My 2 Year Olds Speach?

Updated on December 27, 2010
J.H. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
23 answers

My little guy just turned 2 a week ago, he is saying about 30 words, very energetic and out going with other people. If I ask him to say a word he will say it but to address me as mommy that does not happen all the time, he speaks on his terms for the most part and is constantly babbling, when will the babling become continuos words?

His comprehension seems to be okay, if I can ask him to "pick up your train" or "take that and put it in the garbage and he will", he understands a lot but just doesn't speak clear words that much. Should I be concerned or is this all normal?

He actually just handed me his sippy cup and said more.:)

I do worry a little bit because at his 18 month check up the doctor said he was speach delayed but because he started saying more words by his 21 month check up he mentioned that he was not concerned anymore, I am not sure what to think.


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answers from Eugene on

My SIL didn't talk until she was 3. She is now the smartest person I know and a school teacher. Don't worry we all learn at different paces.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Victoria on

My daughter only said 5 words at age 2. I could pick up any book and ask her to point to this or that and she could do it without any hesitation, so i knew she understood and knew what the words were, but just wasn't verbal. She really didn't even babble. then poof we had her ears cleaned out and about 2 weeks later she was talking up a storm and now she is 5 and has a huge vocabulary and is constantly babbling on about something. So, I wouldn't worry too much at this point if I were you.

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answers from Las Vegas on

In terms of speech development, children really develop at different rates when they are 2. He has 30 words that he is able to say now and if he is using those words to convey information to you (like what he did when he brought you his sippy and said "more"), then that is beautiful. And he is able to understand and carry out 2-step directions (1. pick up that up and 2. put it in the garbage), which is also fantastic.

If you are at all concerned about his speech development, it doesn't hurt to contact your pediatrician and ask for a referral to have your son evaluated by a speech therapist. If there is an issue, then you can deal with it -- the earlier you do so the better. (Speech therapy for 2-year olds is usally play based and super fun for the kids.) And if he's doing just fine, then you will get that reassurance that you probably need right now.

Hope this helps put things in better perspective for you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

He is fine. My first son was a complete speaker, full sentences and big words by the time he was 1 - for real! Then my second boy barely said anything until he was 2 and then came out saying full sentences. My daughter never quit talking but it was constant babble that none of us could understand. At her two year check up she was saying some words and putting some words together as well as full comprehension but mostly babble. My doc said that babble is a form of communication and he was not worried at all. She is exactly 2.5 years old now and speaks much better, much less babble and not a concern verbally at all.

Ultimately all three of my children are above average on everything else and my oldest has been identified as GT as well as my middle boy who is in the GT program, my daughter is too young to know yet but seems to be on the same track. So you see, your son is fine, he just needs time to get the hang of it! Speak timing had nothing to do with where my kids are today. Not to worry.

Good luck and enjoy!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

At two, he should have a baseline of 50 words and be putting two together into simple sentances.

Never wait on development. An evaluation is a win win. You either walk out the door knowing that there is nothing to worry about, or you walk out knowing that you are going to help him. You can call ECI in your state and get a public evaluation, but you should not count on this to be everything he needs if he has a delay. If you can, get him a private evaluation as well. Early is best, more rather than less, and never, never wait. Time is all you have that is free, and you can't get one second back later if you are wrong. Many pediatricians miss these things. Don't wait.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Call Early Childhood Intervention.

My ODS has a speech delay and is in ST now. He is almost 3.5 years. Starting when he was 18 months, I expressed my concerns to his pedi, only to be told "he will catch up". Others (on here, as well as other forums, and also friends) also told me not to worry, and that he would catch up, that he's a boy, and boys talk later. blah.blah.blah.... Everyone said to wait til he turned 2.5 years. So regretfully, I ignored my gut and listened to everyone else. Guess what? Things didn't change. He understood everything, no problem. He even came up with his own sign language to get his point across. His dr still told me not to worry. So I finally called ECI on my own (you don't need a referral) and scheduled an appt. The speech pathologist knew immediately he needed ST, and that he had a severe delay, as soon as she walked in the door. I don't believe in regrets (really, what's the point?). But this is one thing I do regret, not following my gut and getting him help sooner.

He's now in ST twice a week with our school district, and though he's greatly improved, he still has a ways to go. He was almost 3 before he started ST. If he had started sooner, then he probably wouldn't be in ST now. Some older kids don't like playing with him once they hear him talk, b/c they think he's a "baby" (although some kids are very sweet to him). But it hurts me to see him get ignored when he just wants to play just b/c they can't understand him. This aspect has only gotten worse as he's gotten older, since he's old enough that people expect to be able to understand him. I have to translate nearly everything he says still. He takes it pretty good, but how do you explain to a 3 y/o that kids don't want to play with him b/c they don't understand him? There is more to speech delays than just the speech part. There are social aspects, as well as a level of frustration (on his part, and ours) when we can't understand what he's trying to tell us.

I share all this with you b/c of all those who say "he's fine"... Maybe he is, but maybe he's not. It doesn't hurt anyone to get the eval done. The *worst* they can do is tell you he's fine. You're his mommy and know him best. Follow your gut. You're doing an awesome job, mama!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Please relax your expectations.
If you want to do some "drilling" and practice pronunciation with him,
maybe wait a few more months. He's very young.
As long as he understands you -- and it sounds like
he does very well -- I don't think you should be worried.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

If you are concerned at all you can always have him checked out by EI at no cost to you. It can't hurt.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

You can always have him evaluated but he sounds like he is just fine. Sometimes language comes in spurts and sometimes they develop more in other areas while language lags a bit, then eventually they catch up. My cousin's son was only saying something like 3 words at 22 months, but understood directions and everything you told him. Then one day just exploded, started speaking 3 to 4 word sentences and began picking up 10 new words a day. He's been fine ever since.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I would definitely get him tested. My son had limited vocab as well. We had him tested through our local Child Find office. California has their own early intervention program meant to identify kids who need educational support before starting school. Docs tend to be cautious, I dont know why.

Trust your gut on this one and have him tested. If he's fine, then you know for sure but if there is a delay, he can get the support he needs now.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My oldest boy didn't talk much until he was three, and now he won't shut up! lol His pediatrician asked to have his ears checked, then she wanted him to be checked for development delays, and everything came back normal. He was actually ahead of kids his age. He just wasn't ready to talk yet.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

We had our 22 month old evaluated for speech delay and it turned out just a bit behind. The next week he started talking in complete sentences. It was so funny. Sometimes it just takes them a bit more time to decide to say the words.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

If you're at all concerned, ask for early intervention. A professional can tell you the difference between delayed-but-normal speech development and a cognitive problem. We all know anecdotes of people who didn't speak for years and then came out with full sentences, but why hope your baby's a future anecdote?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

Language for them really changes between the ages of 2 and 3. If he understands and follows commands spoken from you. He's on the right track. I think you will see big changes within the next 365 days, no worries.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

You've received a lot of great responses on how children develop at their own pace, but if you're truly concerned, to get him evaluated - I 2nd & 3rd that advice.

I would like to share a little extra food for thought. Our son entered daycare fairly early - 18 months and within only a couple of months was talking SOOOO much more than before he went. We have some friends whose child was about 2 years old and had been with only his Mom up until that time. When we met, their son barely spoke at all. It was clear that he understood you and just wasn't ready to start talking yet. She was concerned too and I told her not to worry, but if she wanted to help him along she might want to consider more playdate groups or even part-time at daycare because kids will be talking to him and it just start to come natural with play time. Shortly thereafter, she put her son into the same daycare and within about a month her son was talking away.

If you're a stay-at-home Mom, you may want to consider getting involved in some regular playgroups where the kids are really able to run and play together and 'talk' to each other. Or, if you know of a great day-care that you can afford, perhaps enroll him a few hours 2 or 3 days/week while you catch up on YOU time;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Reno on

I said my very first word during potty training. I didn't talk at all until age 3. (Yes, I do get a lot of jokes about how I haven't shut up since.) Kids do everything on their own schedule. He obviously hears, understands and communicates. I wouldn't worry.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

read what to expect the toddler years! that series of books is better than anything the dr will tell you!! (im not saying to not go to the dr, im just saying that only you know your child)

your kid sounds like hes on the right track and if i were you i wouldnt be worried!!

every child is different, and especially during the age 1 to 3 span where they are mentally developing the quickest, every kid is going to differ greatly, so dont even compare him to your friends kids!

if the dr said hes not worried than hes probably fine, but if you want a second opinion go get it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Each kid is unique and this is probably "normal" for him.
But I'm with the other moms, that if it makes you feel better and your gut tells you to do so, get him evaluated.
Our middle son didn't hardly talk until he was 3 and our first son talked when he was 7 months! We were scared the middle son had Aspbergers or something, because he was so different from the first one, and he would say a word a few times, only to never say it again. He would just grunt mostly. We had him evaluated by the early intervention center and they said he was fine.
Now he is 8 years old and at the top of his class. He is very artistic and thoughtul as well, being one of those kids who just really takes it all in and processes, which I guess was part of the reason he just didn't talk much when he was little. It's not a bad problem to have, because the older one talked TOO much, and we really had to work with him not to just blurt stuff out all the time and SLOW down, LOL.
It's also not uncommon for boys to do things later. I now have an 18 month old girl and she talks so much I can't believe it. She also started talking at 7 months old!
When I was concerned about my middle son, I read a book called "Late Talking Children". I believe the author is Thomas Sowell. It's an easy read, and talks about his research with late talkers, how a lot of them turn out to be the geniuses. I easily found it at the public library :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My daughter is turning 2 in a few days. I don't know exactly how many words she uses but she says many simple words and will repeat a word spoken to her (especially if you ask "Can you say ____?"). She knows many nouns and some verbs and has been making 2 word sentences for maybe 6-8 weeks. Your son doesn't sound that much different but by all means get an evaluation if you are worried. If you want to do Early Intervention call well before his 3rd birthday because that is the cut off (they may provide services after age 3 but won't do an evaluation after that).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

My 2 year old son spoke NO words by his 2nd birthday. Today, 9 months later, we have full fledged conversations with each other. Sometimes a speech delay, really is just a speech delay. That switch just flips on eventually.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

Shijiazhuang Kidney Disease Hospital is said:“
The role of language is very great, for the baby to learn social experience, to provide a basis for the formation of moral character. Therefore, parents should actively encourage the baby to learn the language, give the baby a chance to speak. Such as regular and baby talk, that songs, stories, and actively respond to the baby, do not ignore; more to teach your baby to learn some words; when the baby's language errors, do not make fun of, do not deliberately repeat his mistakes, but to give the correct model.
Birth to 1 year (oral preparatory phase): This period of young children to cry, laugh, oral issued to the sound, such as: Ooh, ah ... ... to express their willingness to communicate, the proposed Dad, Mom can start at this time stimulate the baby's language development.
0 months to 1 year old: child care with the growing range of life; new experience more and more, and his note and language ability are also gradually increase, this stage began to be called the baby father, mother, ... ... whatever double stack word, but most of the nouns. Parents speak on this stage children should try to slow down, speak clearly, so that children could be heard clearly.
2 years of age: 2 years old child, because of their life experience, cognitive ability more and more rich are getting to talk with the language skills. This phase will use to children of a verb, adjective or phrase to express the composition of the other, also to imitate adult language to describe his experience. Experts stressed ,2-3 years old is the critical period of language development, children usually are curious ask: What is this? What is that? ... ... At this point parents should have taken the trouble to give answers, timely boost child language development.
Factors that influence the development of baby language, hardware and software roughly two parts. Hardware refers to the so-called health of your baby. Young children in good health, better language development, on the contrary, weak and sickly children, their language development capacity will be affected while the slower, such as mental retardation, congenital organ defects, such as Children with cerebral palsy, a special pipeline to help develop their language skills. Software refers to the external learning environment, good family relations, interactive language more children, language development is good. Parents can not be ignored to give the baby the opportunity to learn the language and environment.

Normal language development can be inferred from the normal language development is the basis, if you find that your baby 2 years old, still do not speak, 3 years old will not say to the children if the parents childhood, their children as adults, non-stop to chat with him to discuss or even argue, then grew up in this environment the children, than those who follow the "silence is golden," the parents of children grow up with a richer vocabulary and more clear, varied expression. After three years, a serious ambiguity in the language, people do not understand, parents should be alert and turn to a speech therapist as soon as possible diagnosis.”



answers from Houston on

he is a little speech delayed did you have his ears checked? he doesnt sound like he is hard of hearing to me but it may be a possibility. my son is hard of hearing and by your description he may just be lazy and he may have some fluid but I wouldnt worry to much about hard of hearing. mine babbles and it still hasnt turned into words like your talking about. he might need a little speech therapy but he is more like my oldest was and he only did 6 months of therapy. call eci they only come out till their 3 so do it soon. and maybe you can have him on track by the time he is 3.

eci can also tell you if he has hearing issues. call your public schools and ask them how to get ahold of eci and get him started.



answers from San Diego on

Hello, I wouldn't worry much. My now almost 15 year old grandson was not speaking much until he was three years old. We were kind of worried, but realized that we were the problem. He had Mama, Auntie, Uncles, Pop and Grandma right there getting whatever he wanted when he grunted. He didn't show any interest in learning his ABC's, or numbers. Well, when he started school, he picked right up. He is now in all excelled classes getting almost straight A's. He is athletic, smart, handsome, loved by many, and very polite. So all of the worrying was for nothing. I would worry if your son does not continue to learn new words. If he is understanding, he will probably get the words soon. I taught English to second language students. They understood before they could speak our language. It is normal.
Good luck with your precious little boy.
K. K.

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