My Almost 3 Year Old Son Still Baby Talks, "Babbles" a Lot

Updated on October 17, 2012
B.Z. asks from Los Angeles, CA
20 answers

Hi my son will be 3 in Dec. He knows alot of words and he puts together some here and there ("I want juice, I want milk, give me teddy bear, mommie will be going now, etc.), he knows about 150 words, but he still babbles a lot, alot of jibberish comes out of him. For example he would say some jibberish babble baby talk with mommie and juice mixed into it when he is totally capable of saying, mommie give me juice, we always encourage and remind him to use his words but the jibberish and babble sounds still comes out a lot from him. Should I be concerned? Did your little one go through this? He is a loving, expressive, affectionate, sweet,very active little boy with a great sense of humor, very friendly and loves being around people always especially family and friends. Pls. let me know if your child went through a stage like this and when did it pass. Thanks, moms!

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answers from Atlanta on

I disagree with the whole "wait and see attitude". Call the ped or the health department and get him evaluated.

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4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

why wait? Time for a screening for hearing, for speech, etc. Begin with Parents as 1st Teachers....& they should be able to help.

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answers from Redding on

Oh God.
Please don't worry.
Your son isn't even 3 and you keep a list and count how many words he can say?
Don't over think it. You didn't mention a single thing that should indicate a problem. In my opinion.
Yes.....jibberish still comes out of him and you might as well get used to it.
My son is 15 and some of the stuff he and his friends say sounds like jibberish to me.

Your little one sounds awesome. And normal. Don't press for perfection.
Don't be overly concerned if it's not necessary.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Follow your mommy instint, get him evaluated by a speech pathologist or a developemental ped (they usually have long wait), Call the early intervention of your area , usually they will send a speech patho who will evaluate your son (do this sooner since they only cater to kids less than 3yrs,if above the school district does),& all this services are FREE.

My twins had speech delayed, one still says words not clearly & is in speech class, they had speech therapy from age 22 mths & made huge improvement,(after age 3 only one still attends speech) the sooner the wo'nt hurt him to get checked, i do so for the peace of my mind.

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answers from Columbus on

I would go ahead and get an evaluation, it is great that he has so many words, but if his languge is effected by usuing words that are not really words, you want to know that as early as posible so that he can have intervention. Never wait with development, and always find out from someone who has looked at them, tested them, and tells you based on the numbers they see in front of them that he is fine before you ditch a concern. A speech and langague evaluation from a speech therapist is a win-win. You either walk out the door knowing that everything is fine, or you walk out the door knowing what you need to do to help your child. If you pick and choose which one of the opinions on this site that will help you the most, you still do not know for sure that you have picked correctly. Something about this made you concerned enough to ask, so find out from someone who can really put the whole thing to rest.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Joplin on

You need to have him evaluated. Not to scare you, but Language is more than how many words he can say, it is being able to string them together. There may be something more going on, or it could be a phase that passes, but better to know. My own son is speech delayed, you could say he knows 150 plus words...sure, but they are not what I call "useful" words...he cannot have a conversation with us like other 3 year olds can ( a give and take of words)
Does your son become frustrated if he cannot communicate what he wants to you? Does he have temper tantrums? He may have no control over the "jibberish"
Because he is already 3 you might see if the school district offers any testing. First Steps only works with children up to age 3.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Sounds like he has a good vocabulary. Sometimes they just have so
much to say that their minds go so fast, they babble. My grandson who is
two months younger than your son, called the other night and babbled
on and on with some words thrown in. He does not have any speech
problems, he was just excited to talk to me. When I asked him questions
he would answer in words. I think your son is fine, but if you are worried
get him evaluated. Remember they all develop differently.



answers from Stockton on

Tell your pediatrician you want him referred for a speech assessment.



answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter spoke much clearer once she had her ear tubes but in and adenoid taken out. Her dr said he was surprised she could talk her adenoid was so huge. Also she had fluid in her ear that was not draining and it conprised her hearing by 25 %. Her got hear full hearing back and her speech improved dramatically.



answers from Bloomington on

My son does the same thing. We work with our Public School system and he meets with a Speech Pathologist once a week. Our son is 2.5 years old. He babbles for minutes at a time and sometimes minutes a time or mixes babble and real words. He uses hand gestures when he babbles and points, etc. He knows what he's tryuing to say but uses babble instead of real words. We force him to talk using real words and make him repeat what we say. It's been a long battle for us. it's slowed down his "real" speech and caused a delay. He's gotten much better but when we get around a lot of people or he gets excited it's much worse.



answers from New York on

my son is going to be three this december.. and he is going through a similar situation.. we are a multilingual family.. he is exposed to at least three languages at the same time.. and yes sometimes its really hard to comprehend what he's saying.. but, at the same time he knows the names of all his cartoon movies, he can sing a lot of nursery rhymes... with proper words, he repeats some of the dialogues from his favorite cartoons even.. he can count up to 10 both english n french.. he knows full english alphabets.. he can form small sentences, like when i ask him what he's doing, he can say i'm playing.. or if he sees something thats nice, he says wow thats nice.. i mean things like that .. he knows how to express himself.. and like your son he is really friendly, loving n affectionate.. he would start talking any random person he would see in bus, market just anywhere.. i know this phase is going to pass. some kids pass it as early as 3 some by 4... it just varies from kid to kid.. but sure this stage is going to pass.. :) a t least i won't worry just now.. :)



answers from San Francisco on

If he's still exhibiting signs of this when he's twenty years old, then I would say you need to worry. I've often made this statement. We tend to make so many comparisons between children and what age they accomplished each thing. But just imagine how little difference it makes in the long scheme of things.



answers from Sacramento on

It sounds like he may be behind a bit in putting together complete sentences and using conversation. It would be a good idea to ask about this the next time he sees the doctor. If you can, you may want a referral to a speech specialist just to be sure. However, what I've noticed in working with children is that there seems to be a big jump in language development between the ages of three and three and a half. They have spent those first three years learning the mechanics of word and sentences, so during that six months or so they seem to be smoothing out the use of what they've learned and perfecting their language skills.
Meantime, the big thing is to be sure you are reading with him often during the day, and continually carry on conversation with him. Check yourself and others who interact with him to be sure you're not inadvertantly using some baby talk with him. This is such an easy thing to fall into when they are so cute and lovable. Don't try to talk down to him. He's not yet three, but he can understand you if you talk to him in the same type of conversational tone you use with an adult. Let him learn that if you use a word he doesn't yet understand, he can ask you to explain that word. Encourage such a questioning attitude in him by stopping to give him a good explaination and thanking him for asking you. One side benefit of this is that not only will you be helping him in his language development, but you will likely be gaining new insight into your own use of language.
I hope these ideas are helpful. I wouldn't panic over his speech, but err on the side of caution in getting some expert advice while you continue working with him.


answers from New York on

Why wouldn't you have him evaluated? It should be free thru the state and done in the comfort of your own house. Hopefully they'll tell you everything is developing normally and you'll be happy but if the results indicate he should receive speech therapy you'll be glad you started early so he can hopefully catch up before kindergarten. Dont wait till he's three because the responsiblity changes from the state to the public school system which may have different standards/ My son was able to receive services thru the state untill his third birthday and he really benefited and enjoyed this. When he turned three the school just said can he put two words together? Then he's ok. which is a pretty low standard for a three year old!
I just cant think of any reason not to have him evaluated?



answers from Sacramento on

You just described my son who will be three in November! I have decided I'm going to ask his Doctor if this is normal, because it seems like he should be able to have some sort of conversation with me by now. I don't know about your son, but mine gets very frustrated with me when I can't decipher what it is he wants from me!



answers from Phoenix on

I think he's fine??? My 8yo still throws in made up words!!!! We also used signs with him and that might be something that might help. There are sounds that cannot be said clearly until about 5-6 years old, so it is still early to be worrying about speech issues.

If you do use sign language with him, and/or he is always able to express his needs to you, answer your questions (whether speaking or signing), then I wouldn't worry about the babbling - he may just be babbling to hear himself talk and filling in the blanks for stuff he isn't putting into words. (like we say yadda yadda, or blah blah blah - who of us hasn't done this??)

He seems to be communicating fine and honestly, babbling is part of language development - it just has to be part of the sequence and not entirely babbling without any real communication in which case I'd be very concerned.

Another thing about speech - when my son was young, there were times when it seemed he was picking up a fluency problem, ie stuttering and unable to get the words out. Fortunately I had a good friend who was a speech therapist who visited us from time to time and she told me that oftentimes it will be really bad for a little while, a couple months at most, then his speech/language abilities dramatically improved. Sure enough, usually within a few weeks, each time I noticed the stuttering was pretty bad and causing me to worry, soon he would be able to string longer sentences, use appropriate tenses, etc.

I don't know if babbling is the same as stuttering in terms of language development, I just know that when my son's speech got worrisome, usually within a month or so it'd clear up and be great.



answers from Las Vegas on

My son 3 now to he Just turned it in Jan and he always babbling alot and he's get speech therapy I think you should ask his doctor up to what age should they be babbling



answers from Lincoln on

Yes, my son was exactly like that. We finally got him evaluated when he was almost 3, so glad we did. Once he started receiving speech therapy his language skills improved immensely! He's now 4 1/2 and isn't caught up with his peers yet, but has made enough progress that he'll be able to go to kindergarten next year.
I played the waiting game because I knew several children that didn't talk until they were 3, it was the wrong decision for my son. Now, with the right help he's on the right track.
Get your son evaluated. Call the early intervention office near you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!


answers from Los Angeles on

Sounds like a future poet to me.
Does he seem to recognize when he's communicating
versus when he's babbling?
Maybe babbling is his art, his pleasure.



answers from Charlotte on

BZ, don't let anyone tell you that it's okay to just wait for your child to grow out of this. It isn't okay. Language is not just about a child being able to say words. Language development is a complicated process. He needs to be evaluated. You need to learn how to handle the babbling. You'll only learn this by working with a speech therapist. He also should have his hearing evaluated, because the invention isn't going to as effective as it should be if he isn't able to hear well.

You can do this - get on the phone today.

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