How Much Talking Should a 20 Month Old Be Doing?

Updated on May 08, 2008
J.L. asks from Schenectady, NY
4 answers

Okay, so I can already admit that I worry too much. That said at 20 months old how much should a child be talking? It seems that at home we hear our son say ALOT more words than at daycare. He also will use 3 word sentences at home that he has never tried at daycare. He is also not consistant with saying words...he will say and use them appropriately for weeks then just randomly says the word. For example he has said "daddy" and "wa,wa" (water) for months using them correctly. However, for the past 3 weeks he calls everything "daddy" and "wa,wa". Is this normal? Has anyone else had a similar experience? I would like to thank everyone in advance; any insight would be helpful and appreciated.

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answers from Albany on

When he calls everything else daddy & wa wa he is generalizing. It is typical in speech development. He cannot say tractor but he sees daddy on it so he calls it daddy.

Daycares do not provide the best environment for language aquisition. Many times the behavioral issues inadvertantly overshadow conversations that should occur, therefore language usage suffers. So with that I would not be concerned that he isn't expressing himself at daycare as much.

What you see at home is most importatnt because he has your attention and isn't sharing it with 10 other kids. It sounds to me as if you child is doing very well. Keep up the great work mom!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Hi J.,

It sounds normal to me. Each children is different, you know. I have 4 kids and my oldest one didn't speak much until 2 years old but my 2nd one started to speak right after her 1st birthday. 4th one was not interested in speaking but he was very expressive. I don't think you need to worry about it at this time.



answers from New York on

Hey J.,

you need to try saying the words directly to him,
and repeating them,

have him show you what he wants and then NAME the item

Last thing , if you really are concerned just call the Birth23 proggram, its free and its GREAT.

they helped my son, and he is now doing fine.

here is the link

Good luck




answers from New York on

Hi! We went through a somewhat similar problem with my daughter at the same age. For us, it was a very short-lived stage. I, too, was in the same boat as you worrying my head off. I took her to the pediatrician who said if I was still worried we could have her evaluated by the local early intervention program. They came out to our house & tested her in every area- puzzles, blocks, etc. They did find that she was slightly behind only in the area of speech. Before she even had time to start the program, the stage was over!! Within weeks, LITERALLY WEEKS- she was putting 2-4 words together & saying every word possible!

Currently she is 2 1/2 and talks like CRAZY! lol

If it persists, it can't hurt to talk it over with your pediatrician! :) Hope everything works out!

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