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Vocabulary of a 1 Year Old???

I was just wondering how many words a 1 year old should have in there vocabulary? I have two girlfriends with boys around the same age and one of them had 15 to 20 words in spanish and english by the time he was one! And the other I still have only heard say da da, to everything! I have heard that boys are so busy doing things that they will sometimes put speaking on the back burner? My son is only 5 months now but i'm just wondering for future reference what I should be looking for?

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My son didn't say a word until he was 2. His first word was helicopter. Just because they aren't speaking doesn't mean they don't know what's going on.

1 mom found this helpful

It totally depends on the child. In general, I would say girls speak first but have less motor skills and boys are early movers and later speakers. My son didn't speak any words until 19 months. Then he took off like a rocket! He is now speaking in short sentences..he's 27 months old.

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Every child is different as well as boys are a little behind then girls. I use to run a daycare with 300 kids. Every child was different. Are you talking about a new 1 or a 1 1/2 etc... My daughter had probably 7 words around 14 months... but like I said every child is different. Her is what the state has for ECI for Early Childhood Intervention.

I'm 3 months old! I...
turn toward bright colors and lights
follow moving toys or faces with my eyes
recognize or know the bottle or breast
respond to loud or new sounds
reach for and grasp toys or hair
wiggle and kick my legs and arms
lift my head and shoulders up while on stomach
smile back at parents or other family members
make sounds, like gurgling, cooing or babbling

I'm 6 months old! I...
turn toward voices
reach for toys and pick them up
roll over front-to-back and back-to-front
play with my toes
help hold bottle during feedings, if bottle fed
know faces of family members
babble, squeal, and repeat vowel sounds, like ooh, -ae, -e
sit by leaning on my hand

I'm 9 months old! I...
copy sounds or gestures
reach for crumbs or other small things with my thumb and fingers
move toys from one hand to the other hand
I straighten my arms to support myself when I'm on my stomach
understand the word "No"

I'm 12 months old! I...
respond to my name
may be scared of strangers
look for an object if you hide it from me, even if I can't see it
crawl on my hands and knees
pull myself to a standing position
walk by holding onto furniture
can drink from a cup with your help
enjoy playing games, like peek-a-boo or patty cake
say 1 to 2 words

I'm 15 months old! I...
use gestures
like to look at pictures in a book
can hold a crayon in my fist
hand toys to you when you ask me
can point to pictures you name, if the things in the picture are familiar to me
walk alone without help

I'm 18 months old! I...
like to pull and push things
follow simple directions
pull off shoes and socks
feed myself sometimes
step off low objects and keep balance
turn 2 to 3 pages of a book at a time
can point to one body part
can name one object
like to copy your words or actions



2 moms found this helpful

My son didn't say a word until he was 2. His first word was helicopter. Just because they aren't speaking doesn't mean they don't know what's going on.

1 mom found this helpful

Your DS is so young. I would not get into comparing. As the previous poster mentioned, a new 1 would be VERY different from 1.5 or almost 2 yr old. And, kids develop differently although they are on the normal range. My pediatrician mentioned at 18 mon, they start to put two words together instead of just one word. My DS was a late walker (17 mon) but he could tell you the letters of the alphabet that he could pronounce. Right before age 2 he could say "The car has wheels." Right before age 3, he could read sight words. I would say he is less physically daring than other kids his age. That's fine for a mom, but I'm sure if my hubby was the SAHD, he would have encouraged more of the physical stuff.

I think every child is different. A friend of mine had his son reciting his ABCs by the time he was 18 months old. We are a bit more focused on play and exploration so our son who is now 21 months old is just starting to learn them. My son did not really say much more than mama, dada, dog, ball and a few others until just recently when he is spatting out several word phrases. So I think you just need to determine what your goals are for your son and let him develop from there.

It totally depends on the child. In general, I would say girls speak first but have less motor skills and boys are early movers and later speakers. My son didn't speak any words until 19 months. Then he took off like a rocket! He is now speaking in short sentences..he's 27 months old.

Vocabulary of a 1 year old makes little difference in the tale of life, as long as he is hiting those developemental milestones he is great! Don't start compareing now. Its a merry go 'round that you can never win but you can get off the ride.

Hi J.,
I did the same thing as you when my boys were younger… asked myself if they were developing at an average pace. The truth is, they are just all SO different.

My older son didn’t walk until he was 18 months old, everyone told be that he had “issues” and now he is in Private Kinder (because too young) and testing out at a 6.75 year level although he just turned 5. He spells 5 letter words and is staring to read.

My little guy walked at 10 months but didn’t talk until he was 2 1/2, and again everyone was concerned that he might be “different”. Now he is 3 ½ and his pre-school teacher is testing him at a pre-K level. He reads with his brother and counts to the 100s.

Forget about what everyone says is “Normal” and let everyday be magical for you and your family!

Good Luck!

Honestly, I think there is a wide range of acceptable. My son still had pretty much no words by age 2 and so he did go to speech therapy. The therapy helped, but I also think he was finally "ready" because he started talking in sentences.

My daughter is now almost 2 and she is also a late talker. She has just in the last month started talking. But, she is really talking up a STORM.

I think if they are not talking by 18 months, then you need to start having conversations with your pediatrician.

Good luck!

It depends a lot on how much you talk WITH them to exactly to him. Point and say Plane or tickle and say Belly, eat and say Food...you get it. All kids will talk in their own time no matter what you do anyway. My oldest was semi fast and our second was super fast (still is a talker, just loves to talk) but our third didn't talk much till he turned 2. I think our youngest didn't talk much because he had 2 older brothers doing it for him. ;) Don't worry.........there are too many other things for you to worry about, it will happen.

every child is different; so try not to compare. Although it is very hard. I do it with my two children :( My first seemed to have a broader vocab than my second. I asked my pedi about it at her 15 month well visit. She said that her vocab was very, very good for this age - she says 4 words - dog, ball, mama and daddy. I think my first by this age had a vocab of over 10 words; so I thought my second was behind. However, the pedi said the range of words is usually around 2-10 by age 15 months. Good luck!

It is true that most children do not progress in every developmental area evenly all the time. Very active boys sometimes don't speak as early. The thing I would watch more than the number of words he knows is how he responds receptively. Does he follow a one step command at one "sit down" "get the ball" or "point to the dog (in a picture)." A lack of receptive response is more informative of an issue that young than expressive language. For now, read to your lil' man, talk about what you are doing as you do it (dressing him "shirt goes on"), etc. Expose him to language and try not to compare with others...what a beating that can be for both of you.

All children are different. I've heard most first borns have a larger vocab earlier than siblings, but I've know the opposite to be true, too. I have two boys. My first could speak in short phrases at 1, but my second son is almost 2 and a half and is just now putting words together. They are both totally normal. Reading and talking to a child is the best way for them to learn new words.

I have three boys, my first had an extensive vocabulary at 12 months, he could name 15-20 different Dinosaurs and could talk in 3 word sentences, and he could have full conversations by 15 months, (people, strangers, used to stop me all the time and comment about his vocabulary) and my third didn't say a word till he was 2 (24 months) and it wasn't because the others talked for him, the others were older and pretty much didn't interact with him very much at all... it just depends on the kid, my third is now 4 and he talks up a storm now and has a tremendous vocabulary. At nine months we tried to teach our first son sign language, but he would just repeat the word and not do the sign, so we gave it up, with out third he learned a few basic signs and that was enough for us. the second, he had an above average vocab at 12 months but no where near the first.

maybe just a few words at 12 months- and they may not be recognizable. Expect a language explosion between 12 and 18 months. Suddly words should just pop up all over the place sometime in that time frame . Everything is pretty relative though- there is such a wide range of "normal".

I think what Erica has listed is a good reference. keep in mind too that "normal" is on a bell curve. Your child might meet a milestone earlier or much later than listed and this can still be considered "normal". I think it would be unusual for a 12 month old to have a spoken 15-20 word vocabulary. You'd most likely see this in a child closer to 2. Also, it's pretty much a generalization that boys talk later than girls. Some do and some don't. It's just hard to say. My guy was running at 10 months and didn't talk until about 2 1/2 yrs. His female cousin was the exact opposite. Both were considered normal by their peds so you can see how varied their development can be. Try not to get overly hung up on the milestones. They're good to have in mind, just keep in mind that they are an average numbers taken of a range.

i think officially the benchmark for 12 months is being able to say mama, daddy and one other word. two words together by two years, and three words together by three.

At one, I don't think they should have many words, if any! By 18 months they should have about 6 and by 2 about 50. However, don't stress about what your son is or isn't doing based on what other kids are doing. Every kid is different and grows and matures at different rates. Talk to your pediatrician if you're concerned about something...that's what they're there for!

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