Getting My Daughter to Talk

Updated on March 22, 2008
A.G. asks from Tacoma, WA
74 answers

Hi, my daughter is one year old and i cant get her to talk. Some times i can get her to say mama or dada. Are there any ideas on what i can do. Im a stay at home mom so my daughter doesnt get much contact with other kids her age. is it normal for her not to talk. she is walking and doing all the other stuff that a one year old does just not talk

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K.W.

answers from Terre Haute on

I had the same issues when my daughter was 1,she is now 2 1/2 and talks non stop! Keep trying and teaching her, she will talk, just give her time!

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A.C.

answers from Portland on

My daughter didn't really say too much until she was about 15 months old, just the few basics. Then, she suddenly started talking non-stop and hasn't stopped since. She will be 3 at the end of this month and her vocabulary is amazing. I have learned that it helps greatly to talk to them like you would an adult, and we read stories a lot. I think that talking is something that comes differently for every child.

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D.D.

answers from Seattle on

Children can take up to 2.5 years to talk. Usually children say words by 1 year, but rarely "talk".

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C.D.

answers from Seattle on

C. D.

I'm a preschool owner/teacher of 15 years. Have you had your daughter's hearing checked? We have found that if a child's hearing is slightly impaired it can cause a delay in speech.

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H.L.

answers from Yakima on

Your daughter may just be so busy learning other things that she doesn't have time to talk right now. Something worth looking into is "Baby Signs" otherwise known as baby sign language. I did this with my son. I was skeptical at first, but once he started learing it was amazing. It actually encouraged him to speak because he learned how to communicate which opened the door to verbal communication. I will never forget the first time he talked in baby sign language. We were at the park and a little brown bird flew past us and he frantically did the sign for bird. It opens a wonderful door to communication with your child prior to them learning to speak verbally. Also you need to encourage as much babble as possible. Baby babble is what baby's use to learn how to make vowell sounds and really all the sounds that they need to be able to later form words. Look up a baby sign language book at the library- it is really helpful.

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K.M.

answers from Seattle on

Hi A.,
I don't have any advice for you, but I have a 13 month old that doesn't talk either. I have an older daughter who talks all the time and the 13month old is around kids quite a bit....still, no "real" talking. My first daughter talked non stop by this age. So, it could just be her nature. We have stared naming everything for her, reading to her, and talking to her more....I am hoping she is just going to bust out with a bunch or words all at once. I am hopeful. I don't think you should be too concerned yet. My doctor said my daughter should have tree words by 15months.

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M.P.

answers from Seattle on

When my now 10 year old daughter was about a year I had the same concerns, I thought there was something wrong with her. My mom explained to me that all kids are different and pretty much talk when they are ready. My oldest daughter spoke early so I was very concerned. She finally spoke at about 15 or 16 months. It was almost like she was just observing all of the things going on around her. It was very frustrating for us. We never used "baby talk" with our kids and I think this improved their overall vocabulary as they developed. My daughter has been in the "hi-cap" program (gifted classes) since the 2nd grade and has a huge vocabulary and oddly enough she has always used the "big" words properly. Just give it time and keep talking to her. If you think she wants her cup/bottle....ask her, "do you want your cup/bottle?" Then answer for her, "Yes, you want your cup/bottle." Things like that help alot. She could just be stubborn (like my daughter) and know that she really doesn't have to talk to get what she wants. Let me know if I was any help.

M.

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B.A.

answers from Seattle on

My older daughter didn't start talking regularly until she was about 19 or 20 months old. She had a few words at one year - like doggy, mama, papa, and duck; but she didn't use them on any sort of regular basis. When she was 20 months old, her baby sister was born and all of a sudden she started learning words like crazy. Now, at 28 months, it's hard to get her to STOP talking! She uses simple sentences and has an amazing vocabulary now :)

So I wouldn't worry about it. My daughters' pediatrician said that a child should have at least 50 vocabulary words by age two and my daughter had about 80 at two so not talking at one year wasn't an issue at all for her.

Best wishes!
~B.

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D.S.

answers from Portland on

my son is 2 and still doesn't talk very much I talked to the dr about it and she said that kids start talking and diffrent ages I wouldn't worry about it to much now. My son knows many words but won't use them. It will come with time.

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K.B.

answers from Seattle on

Hi A.,

Don't worry. All children develop at their own speed. Just keep talking with her, reading with her and describing activities and things when you play together. My niece didn't speak more than a few words until she was 3 years old, and then she began to speak in complete sentences! Her parents were also worried about her development at the time. She is now 20 years old and is getting straight A's in college.

You also may want to have her hearing checked just to rule that out.

Best wishes to you ......K.

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M.S.

answers from Portland on

First, be sure that her hearing is fine. When you call her, does she respond? If her hearing is fine, then this is just her pace. All children develops different skills at different times. My son only said mama and dada on his first birthday, but added many other words between then and 18 months. It is not important how many words she can say at this age, but is important that she can understand how to ask for things she wants. Does she point and grunt, or do anything to indicate that she wants something?

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J.W.

answers from Seattle on

Have you discussed this with your pediatrician? Has your daughter been on track for her other developmental milestones? Has she had ear infections? Have her hearing tested. Children can only imitate what they hear, and if their hearing has been compromised with ear infections, things are delayed. If there is a problem there is help out there that is extremely affordable and effective. Kids Speak previously known as Scottish Rite Center for Childhood Language Disorders on Capitol Hill in Seattle worked wonders for my son and family. My son didn't talk until he was 3 yrs old, and it happened with the speech therapy provided to him and us, starting at 18 mo. of age. We realized there was a delay at 12-15 months. He was diagnosed as being dyspraxic on top of having had ear infections. We were initially sent to Childrens, who recommended speech therapy 2xweek. Scottish Rite (as they were called then) was recommended by a co-worker and it was a God-send. (We had a 3 yr old daughter as well.) By the time he was 3 1/2 you would have thought he was injected with a phonograph needle. He is a very articulate 19 yr old young man. First you needed to know if there's a problem. I wish you well. Language/communication is so important. I've read the multiple posts where many folks say 'Don't worry, it will come', but if you're concerned, talk with your doc. Many physicians in the area aren't aware of Kids Speak. It's a great place with awesome therapists and generous benefactors that provide for all of us.

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J.W.

answers from Seattle on

Mom here with 4 grown kids....little ones like to be read to except they really like to look at the pictures in the books. Often times I would make up my own stories but point out the cute animals and say things like "bird", "dog", "bear" etc. Attention span might not always be great, but it keeps them captivated for short periods. She will talk when she feels like it, so don't worry. My daughter's first word was "bird" -
Take care....J.

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L.T.

answers from Bellingham on

Hi A.. Even my 'earliest talker' (who was quite verbal by 16 months) was only saying a handful of words at one. Another daughter didn't have much to say until two and my youngest didn't really get talking until age three. They were all raised the same, they just had different rates of development. There is such a wide range of normal! At this point, I would suggest you try not to worry - just talk, read and sing to her a lot during the day and she'll be exposed to lots of language.

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L.M.

answers from Richland on

Hi A.. I am also a first time mom and my daughter is 16 months old. First of all, stop worrying! Every child does things at such different times it is amazing they can even have books to tell you when they "should" be doing something! My daughter did a lot of things early and so I thought she would be talking early too. However, she said a few words early and then stopped. Now she has only a handful of words that she will use. Also we have used sign language with our daughter since she was 6 months old and she can communicate very well. Sometimes I think that the signs just make more sense to their brains and she has picked this up very well. Just remember when doing sign language to use spoken word too so they will learn both ways of communicating. Good Luck!

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B.W.

answers from Seattle on

Alisa,

Here are a couple of links to articles about talking. If your daughter is right at 12 months, you probably shouldn't worry about her not talking as long as she's maintaining eye contact, babbling and can hear. With talking, like walking, there's a pretty wide range for what's considered "normal."

Developmental milestone -- Talking:
http://www.babycenter.com/0_developmental-milestone-talki...

When to be concerned:
http://www.babycenter.com/0_developmental-milestone-talki...

My first son babbled a lot around a year but I couldn't make out any words until around 15 months. By 18 months he was speaking clearly, in complete sentences and everyone could understand him. Looking back, I think maybe he was talking earlier than I thought, but I couldn't understand him.

It's not too late to introduce sign language to your daughter if you think that might help things. I signed with my first son and he knew about 90 signs. So between his signs and his words he could communicate just about anything he needed to. As a result, he never went through the frustration some kids do when they can't communicate. Good luck!

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A.C.

answers from Eugene on

At a year old I really wouldnt worry about it yet. She's a lil young to be talking. She may say mamma and dadda and maybe a few other skills, but talking doesnt really start until about 18 months or 2 years.

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A.W.

answers from Anchorage on

will take time but sesame street and such being on and her hearing kids say stuff may help..

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E.A.

answers from Seattle on

Hi A.,
Everything your precious daughter does is by her own schedule. She's just a year old, she says mama and dada, so you know she doesn't have a hearing problem. You mentioned that you are a Army wife. Do you live on-post? Try the enlisted wives club, your husband's company will have a family support group, or push your daughter down to the playground. Your greatest source of strength will come from being with other moms and children. You'll see children in all different stages of growth and talk with moms who are going thru or have been where you are. Parenting can be a tough job, try not to make it any harder than it has to be by trying to make your daughter perform when she's not ready. Trust me, my daughter is 23 and I can remember plenty of times when I said, look what my daugher can do, and she didn't do it! You are going to be great. E.

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K.W.

answers from Seattle on

Hi, A.!
My baby girl just turned 1, also. She just says a few things, da-da, mama, pup,and Bob (we all wonder who Bob is, anyway). Maybe your baby is just focusing on her walking and moving? My baby didn't crawl or anything until 11months, and lots of people said she was focusing more on language- that she would move when she was ready. They're just learning so much at once- I think it makes sense they try new things- talking, crawling, walking, etc. one at a time. I think the most important thing is that you talk to your baby lots and lots- about everything, and sing to her, and do nursery rhymes and read to her. I'm trying to do these things all the time and I think my little one is listening and soaking it all up- and hopefully she'll join in more, soon!
I don't know- those are just my thoughts. I think babies all do things in their own time. You can certainly talk to your pediatrician for a professional's perspective, too.
I hope this helped.
K.

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C.P.

answers from Seattle on

I wouldn't worry too much at 1 year. By 15 months, my first had 5 words. To say the doctor was concerned would overstate it, but she did hope he had 15 words by 18 months. And he did. My second talks up a storm, way earlier than his big brother. They are all different. Work with your pediatrician. They can tell you when to worry and when to seek out speech therapy. But 12 months is way too young to worry.

But, keep reading to her everyday, singing, and talking to her all the time. Describe everything that is going on and what you are doing and seeing. She needs to hear language often to learn it. And it is proven that tv does not teach language. I don't know if you use tv much, but it hurts WAY more than it helps at this age.

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M.M.

answers from Portland on

There have been a lot of great suggestions so far to help with getting your daughter socialized to help with the talking. I was wondering how close to 1 year your daughter actually is? If she's just a little over a year, then it is actually pretty early for her to be talking anyhow. Every child is different, but I'm sure your pediatrician will tell you what is normal if you ask. If I were you, I wouldn't be too concerned with where she is now, I would implement (or continue) some of the things that were suggested by the other posters.

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S.H.

answers from Seattle on

Wow, there's a lot going on developmentally between 12 and 24 months. How many MONTHS old is your daughter? Some children just don't talk until later. She may decide one day to start talking and she may just not really be old enough developmentally to articulate anything. Have you had her hearing checked? My son (the last of 4 children) is 13 months old and is making noises, but doesn't talk. We use some sign language with him and he can sign please and finished/all gone.

My daughter didn't speak even a little until she was almost 2. She is DD (developmentally delayed) and had been in speach therapy from about 18 months to just 2.5 years ago (she is now 11). It wasn't that much of a defecit after she got into school, only about a year delayed, but when she was a toddler, a year was a big difference.

Another thing to remember is that children will naturally develop at the rate that is right for them. I had a friend once whos son didn't speak at all... not even an utterance... until one day, he just opened up and spoke full, complete sentaces. She said it was like he was just studying them and then decided it was time to talk. It just depends on the kid.

If you are still concerned, talk to your doctor. Otherwise, just relax, sing songs with her and play letter and number games with her... pretend with her. She will most likely talk within a few months.

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N.K.

answers from Spokane on

Hello,

I am not a doctor, but I wouldn't worry about it. If she can hear fine, then really don't worry about it. My son didn't talk until after his second birthday. He is really easy-going and just didn't seem to have much to say. He was super quiet at one too. Now he is almost three, and he never stops chattering. So, just enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts. Also, thank you for your family's sacrifce for our country. N. K.

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A.E.

answers from Portland on

I pretty much agree about her if she just turned one. However, as the mother of an autistic boy who, at around one year, was starting out with the usual mama dada and then abruptly stopped, I would strongly urge you to pay close attention to this. A lot of autistic children, on all aspects of the spectrum, will start out fine with the development of talking and then stop. Also, just because a child reaches all of the other milestones on time doesn't mean you don't need to worry. My son was perfect in all other areas, but didn't start talking again until he was 4. I don't want to scare you or anything. I just think it is important to be proactive, especially with this disorder on the rise. Keep your pediatrician in the loop about your concerns and follow his/her advice.

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B.L.

answers from Jacksonville on

You have nothing to worry about yet. Just talk to her (no baby talk). If in another year she's not talking, then it's time to have her checked out, but she's still very young. Reading very simple, age-appropriate books is a way to teach her shapes and colors and animals. Don't put any pressure on her.

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D.C.

answers from Portland on

Hi, I have twin boys that just turned two. The hardly talk at all. It just a bunch of jibber, and they really don't talk much to each other so I don't believe its a twin thing. Anyway, I just put my boys in daycare 2 days a week, because As a SAHM too, I felt that they needed the interaction with other kids and people. They have only been going to daycare for 1 1/2 months and I can't believe the things that they have picked up just from being there. So my advice to you is, of course make sure there is nothing medically wrong with her and then if possible put her in daycare 1 or 2 times a week and try and get into play group. I am not much on play groups but it may be worth a try. Otherwise don't worry, it will happen. Good Luck

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R.S.

answers from Seattle on

My son doesn't talk as much as some other kids his age (18 months), but his dr. said that all children develope at different levels. That in the first year if they say one to two words (momma dadda) that's all that is expected. I would talk with your dr. if you are conserned.
I try to talk to him as much as possible, read to him, and teach him new words weather its speach or sign. My only says momma, dadda, hi, owie, oh but he can sign fish, more, milk, please, thank you, all done, and we are working on eat and drink.
Good luck!

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D.D.

answers from Spokane on

Along with getting her involved in "play dates" may be helpful. Interaction with other kids as well as moms, may be good for both of you. For at home though, I would look into purchasing a learning toy that speaks to her about colors, numbers, words and songs,(music). It is never too early for learning. What ever you do, just make it fun! :)

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H.S.

answers from Seattle on

My niece didn't say anything AT ALL until she turned two. Her older sister had been using complete sentences at 18 months. So it all varies a lot between children. My own daughter is two now, and she knew a handful of words or animal sounds at age 1, (like 5!) and by 18 months she had branched out some, but still wasn't a great talker. Then it just hit like an explosion, and now she talks like she's been doing it forever. Just be patient. There really is nothing you can do, though letting her be around other children that talk may help. My little brother didn't say anything until he was three and then just started using complete sentences, and now he's the smartest person I know, just got scholarships to every dental school in the nation, so don't worry about the lack of vocabulary at this young age.
Also you may want to try using baby sign language, since one year olds can understand a lot more then they can communicate verbally. My daughter would use the sign for "more" "down" "eat" and only a few others (we didn't do it too much) but it helped A LOT.

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M.R.

answers from Portland on

If you can get out. Go to the park or find a play park at a community center or church. Take a parent/child swimming class. I have a five year daughter. You will notice kids do things they see and hear. For instance I am very out going. I say hello, ecuse me, etc... to a lot of people. I introduce myself to other moms at the park. For instance one day when she was young she blurts out to some passers by, "your dog is pretty." I realized she was immitating me. I do those things. Whether or not you are comfortable speaking to strangers. You can be selective in whom and when you choose to be social. I believe politeness to others gives good carma, but always teach stranger dangers. Take your daughter to community center classes made just for toddlers. It can make your heart giggle and give her some socialization skills for the future. Not all children speak early. Just keep reading and talking to her constantly. She will get it.

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E.K.

answers from Flagstaff on

Kids go at their own rate. My daughter is almost 14 months and doesn't say many coherent words, but we have been using sign language with her for a while, so she signs what she can't yet say. I have a friend who's son is the same age as my daughter and he says some more complicated words. I assume that she can hear you just fine. As long as that's ok, give it a little time. Many one year olds don't talk yet. If you need her to communicate with you more, or find she gets frustrated or fussy because she can't tell you what she wants, I highly recommend teaching her sign language. It's a Godsend! :)

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R.W.

answers from Anchorage on

Have you thought about taking her to a speech therapist? They might give you ideas about what you can do to encourage her to talk. The best of luck to you and yours,
R. W. in Alaska

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J.M.

answers from Portland on

The only thing I can think of is to talk to her a lot. Then she will learn more words and start talking more. My one year old doesn't talk very much and he has 5 siblings around him all day. He points at things though wanting to know what everything is.

J.

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R.S.

answers from Portland on

She is ONE. One year-olds don't talk! They babble. If she says Mama and Dada every once and a while, she is totally normal.

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N.W.

answers from Eugene on

Is she just recently turned one? One of my girls was completely silent (didn't even say mama or dada) until a year and a half. Also a friend of mine has two children that did not speak until they were three. Her six year old is in Kindergarten and as normal as any other child. Her son is three and a half and is now speaking some. Kids progress at different rates. If you have concerns you can ask your child's doctor but at a year I don't think I would worry too much yet.

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M.J.

answers from Portland on

My first born had a handful of words and then slowly quit using them. Everything else was normal about her too. I think you should get her into a playgroup or something with children her age. I regret not getting my first born into something more regular. She had speech therapy for 2 years. The therapy was free through the public school system. She could talk, but had trouble saying certain words. We didn't notice until at 2 she couldn't say mama. It was her "M's", and "L's". The therapy is good, it seems useless at the time but it helps. Don't freak out, but check things out. By the way, my second baby talks up a storm.

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L.P.

answers from Portland on

My son didn't talk until he was nearly 18 months old, and now, at 2 1/2 he talks a ton! I would recommend teaching your daughter sign language. It's way easier for young children to communicate with sign before their vocal cords devleop and they can actually communicate with words. You will get to see how smart she is, it will reduce frustrations and tanturms because she can sign what she wants and it gives her second language skills. We all learned sign language at our house through a program called "Singing Time". It's a fun, interactive and easy to watch video series. They run episdodes on PBS, or you can check out copies from the library. You can also purchase your own copies at www.signingtime.com By the time he started talking my son signed over 130 words and he knew the meaning of dozens more.

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S.H.

answers from Anchorage on

Well, I do not have much advice but I do know that a friends little girl did not talk until she was nearly 2 but then started up with full sentances. I think kids have their own timeline. I have a 20 month old and I think he didn't start really talking much till over 1 year and when he did it was like he learned 5 words a day! If everything else seems good I would try not to worry too much! Have you looked at the Dr. Sears website? http://www.askdrsears.com/faq/az34.asp
I have found a lot of good info there!

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L.S.

answers from Seattle on

it would be helpful to find a place where she can play with other kids for a little while each week.

If you are truely worried... ask your pediatrician for a referral for a speech evaluation. (Quite frankly, it will take a while unless you are with Group Health.)

Contact early intervention for an informal evaluation which is completely free. They will arrange a speech rpeschool etcif needed and therapy for FREE! Call

Who do I contact if I have concerns about my baby's development?

Child Reach, South Tacoma Business Park
###-###-####

1-800-562-0336

Athena Elrod, Lead Family Resources Coordinator, PCHS
[email protected]____.com
###-###-####

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R.L.

answers from Spokane on

Just make sure you continue to talk with her. Tell her what everything is, point to it and say it 3-5 times. This will help with memory. Also, there is a silent stage when children are learning a language and she could just be processing everything. Not many one year olds talk very much so I wouldn't worry. However, it would be good to go to things like story time at your local library (it is free) look into things like Gymboree or Kindermusic (they are kind of expensive, about $50 a month), or if you go to a church see if anyone does a play group. It is good for children to see other children and what they do. The example will really help. I hope this helps! Good luck:)

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A.Z.

answers from Seattle on

I don't know if this will help but my daughter didn't talk tell she was almost 2 and the doctor said that it was ok

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K.C.

answers from Portland on

I am coming at this from a different angle and I would ask you if you have had her hearing tested. My middle daughter was diagnosed at 21 months of age with a bilateral hearing loss that she had had from birth. She could hear me (what I didn't know was that she was missing out on a LOT of other noise and voices) but she didn't talk at all other than "ami" and "mama". She ended up having otitis media with effusion, in other words her ear drums were full of fluid and even with PE tubes though she gained some hearing she didn't gain enough. She saw the doctor regularly for well baby checkups and this was never caught. I hope your little one just needs some more kid on kid interaction but please, if you haven't take her in to have her hearing tested by a pediatric audiologist.

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B.G.

answers from Portland on

My mother takes care of a 2 1/2 year old, and he just started really talking this fall. I would absolutely NOT worry. I'd try and read to your baby, and I would NOT talk baby talk. I would talk with her as if she were an "adult." We did this with my son, and his pronunciation is amazing. People could understand him at a very young age. He was around other kids at an early age, so you might try and hang out with other moms with a little older kids. Just some ideas. Good luck, and try to relax. :)

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M.C.

answers from Seattle on

With our first (our daughter) we resorted to a lot of sign language because we just couldn't get her to talk. She would say dada and nighnigh (nightnight) but that was it. Now she was amazing with toys and could get around really well she just wasn't interested in saying anything. Now at 3yrs she talks up a storm! I don't remember our daughter talking until she was a good 18 months old. (a few words here and there but nothing amazing) and then all of a sudden she just started saying all these words like she had been talking for months. Sounds like you daughter is doing fine.

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T.C.

answers from Portland on

Hi A.,
I think it's pretty typical for a one year old to know only a few words. I would pay close attention to your daughter's verbal skill in the next few months though. If she doesn't start picking up new words with increasing frequency, conuslt your doctor and push for a screening with a speech pathologist. You can also contact the early intervention program through your school district. My son, now almost 4, has a communication disorder (his nerves don't communicate with his muscles very well, so even though he understands language, he has a really hard time articulating words) that started to become apparent when he was about 18 months old. Fortunately, our doctor encouraged us to have him evaluated at 2yrs old and he started speech therapy at 2 1/2 (there are often long waiting lists for evaluations and services so don't delay if you are concerned) and he is making remarkable progress now. In the meantime, I would encourage you to teach your daughter sign language. It takes awhile to teach that first sign, but once they understand that you are communicating with your hands, babies love it! They are so thrilled to be able to talk with you a little bit and it will help ease your daughter's frustration if speaking does not come together for her soon. I found it easiest to start with the signs for "more," "milk," "help" and "eat." These signs are different enough from each other that you will be able to tell what she is saying even if the execution isn't perfect. There are lots of books available to help you get started. Good luck!

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P.C.

answers from Portland on

The best way to get your child to talk is to talk to her. As the mother of three and grandmother of six, I can tell you it works.

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R.O.

answers from Eugene on

Hi A., Honey, at 12 months old, it is not uncommon at all for her to not talk much. There are several choldren's programs that are interactive with kids, but she's a little young. Take your time this isn't an exact science, and all babies develop at different rates. Enjoy every day, and relax, she feels your tension, just keep talking to her, and read, that really helps, as much as you can stand it, read to her. Good Luck, R.

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J.N.

answers from Seattle on

Hi, I'm a mom of two (5 1/2 yo and a 21 mo) who were both late talkers due to massive ear infections that were corrected with tubes. My daughter, 5, we did even know she had the infections b/c there were no other symptoms, like fever or ear tugging or being cranky. My son on the other hand, we knew b/c of he had symptoms and the history with his sister.
Have you talked with her doctor? Somekids just wait to talk, and she may just suprise you one day with full sentences. Einstein didn't talk until he was 3!! I'd say he did ok :)

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S.G.

answers from Richland on

My Granddaughter didn't start talking until she was almost 2. She had us all pretty worried. Her Father has a Speach impediment and studders Badly. We started reading to her alot more than before and she just finally started talking. Kids are funny. They do what they want when they are ready. We can't make them do what they aren't ready to do. Your Daughter will start talking when whe feels that she has something to say. Don't worry about it yet. She is going to suprise you. If she doesn't start talking by the time she is 2, then I would be concerned. There sould be a problem with her hearing that is stopping her from talking. Ask Her Pediatrition about it and see what they think. Always better to be safe than sorry and she can't tell you if she is having hearing problems. Good Luck and Everything will be alright. Before you know it she will be talking so much that you will wonder why you were worried at all. ~S.

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H.W.

answers from Spokane on

Hi A. G, my name is H.. One reason that your child is not talking could be her ears. Also, she just may not know how to talk. Children learn better from other children than from adults around this age. Kids that are just starting to talk, babble back and forth in what might seem to be another language. They are really just bouncing sounds off of one another, just like adults do with their ideas. Don't worry though. Some kids just don't talk for a while. It is perfectly normal. Some children just need more time, or else observe rather than talk. She will let you know when she is ready, but if you are still worried, don't hesitate to talk with your childs Dr. You can never ask a Dr too many questions. I hope this helps, good luck!

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N.C.

answers from Portland on

Take heart in the fact that Einstein didn't start talking until he was three years old. THREE!

K.B.

answers from Spokane on

My first question is how old she actually is, since there is a big difference between 12 and 24 months. My daughter is 22 months and just started speaking (and it's still not much). Since she was having problems with biting we took her to speech therapy. At first they thought she was unsure how to form words in her mouth, after a few months (and a lot of cash) they decided she just didn't want to talk. All prefessionals agreed that I should wait till she's 2 to 2 1/2 before I worry. My son was a late talker and now we can get him to stop talking! If you are concerned take her to get her hearing checked and for a Speech Evaluation (not too expensive and insurance will cover some if you have a pediatrician recommendation). If nothing else the evaluation may help put you at ease.
Best of luck!

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K.L.

answers from Seattle on

Hi A.,
Don't worry. It is so soon. Does she communicate with you in other ways? Does she understand what you are saying to her? Does she communicate in non-verbal ways? She is perfectly fine. I did sign language with my daughter and she could sign before she could talk. There are many books on the subject to get you started. You can also narrate what you do during the day. You can say something like "Mommy is putting the clothes in the washer and now mommy is putting in the soap and now mommy is pushing the buttons to start the washer". That way she hears you talk a lot about what is going on. She will figure it out on her own. If she doesn't talk by the time she is 2 then worry.
Good luck.

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J.B.

answers from Portland on

we spend soooo much time trying to get our babies to talk........then we spend the rest of our lives trying to get them to shut up!!!! relax....it will happen!!!!! janie kb

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J.S.

answers from Seattle on

Hi A.!
Alyssa is almost 16 months old, and she mostly babbles as well. I read and hear how they are supposed to have about 3 words besides mama and dada by their first b-day, then add words on a regular basis. Although, I would love to get her to say words, I'm not too concerned at this point because she understands so much and seems to have a very sharp mind. While I don't have other kids to compare to, her level of inteligence is what I tend to go by. I do plan on asking her Dr. at her 18 month check up to see if he has any concerns, though. I would suggest talking, singing and reading to her a lot and point out a lot of things repeatedly (ball, trees, birds, dog...). Alyssa is also not around many kids, but I've lately been taking her to story times at libraries, tot-lot at the community center, and trying to get some playdates for her, so she will have influence from other kids about her age. I wouldn't worry about your little girl's verbal skills, but you can always ask her doc.
~J.

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C.S.

answers from Seattle on

Children learn in many different ways. Some talk right away and others take it all in then suprise you one day. All I can say is read read read! If time passes with out a few new words talk to a doctor, you may need to get her hearing checked.

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K.N.

answers from Spokane on

Don't worry. My daughter didn't put two words together until she was well over two. She is now 8, and is making up for it. All children develop at differendt speeds. Because then my second child was putting clear words together at 11 months. Then, the third was somewhere in the middle. I wouldn't worry about it, if she is hitting all of her other milestones. Be sure to keep talking to her, like she understands you - becuase she does. Oh! and I taught my kids simple sign language, so we could understand some things. More, drink, please, thank you, hurt, book and all done. You can look those up on a sign language website. So, don't worry, I'm sure she is just fine. Blessings, K..

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D.R.

answers from Corvallis on

Dear A.,

I am a mother, a grandmother, a teacher, and a writer of parenting columns. When my first son was little, I read that an 18 month old should have 5 consistent utterances: wawa for water, mama, dada, titee for kitty. My son did not have the 5 he needed to be normal. At two years old he still did not say 5 things. I worried more than you could ever imagine. At two years old and one week, he was speaking in paragraphs. He was in the gifted program throughout school and is a very successful adult. Don't worry! Enjoy your daughter. Read to her every day. Talk to her and play with her. She will talk.

Good luck to you, D.

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A.S.

answers from Bellingham on

Hi A..
Here is a story for you. I watch a little girl one day a week. When she first started, she was one year old. All she could say was "Da". That was it. It drove me crazy because my two daughters were very articulate from birth! Anyhoo, it's been a year now and this little girl is more articulate than my three year old! She is amazing! When kids "get it", everything just seems to follow suit. No worries at this point.
Hope that helps!

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M.B.

answers from Seattle on

I would suggest you get a speech evaluation, your Dr. can help with the referral. She maybe just a little delayed, however a speech delay may lead to delays in other areas. I'm sure she'll be fine. If your not already in a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group it may help you as well, your daughter would also be around other children her age for a few hours every other week. MOPS was saving grace my first few years of motherhood.

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A.H.

answers from Portland on

My son did not say one word until he was 2 (he said mama right after his second birthday). We did sign language from 14 months on which really saved us a lot of frustration. So long as she's on track in other areas she's fine. Some kids just talk a little later. I really don't think that there's a way to make a child talk. If there was, I would have tried it! :)

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D.C.

answers from Eugene on

She may be just developing at her own rate but I would definitely have her hearing checked on her next visit to the pediatritian, as hearing loss can affect speech.

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M.P.

answers from Portland on

In my experience, it's totally normal for kids her age to not talk. At two, your Pediatrician will want about 20 words that can be understood by an outsider. Even at that point my daughter didn't pass that test. She's now 3.5 and you can understand everything she says (and she talks a lot!). Of course if you're worried, seek professional advice. I just think kids do things on their own schedule and stressing about how well they do this or that compared to other kids is not a healthy behavior.

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P.S.

answers from Portland on

Talking to your daughter all the time is very important. If she is looking at something, say what it is to her. Like dog or doggy, book, car...etc. Babies tongues take time to become coordinated to say words and as they practice more and more with babble and coos they will learn what to do to make the sound they want to hear. Another suggestion is play a game with her. When she makes a sound, look right at her, smile, and repeat it to her. After some time she will see it's a game and may soon want to repeat your sounds and words.
It is very common for kids not to talk much or at all at 1 yo

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T.C.

answers from Seattle on

HI!
have you tried Baby sign? it is not talking, but it will help with communication and research shows that babies who sign tend to be better communicators down the road.

Also, do you talk to her a lot? I remember reading that you should be talking to your baby about everything. like "lets change your diaper" "will you help Mommy?" "you want more or are you all done". I one of my friends had trouble with her son not talking and went to a speech therapist. While there she realized that she was not using inflections in her voice when talking to the baby. She was just staying monotone. she changed that, and he started talking more. now he is 3 and saying the name of some dinosaur and jabbering away.

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J.S.

answers from Bellingham on

My daughter did not talk at one either. She was very quiet and not even a babbler. Occasionally her big brother could get something from her but not very often. No baby noises, nothing. Then suddenly at 18 mos she started speaking in full sentences. I was shocked. She was a better talker than her older brother who was four at the time. She's almost eight now and is ahead of her level in school. So really, don't worry. Some kids just approach it differently. :)

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L.B.

answers from Portland on

A. - do not fret! She is still quite young to talk. Some kids talk when they are younger, some older (my daughter was 19 months). If you want to help her communicate, start learning and using a little sign language. Research has shown that babies can communicate before their muscles have the ability to form words. My daughter picked up "more" and "eat" and "drink" and "Hurts" signs by one year, and now has over 200 signs by the time she was 2 (I learned along the way thanks to DVDs from the library and searches on the web). It doesn't slow down her talking - she drops the sign as soon as she can say the word. What it does do is give you both the avenue for starting communication.

Pressing your daughter to talk may get you into a power struggle that nobody can win - she wants to please you and can't. Kids are driven to talk when they can, and no pushing will help. Instead, read to her, talk to her, give her all the time she wants. She will talk when she's ready.
If you want to evaluate how your daughter is developing, go to http://asq.uoregon.edu/ and do their online quiz. It will help you know if your daughter is on track!

L.
Mom and child therapist (www.rememberTheJoy.com)

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D.P.

answers from Seattle on

Hi A.,

I'm a mother of four, who's oldest is 20 and youngest is 5. My advice to you would be to stop worrying, relax and just enjoy whatever it is that your daughter is learning right now. Each child develops at a different rate, my youngest didn't start talking until she was almost three, same with my second child. Allow her to develop skills that interest her and support her with the skills she is working on. Many children walk very late, even up to 15-18 months, others walk as early as 8 months. Some talk in full sentences by the age of 1, while others don't bother until they're 3.

It's easy with our first to want to see them develop every skill as early as possible, but honestly the next thing you know she'll be talking your ear off and you'll have to teach her a new game. It's called the quiet game! That's mommy's special way of telling our children to shut up, that we can't take the noise anymore!

Good Luck,
D. P.

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A.M.

answers from Seattle on

Hey A.,

I just want to say that I've gone through the same thing. I have 4 kiddos and my youngest daugher decided that she wasn't going to talk.

At 15 months she would say "mama". That was it. No "dada", no babbling, nothing!

I got a bit tired of the "point and grunt" communication that she was using... So I started teaching her sign language. I suggest "Baby Signing For Dummies". I started with 4 signs ("Eat", "Milk", "Diaper", "Bath") and went from there. It's really a special thing when they start responding to signs!

The first sign my daughter responded to was "Kiss"... She gave me a kiss and that was awesome. The first sign she -used- was "Eat".

Now, she's 26 months old and uses 50 signs and has started speaking in 2-3 word sentances.

My advice is to keep talking to her (No baby talk. I agree with others on this.) and try to incorporate a few signs into the daily routine. Only use 3-4 signs for a few weeks, then add another every 3-4 weeks. Keep using the signs that you already do... and -use the spoken word with the sign-! (That part's important.)

The non-speaking thing will pass... and then you'll long for the "quiet days".

~A. (Army wife and mother of four, ages 8 years-7 months)

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J.S.

answers from Seattle on

My daughter is 15 1/2 months and still doesn't say a word. So I read the replies. Jessi's (mother to Allyssa) was helpful.
Be aware of it, but don't stress. I know easier said than done. As she gets closer to 2 and I still feel her speech is behind I plan to have her evaluated. check out www1.dshs.wa.gov/iteip
Play groups and spending time with other kids is helpful for two reasons. 1st your child can't rely on whatever communication you've developed like you understanding her hand motions and 2nd you hear or don't hear other kids and it is reassuring.
Don't forget to read and talk to her.

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G.O.

answers from Seattle on

A.,

Don't worry, she's ok! If she is babbling or making sounds at all, then she's doing fine. If she isn't making ANY sounds, you might want to get her hearing checked. Otherwise, it's perfectly normal for kids to be closer to 2 before their vocabulary is very big. We just went to our 18 month check up and my daughter has only about 10-15 words. The normal range is 10-50. That's a pretty big range. Also...we do sign language that really helps her communicate and me be comfortable that she has the understanding. I'm an early childhood educator as well and I've seen lots of kids go through this stage of language learning. Every child has a different order to what they learn. Your daughter may be leaving the language to the end of the list so she can focus on all the physical stuff. I hope this helps.

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C.A.

answers from Seattle on

Hello A.,
It is totally normal!
I worked in a toddler classroom and of the ten babies, 12 to 18 months old, only a few had any words. Do not worry yet, especially since your baby is developing normally in other areas.
Love and Light,
C.

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M.L.

answers from New York on

My daughter is nearly 18 months old..and gives the normal babble, really tonal (she's growing up in a American Chinese house, so the tonal really isn't a surprise.) What is surprising is that she can talk nearly as well as her cousin...who is nearly 3. Kids learn at different rates. As long as she responds when you talk to her, and makes SOME noises, I wouldn't be worried! My daughter will almost NEVER (and certainly not when she was one) mimic what I say. It's on her own schedule, when she feels like it, thankyouverymuch. We also started a playdate when she was about 3 months old with other kids her age. She gets socialization, and has some things to mimic. (Talking, good. The climbing and throwing toys? Not so much!) Are they any other kids close to her age around? Even as old as a year older is fine - I think it gave my daughter a definite boost up on things like talking and some coordination. (It's really starting to bug my sister, though - the mom of the nearly 3 year old that sounds and acts like a 18 mo. old! hahaha)

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