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Not sure if my baby is saying enough words.

(16 Posts)
PoorOldCat Tue 18-Feb-14 14:09:55

Not sure about this, but ds is 13 months (and a half) and he has hardly got any words.

He can say Mama, which has only just crossed over from 'sound I can make' to 'word with meaning' iykwim,

he can say 'check' but doesn't know what it means, he was just repeating it.

He can say bot-bot when I change his nappy.

That's about it.

Is this normal? A quick google suggests he is a bit behind.

I think his hearing is Ok as he babbles a lot and dances to music and gives us a monologue now and again, well every day, of different random sounds he can make.

Just not sure if he is in line with average. He also doesn't seem to understand 'no' or maybe he is just ignoring it smile


WeeClype Tue 18-Feb-14 14:15:01

I think all babies develops at different rates, my DS turns 2 next month and isn't a very good talker in my eyes. I know a girl the same age and she's talking proper sentences, my DS can barely join up 2 words. He'll get there eventually tho and no doubt I'll be wishing he'd just shut up for a minute.

NancyJones Tue 18-Feb-14 14:24:14

Hi, not sure where it falls in terms of the average but it's certainly within normal. Lots of children have a few clear words at 13mths but many more don't start speaking coherently until closer to 2yrs.
In terms of overall development and things to be concerned about, at 13mths his non verbal communication is a much better indicator of any potential problems.

So, most, but not all children are beginning to point at his age (should be firmly in place by 18mths) They are also at the stage of showing and sharing. Does he share a rice cake with you? If you said 'can mummy have some' would he offer if to you? Does he bring you toys and books to share? Does he answer to his name most of the time? Does he smile in response to your smile? Laugh when you do something silly? Enjoy peek a boo?

Also, do you think he understands what you say? If you said 'where's daddy of where is (favourite toy)?' Would he look in their direction?

These are all more important than speech at this age. Don't worth if he's not doing all of these things but if you're happy that he shows understanding, turns to his name and is showing good signs of non verbal communication such as pointing, waving, showing or sharing then I wouldn't worry too much at this stage.

If you get close to 2yrs with no increase in words then either speak to your Hv or self refer to speech therapy which you can usually do from 2yrs just by calling up. Though it can take mths for an app to come through by which time you may not need it.

PlainBrownEnvelope Tue 18-Feb-14 14:25:03

My dd is almost 20 mo and says very little but her level of understanding is much higher than ds's was, who had a lot more words by then. I think they develop at different rates.

YippeeKiYayMakkaPakka Tue 18-Feb-14 14:34:11

They're all different, but what you describe sounds well within the normal range. In fact I'd say bot-bot at 13mo is pretty good! My 16mo only has a few words (half a dozen clear words, and a few more less clear but understandable in context). My now-almost-4yo was the same, and once she hit 2yo it all flooded out and now she rarely shuts up grin

PoorOldCat Tue 18-Feb-14 14:42:50

Thankyou all very much, it's made me feel a bit better - Nancy, your post was extremely helpful.

Some of it he does - he is pointing since 12mo, he plays games with all of us, and I just thought of another thing he can say (and does at every opportunity) which is (roughly) 'there he is'.

It's part of the 'where's baby gone' game, you know, peep-bo or whatever you call it. He loves that. He says it like 'dare -ee-er' sort of thing, you can tell what it is from the intonation.

So if I said as you suggested, where's daddy, or where's your brother, he will say 'there he is' without actually seeing the person or even looking for them smile Maybe we have shot ourselves in the foot with that!

I'm not sure that he knows his name either. He definitely doesn't seem to respond to 'no', or look up when someone says his name. But he does initiate games, he's doing it now while I'm feeding him (peeping out from under my t shirt saying there he is!) and he laughs at me when I put things on my head.

So I guess we are swings and roundabouts smile

Ds2 didn't point till about 2yo and I thought he might be on the spectrum, still not sure on that one..but ds1 talked at about 9mo (and walked just before 10mo, he's dyslexic and dyspraxic so you never can tell)

Anyway glad it sounds fairly normal. We will keep on keeping on.

NancyJones Tue 18-Feb-14 14:52:03

If he's initiating games inc peekaboo and pointing by 12mths then it's very unlikely he has asd or a similar communication disorder. Just keep a close eye on it as you already have a child with dyslexia and dyspraxia. This should also help you get a quick referral if you decided you needed it at 2yrs. The 'there it is' esp with appropriate intonation is also a very good sign. smile

Easy to worry and compare. I have one bright, normally developing child, one normally developing academically gifted child and a third with mild SN so I do have some insight. Good luck.

BlueDesmarais Tue 18-Feb-14 16:49:51

Perfectly normal. I considered my 13 month old a genius for having 3 or 4 words -she was actually ahead of my older son, who is now precociously verbal (I don't recommend it, really!) but his language didn't really kick off big time til 18 months.

They really start to speed up now. DD learned about 4 different vegetable names on the same day, the day after she had "ree dis" (read this) and "gen" (again) down pat. They get more and more confident.

brettgirl2 Wed 19-Feb-14 16:54:33

13 months is earlyish for meaningful words and pointing, whatever it says on the Web. A lot of early talking is over imaginative mothers imo.

brettgirl2 Wed 19-Feb-14 16:56:02

and as Blue says once they really start talking they can learn 20 odd words per day so one or two here or the up to 18 months is pretty irrelevant!

NancyJones Wed 19-Feb-14 18:25:19

Actually, brettgirl, 13mths is not at all early for pointing. Children, usually girls, start pointing around 9/10mths and most typically developing toddlers are pointing by 13/14mths.
The MChat test which is an extremely useful screening tool in picking up potential problems in toddlers uses 18mths as it's upper limit of normal. But most children are pointing much earlier than this.

PoorOldCat Wed 19-Feb-14 19:47:40

I can really see the difference with ds3, from last time round - I was quite concerned about ds2 because he just did not point.

He's a funny chap anyway, very self contained and thinks more than he lets on. He is 6 now. Not obviously autistic but I think he has traits - very precise, won't let any mistakes go, always correcting us.

He had quite a few red flags at the time but no one really worried except for me! He's HE now and I still wonder if he should be assessed but for the moment it's just a case of helping him deal with the world in a way that suits him. Which isn't always easy. smile

Ds3 points so enthusiastically that there is just no question he wants to share things with everyone.

PoorOldCat Wed 19-Feb-14 19:48:34

and I should say, wants everyone to share stuff with him! Tipping over from declarative to imperative at the out world.

NancyJones Wed 19-Feb-14 20:30:21

Ha! That's where it can get confusing, PoorOldCat. A few children with hf asd will use a declarative point but usually it's very late to develop.(sometimes not until 2yrs+) It's the imperative pointing that's more crucial and if in place enthusiastically by 12/13mths then it's a pretty sure sign that the child doesn't have a communication disorder. The declarative comes first though and I think is usually followed by the imperative 2-3mths later.

PoorOldCat Wed 19-Feb-14 20:49:10

It's very interesting isn't it. I think I need to get ds2 assessed properly.

Thanks again for all your knowledge and help.

NancyJones Wed 19-Feb-14 21:04:57

Oh no problem. My ds3 is always going to be a vague 'is he, isn't he' one. We know there's SN of some sort, and he shows lots of traits but it's still up in the air. Who knows!
Good luck with it all!

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