14-Month-old Not Using Words

Updated on January 10, 2013
M.P. asks from Greenville, SC
14 answers

My baby is a babbler, it's embarassing some times how much she talks. But she's not using words. She doesn't say yes or no or mom or dad or ok or uh-oh or ANYTHING. The closest word she says is "hi" but even that is debatable. She understands what we say, can follow directions, and shakes her head yes or no when you ask her a question (usually no, lol). But no words. 3 or 4 months ago she would say da-e for daddy but even that has stopped. Should I be concerned?

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So What Happened?

Oh for heaven's sake, BB. When you are walking through the grocery store and your baby is babbling so loudly that people on the next aisle are giggling, then yes, SOME TIMES it can be a little embarrassing. I was trying to make it clear in my question that she is a very vocal baby, and not the "slient type." So sorry you find it disturbing.

(Well, just cause it's cute doesn't mean it's not embarrassing, lol. The grocery store thing I can handle, but she's babbled her way through 3 funerals, a PTA meeting, and a chorus concert. I was actually asked to leave the chorus concert because they were recording and didn't want any extra noise.)

According to my pediatrician, a vocabulary of 3-5 words is considered "normal" at 12 months. He wasn't concerned at her 1-year check-up and said we would re-evaluate at 15 months. I just wanted to know what other moms had been through.

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answers from Chicago on

Waaaaay too early to be worried about this.
Language should just be started to be a part of their comminication around 18 mos, ramp up in # words significantly around 2, and sentences start to come out between 2 and 3.

Every kid is different...that's just a skeleton of development.
But at 14mos...nothing to even think 2x about.
Neither of my kids even uttered their first words until 15-16mos.
Now I can't get them to shut up! :)

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

No. Do not be concerned. And don't be embarrassed either, yegads.

This is one strategy for language acquisition. Some babies "test drive" every word they hear; some take all the words in and wait until they've got some mastery before the words come pouring out of them. Please be aware, too, than what sounds like babbling to you is really skill building. She's practicing all the sounds in the English language before she puts them together into words.

Within the coming year, she'll start talking (in words), and she probably won't stop. And then you'll miss these days.

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answers from New York on

At 18 months my daughter still had a very limited vocabularly and the daycare teacher even commented on it but assured me it was not unheard of and her language skills were simply developing later but othre skills were strong. She assured me that she'd be fine by kindergarten and wouldn't have any significnat delay. My neice who is 3 months younger was talking in full sentence at the time - but didn't walk until she was nearly 2. My daughter had been walking at 7.5 months (the earliest walker my pediatrician had even seen).

She had a slight delay at school age and we had her evaluated. The delay was not significant enough to qualify for services though.

My daughter is now 16 and her language skills are fine. Language skills have never been her strong point - and still arent' but she's has great math and engineering skills. Interestingly enough, my neice who was an exceptionally early talker but late walker, has been recieving awards for her writing for a few years now (poetry, short stories, etc.) but struggles with math. so it seems their skills and aptitudes show up early in life!

Maybe your daughter will be an exceptional architect or scientist! But I promise, there will be a day when she's asking you a thousand "why" questions or boring you to death about the newest "boy band" fan information that you'll look back to these days and smile.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Babbling is the first step to using words. We speak our languages fluently, however, I've seen very few children using more than one or two words at 14 months. The mouth and tongue have a hard task of learning how to form all of those sounds, then to understand the word AND then the brain has to develop the connections which allow the word to go from being thought to being spoken. LOTS of learning!

It's very typical to see a child whose language is just emerging at around 20 months/2 years. Don't sweat it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

No need to be at all concerned.
Babbling is cute when out shopping, at the park, etc. When you are places where silence or whispering is expected (funerals, church, PTA meetings, and concerts), it doesn't matter if it is babbling or actual words....quiet is expected. In those instances, your daughter should be left with someone else while you attend or should be removed from as soon as she begins to make any form of noise, regarless of whether those are words or babbles.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

No, you shouldn't be concerned. If she's not talking at 2, then you can start to be a little concerned.

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answers from New York on

No need to worry. She is only 14 months. My daughter had a few words at 10 months. When you was learning to walk that went out the window n she turned out to be a late talker. Ped said hard to learn to walk and realm at the same time lol. When she did start to talk it was, may I please have a sandwich! No baby talk just full blown sentences.

My granddaughter who is 7 months is quite the babbler too. OMG you can hear her all over a store! People chuckle. She is just a happy little girl who screeches and babbles in pure delight.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I am a litle disturbed by your post. You are embarrassed by your baby babbling?? I think you need to read about what is normal and not for each age. At 14 months they might have 1 or 2 words. At 18 months they might have 5-10 words.

Yup, still disturbed. Babbling is cute no matter how loud! Your pediatrician has made you worried for no reason.

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answers from Chicago on

at 14 months the most words any of my kids had was mama dada and noooooooooooo. I wouldn't worry yet. read to her or if she won't sit for tht then just look at pictures in board books that you can say things like where is the "X" and what is "X"



answers from Spartanburg on

I would have her checked. Probably everything is fine but if there is a problem the sooner you catch it the better. The only thing that concerns me is that you said she has stopped using a word she was previously using.



answers from Atlanta on

My son was not speaking at 14 months, either. The doctor said she would have him checked if he still wasn't speaking at 18 months, and he wasn't, so they did. They checked his hearing - perfect. They checked his comprehension, and said he had the comprehension of a much older child. They said he would need to have 50 words by the time he was 2, or they would start therapy.

He said his first word at 20 months. By the time he was 2, he had 60 words, and he hasn't stopped talking since!

It's a little bit early to be worried. She's not even considered a delayed or late talker yet.



answers from Dallas on

As long as she is still interacting I don't see it as a problem. Do you read to her? That might jump start her vocabulary. But really, babies are all different. Consult your ped. And buy a parenting book.



answers from Chicago on

Sometimes it really helps to "give them" words, so spend all day "giving her" words. So let's say she points to the cup, say "cup? Do you want the cup?" Then give it to her. If she cries out to get your attention, say " no crying, say, "momma."

Sounds normal to me, but you can "give her words," so all day long "give her words."


answers from Boise on

I'll keep this short and simple. The average child does not talk until 2 years old, some kids might have a few words before that and other kids none. That is perfectly normal. I really wish the 'guidelines' would be a little more realistic in it's expectations. So many parents needlessly worry about this when there really is no reason to.

My son did have a severe speech delay, my oldest, he was 4-5 before he could talk. The other 5 spoke right after their 2nd birthdays and the next 2 were speaking around-15-18 months, they however are not the 'norm'.

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