luck

We have almost the exact same age kids and my third boy will e here feb. That is so funny, anyway, my youngest really started talking more when we would do funny little songs together and little rhymes with hand actions. That seemed to work really well for him. They say that boys talk alot later then girls so don't get frustrated, I am sure there are tons of other kids that are the same way.

My children are the same. My older child said over 50 words before she was even 18 months. But my now 15 month old says about 10 words. My pediatrician said at 18 months 15 words is average. So I don't think you need to worry. Remember how much more time you had when you only had one child? Now that you have two, your time is divided up. I think this is why our first children learned more quickly.

I have found that my children love it when I play with colorful flashcards. (very cheap at grocery store or target). I tell them what the picture on the flashcard is and repeat it over and over. They think its fun to shuffle through the cards. This is helping them to learn new words and sounds. Good luck. You're child is perfectly average!

not all children show a broad vocabulary. Don't sweat it! 15 month is young. I have a 29 month old girl who hardly speaks, definetly not even two word sentences yet. My son who is 4 was talking in sentences by 22months. I did sign language with both and the communication works well. If you are really concerned about his speech you could have your doctor test his hearing to make sure that is fine and if so you could get him tested for free with Early development services coordination here in lincoln. I am actually thinking about doing that for my daughter if I don't see improvement soon. Its free and if they find a developmental issue they actually come to your house to work with the child. Their phone number is ###-###-####. It's here in Lincoln!

I had the opposite experience from most of the replies you got in that my first son spoke little and late, and my second son was using complete sentences at around 14 months. (Of course, they're both avid talkers now, and astonish people with their large vocabularies. Especially my younger one, who--at age three--cracks people up by using words like "actually," "certainly," and "freaking me out.") So everbody is different. I kind of like my situation because I had to wait so long to communicate the first time and got a nice treat when I didn't have to wait as long the second time. Of course, my jabbering younger son didn't walk much until he was 2.

But I think part of my older son's "problem" was that he was at home with me all day and I understood everything he "meant" even if he didn't say it. When he finally started to go to daycare, his vocabulary and language skills picked up really fast. He wanted to be able to talk to everyone there, especially the older kids. Older siblings will do their best to understand a non-verbal toddler, but the new--and really cool--older dudes (FIVE years old!) he'll meet outside won't pay any attention to baby talk. And boy, do they want that attention.

Hey E.! I wouldn't worry. Our son, Zach, didn't talk until he was almost 2. He didn't have to! He had older siblings who loved to "help" and so he never wanted for anything. He has since been labeled as Talented and Gifted. dr. said he was smart enough to let others do all the "work" for him. His first "word" was, "Momma, look at that cow!" Barring any hearing problems, he'll talk when he's ready. Just make sure you speak clearly to him and always pause to give him a chance to answer.

we have a very active 18m old as well. he has one word 'kitty cat'. it is his only word, and he uses it for everything! he knows what other things are and will look when we say 'where's the dog?' and such. but 'kitty cat' is his word of choice.

if your son babbles and has good pseudo-words and uses of his mouth, i wouldn't worry too much.

this is our first, and he uses sign language quite well. my nephew (a couple months older) is the opposite. he uses tons of words and loves to talk. my sister thinks our Z might be delayed, but i don't worry.

i was a late talker too, so i don't necessarily think it's time to worry. but if it makes you feel better, by all means, see a dr to make sure that he's on track with other things.

i wish you the best and hope that he's just an active boy who has no time to talk right now (:

congrats on your pregnancy as well


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