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18mths old & hardly talking, little hair & 4 teeth

(38 Posts)
beck79 Fri 29-Jul-11 19:56:51

Hi all,

I'm hoping for some reassurance from you all.

My daughter is 8 days off being 18 months old and really doesn't have many words in her vocabulary. She has probably said around a dozen words in total, but it seems that once she has mastered one she won't bother to say it again. The words she uses on a day-to-day basis consist of Daddy and hiya. I'm sure is incredibly stubborn as I know she can say other words, like bubbles, but the more I say the word the less inclined she is to say it. Then I might be talking to someone else and mention that she said bubbles and she'll suddenly say it again.

We read books to her and are constantly pointing things out and telling her what words are, over and over again. We use flash cards etc. Her understanding is excellent! I feel she is an extension of me and I know what she wants so she rarely has to ask for anything as I get there first (spoilt?! or not giving her a chance to speak?!)

I'm just getting concerned that all the books say she should have around 50-100 words in her vocabulary (not sure if that is spoken or understood words?) and all the ante-natal babies in our group are saying more than her and they're boys so I think it's an old wives tale that girls develop quicker than boys!. I know we should never compare our children and they all develop at different rates, I'm just making this bigger and bigger in my head.

As a by the by point, her hair has never really grown much and she has only just cut her 4th tooth, so she is really late on those things too. Physically, I have no concerns, she was walking by 14 months and now I remember those days wistfully when all she could do was lie in my arms!

Can anyone put my mind at rest, as when I googled this I got results about autism, dyspraxia etc and my Health Visitor is now out of the office until the middle of next week! I will have made this into a mega big problem in my head by then!!


Geepers Fri 29-Jul-11 19:59:42

I have 18 month old twins. Neither say any words, and neither can Tia ly neither of them can never crawl - one bottom shuffles, the other does a half crawl but doesnt move his legs.

Your daughter sounds perfect. Try not to worry. I bet you will find her speech blossoms all at once.

StitchingMoss Fri 29-Jul-11 20:01:23

DS1 could hardly say a word before he was 2, he is now 3 and never shuts up!

Please try not to compare/worry - she sounds fine smile.

youarekidding Fri 29-Jul-11 20:06:12

My DS was the same. At 18 moths he had about 5 words. (maybe a few more but certainly wasn't enough to form a sentence).

His were Mama, luz, caca, dada and chupa. (He spoke Spanish obv)

He didn't have any teeth until 10 1/2 months or hair. In fact he walked before he did and looked a lot like Tommy from Rugrats. grin

He is now 7 next month and has only lost 1 baby tooth. They say the later you lose them the stronger the adult ones are. <not sure if that is true btw>

Some children take longer to develop than others. They catch up in the end.

FWIW from the age of 2-3 DS spoken language went from behind his peers to being able to articulate he's needs better than his peers. He was just more interested in the physical stuff and still is grin

Notanexcitingname Fri 29-Jul-11 20:06:53


suggests that 10-20 words is a milestone in the age range 1-2. Certainly my recollection is that at 18 months 6-8 words is the norm. (DS1, now 5 was a little speech delayed, and saw a SLT). What are "all these books"?, because if they are suggesting 100 words is a milestone, they are wrong. THat is not to say 100-150 words is not within the range of normal, but it's not expected.

Does that help?

beck79 Fri 29-Jul-11 20:09:55

thank you everyone! I needed to hear that! My husband will happily say "I told you so" when I tell him what you have all written!

I shall try to stop worrying and try to lay off the red wine so much this evening grin)

Knackeredmother Fri 29-Jul-11 20:16:28

My son is 20 months and says mum, dad, car, bum and poo. His understanding and motor skills are excellent.
I'm not worried yet (too tired!)

thrifty Fri 29-Jul-11 20:19:53

ds is nearly 6 now and never shuts up, has all his teeth and a regular haircut.
however, at 18 months he didn't say much 'mummy', 'daddy' and 'no' :-) ( his friend was talking in sentences at 16months), only had about 6 teeth so was still eating very slowly, and had hardly any hair. he got the last of his baby teeth when he was 4 1/2, 6 months after he had had his first haircut.
do you watch 'something special' on cbeebies? ds loved that when he was little, and he used to sign words when trying to say them when he was about 2, it helped me to understand what he was trying to say.

GiraffeAHolic Fri 29-Jul-11 20:24:21

Dd had barely any words at 18 months (much less than you mentioned) didn't even say Mummy until 23 months.

Fast forward to 3.4 years and she does not stop talking smile In fact people comment on her vocabulary!

Also she was almost completely bald for her 2nd birthday, now has an out of control fringe and pigtails!

Don't worry just yet smile

Zipitydoda Fri 29-Jul-11 20:43:38

Your daughter sounds normal to me.
My son had 2 teeth at 18 months, he's 6 now, has all his teeth and desperate for them to get wobbly like all his friends but it's better for them to be late in the long term.
Speech wise, she understands and responds to you appropriately and has said some words so that indicates all is in place for her to take off with talking at some point. Some children say very few words, then start speaking in full sentences all in one go. She may be picking up on your anxiety about this so it's important to take a step back and TRY to relax to give her the space to speak in an unpressured way.
hmm at flash cards, you might not think you're putting her under pressure but she might not feel the same way. Your message sounds exhaustingly pressuring TBH.
Also if you empathise with the 'feeling that she is an extension of you' then it will hit you much harder every time she behaves in a way that you don't expect or not how you would behave. She is her own, independent person, NOT an extension of you, you have to let her follow her own path to development.
Apologies if I'm sounding harsh, as a mum I completly undertand how it's SO important to see your first child appear to develop well, you have invested 18+9 months in doing everything for her best outcome and she's the most important thing in your world. I was not that different first time around!

Ivortheengine8 Fri 29-Jul-11 20:46:42

I wrote a similar post a couple of months ago when dd was 18 months. I think she only said a couple of words then.

Now at 21 months, she is saying new words everyday. She is even saying sentences such as 'what's that noise?' 'what is it?'

She has always babbled away like crazy so maybe she was saying things before but I just couldn't get what she was saying,maybe she was just speaking gobbledy gook but I have found it amazing in the past couple of months how suddenly it has come.

HarperSeven Fri 29-Jul-11 21:04:13

beck - my 18mo says a number of words but not at all clearly - it's just that I know what he is referring to, mostly they sound nothing like the actual word. He only has 7 teeth. I relate to what you are saying about saying a word once then not bothering to say it again. We get that a lot.

Having said all this, i actually think he is bright in other ways & pays close attention to conversations and understands more than he can express. It's just a matter of time before it all joins up in his head and he starts talking. I'm sure your daughter will be the same. Let's catch up in a month or two!

KenDoddsDadsDog Fri 29-Jul-11 21:11:28

My DD only walked at 18 months. She speaks pretty well - what's this, over there, under there as well as words. But I was worried about the walking and not enjoying the talking!
I know at least two children that age who are still bald.
They are all different!

beck79 Fri 29-Jul-11 21:24:30

Ivortheengine8 thank you for your post - it's nice to hear that you posted the same thing and now have a chatty little one grin)

Harperseven, you are on! Lets catch up in a couple of months and hopefully we will be saying the same story as Ivortheengine8!!

Thanks again to everyone


Ivortheengine8 Fri 29-Jul-11 21:27:31

Thats ok Beck! smile

kickingking Fri 29-Jul-11 21:33:55

My son barely said a word til he was 23 months.

In terms of understanding language, he was really good - could follow three step instructions, laugh at jokes, etc. Then he began talking at about 23 and took off like a rocket. He did about 18 months worth of speech development (according to a chart I looked at!) in six months.

I think your daughter is fine smile

zorgmoid Fri 29-Jul-11 21:37:38

neither of mine talked at 18m. Now at 5.6 and 3.11 it's like a wall of noise that hits the house from 6am to 7pm, mostly questions (of the how and why variety) and mostly directed at me.


Maryz Fri 29-Jul-11 21:45:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Firsttimer7259 Sun 31-Jul-11 19:34:36

Ease off a bit with the vocab teaching. You risk turning her off from language. Instead ( I have this from a Hanen course called it takes two to talk)

Observe her more, gte eye level see what she's interested in, give her words for what she's interested in (I often find thats something completely different to what I initially thought), then WAIT count to 10 slowly in your head giving her time to respond to you. React to her response and see if you can build on that interaction. Use simple language, dont overload her and give her plenty of time to process.

Also try creating situations for her to speak/ask for things. You say you preempt her a lot. Try to hang back a bit. So dont give her her teddy when she shows you she wants it. Say oh do you want teddy? and wait for a response that indicates yes (even if its just more reaching and excitement). Then give it to her saying 'here's teddy'. You could work in short phrases that she would be using in that context eg: you say 'DDname want teddy'

Or give her choices making her express a preference: make her ask for food items during her meals. Make her ask to play something, give her 2 options 'do you want juice or yoghurt? If she reaches for one say: 'DDname wants juice'. Focus on communicating (includes all the physical smiling, eye contact reaching, pointing wriggling andything she does to show you something about her) and then making that communication verbal but keep it fun and simple. Not like Im going to teach you X word

HarperSeven Mon 01-Aug-11 09:03:46

Firsttimer - looked into Hanen after you posted your message.

OP here's a list of Hanen Language Building tips:

rathlin Mon 01-Aug-11 09:09:00

My DS didn't really start talking until about 23 mths...4 mths on and he is now talking in sentences. I would bin the flash cards - they are not going to make her speak any quicker and I'm not clear what the point of them is. My DS was quite late to crawl, walk, speak etc but he was early at other things and has great eye hand coordination.

going Mon 01-Aug-11 09:10:56

DD2 didn't get her first tooth until she was 18 months.
DS didn't really start saying any words until his second birthday.

Both are fine!

kickingking Mon 01-Aug-11 09:31:52

I've just reread my post - began talking at 23 months! Haha.

Firsttimer7259 Mon 01-Aug-11 10:47:40

Thanks HarperSeven Im going to save that link. I've recently started Hanen and am such a fan!

mousymouse Mon 01-Aug-11 10:55:56

op, try not to worry. if your dc is otherwise healthy and can understand/hear the rest will come on its own.
my ds spoke his first words at 18m, didn't babble before that. but we knew his hearing was fine and he is now fluently bilingual.

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