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16 month old - not even close to talking

(56 Posts)
Mybobowler Fri 15-May-20 19:43:33

Just after a bit of reassurance really, or some advice! My 16 month old doesn't speak a single word - no Mama or Dada, absolutely nothing. She's just started doing a few animal noises with hand gestures, she'll babble a bit (repetitive sounds), but she doesn't try to imitate actual words and I can't imagine her ever talking. Should I be worried?

She loves books and we read to her all the time, I sing and talk to her constantly, I say the words for things she's looking or pointing at. Is there more I should do?

She's also not walking, although she seems a bit closer to that and I think she's just not quite brave enough to let go!

She seems a bright little thing - always observing and paying attention. She gets really absorbed in certain activities, especially going through repetitive actions (can't figure out what she's doing!). I'm just wondering if all of this points to a possible problem or if this is all pretty normal?

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Mybobowler Fri 15-May-20 19:44:55

There were paragraphs in the original!

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TeddyIsaHe Fri 15-May-20 19:49:05

I can’t really remember when Dd started talking <terrible mother!> but her first decipherable word was ‘shit’ after I dropped a huge saucepan on my foot and didn’t realise she was in earshot if that’s any help grin

Dd was a late talker and walker (didn’t start walking till she was 20 months) and it was getting to the point of seeking advice when she suddenly started walking like she had done it all her life! She’s now 3.5 and has an excellent and varied vocabulary. So I wouldn’t start worrying just yet.

Are you planning on using nursery when this all calms down? I found Dd came on exponentially when she started nursery at 2.

twinnywinny14 Fri 15-May-20 19:49:40

I work in a nursery and I would always say if you are concerned speak to your HV (although they do vary!) continue to monitor her progress- perhaps keep a diary once a month so you can track.

Mrsjayy Fri 15-May-20 19:50:59

Do you give her space to talk or do you rush in with yes dd cup ? Does she recognise things if you ask her to bring you something .

Drivingdownthe101 Fri 15-May-20 19:51:53

My first didn’t talk until she was 2. She never had a ‘first word’... at two she just started talking I’m full sentences. She’s now the most eloquent 6 year old I know!
My second talked early, 2-3 word sentences by about 14 months.
My third is 16 months, he said ‘peppa’, ‘choc chic’ and ‘shoes’ (while banging to get out of the front door). Which demonstrates how our lockdown is going!

Drivingdownthe101 Fri 15-May-20 19:52:37

Sorry my SPAG was appalling in that post, it’s been a long week!

Drivingdownthe101 Fri 15-May-20 19:52:58

That was meant to be ‘choc choc’!

peakygal Fri 15-May-20 19:53:19

I don't want to alarm you as Im not an expert but she sounds exactly how my now 7yo did at 16 months (aside from the walking) and my DD was diagnosed with ASD at 2. We were told she would possibly always be non verbal yet around 4 she just started talking and hasn't stopped since even in her sleep. If you are overly concerned speak with your doctor or even a health nurse hopefully its just a minor delay as there is a lot of children who are late talkers x

BertieBotts Fri 15-May-20 19:55:29

This is absolutely normal. Have a read of this:

Particularly the first paragraph:

^My 15 month old child isn't saying many words. Should I be worried?^
It’s great that you’re so vigilant regarding your child's communication skills. At 15 months, we would expect children to be babbling. Whilst many children start to say their first words around their first birthday, it can take as long as 18 months before they appear.

It's from ican's Talking Point website which is really useful for any questions about speech development:

CaryStoppins Fri 15-May-20 19:55:51

All 3 of my children didn't speak until around 2 and weren't really intelligible until 2.5.

Lofu Fri 15-May-20 19:56:07

My brother didn't say a single word until he was 4. He just started chatting one day like it was no big deal. He is in every other way normal.

winniesanderson Fri 15-May-20 19:56:55

I post this reply a lot on these threads but it would be worth getting her ears checked when you're able to. My youngest has got a speech delay. She's just turning 2. I'd been quite worried for a while and took her to the gp a few months ago as I was wondering if she had glue ear or something. Turned out her ears were completely blocked with wax. We've been using drops ever since and are just starting to see some progress. I was baffled as she always had good understanding and responded well but no real sounds or babbling at all. But also definitely could call your health visiting team if you have any concerns.

Mybobowler Fri 15-May-20 19:57:11

Thanks both! She's been going to nursery twice a week since she was 9 months old - they've never said anything about her development, but I think I'll ask them to keep an eye on it when she eventually goes back. I do worry about whether these months off will set her back further - they must learn so much by watching other children.

@Teddyisahe - always reassuring to hear of other toddlers who took things at their own pace! I'm trying so hard to my language, but because she's not talking, I forget that she's still taking it all in. I'm sure the odd swear gets through - must start putting a quid in a jar!

I was going to call the HV but didn't want to take up resources while everything is going on.

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BertieBotts Fri 15-May-20 19:58:08

Not walking also v normal at 16 months, especially if you feel she's right on the edge.

Repetitive actions are developmentally appropriate at this age as they are part of how she is exploring and experimenting with the world. She is trying things out to see what happens and whether she always gets the same result or not smile

Mybobowler Fri 15-May-20 19:58:59

Oh wow @winnesanderson - that hadn't even occured to me. I'll definitely follow that up with our GP.

Thanks so much everyone for your replies!

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pinkstar01 Fri 15-May-20 19:59:46

Having had a very late talker, I would ask you how does she communicate normally? Does she point? Show you things? Does she look at you to see your reaction when playing? From the many things I read if she's doing that stuff then she will be just fine most likely

ZsaZsaMc Fri 15-May-20 20:03:40

My DC is just 2 and their speaking has only come on in the last 3 months - were probably close to mute at 16 months!

AbsolutWitch Fri 15-May-20 20:11:41

My youngest was barely making any sounds at 16 months, he's now 20 months and starting to say a few actual words, although not many mind you. His understanding is excellent however so I'm not concerned

Mybobowler Fri 15-May-20 20:13:11

@pinkstar01 yes, she does all of that (the pointing and reaching is relentless!) - her comprehension is really good, she can understand "go and get a book" or "put that in the box" for example. I'm sure it's all going in, but nothing is coming out!

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whensmynexthol1day Fri 15-May-20 20:17:00

I really wouldn't worry at that age. Neither of mine really said much until much closer to two.

I also wouldn't assume they she is missing anything by not being at nursery. Both of mine have come on in noticeable leaps and bounds every time they have a holiday and my nearly 3 year old is thriving in terms of speech whilst off. Nurseries are noisy places where they can't always distinguish one conversation from another. At least at home they get quiet conversations and more one on one attention. I've always been very pro nursery for the benefits they get from socialisation and the range of messy activities (that I can't be bothered to tidy up from!) but have always thought that speech is one area hampered by a nursery environment,

karenchiefmum Fri 15-May-20 20:17:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Drivingdownthe101 Fri 15-May-20 20:19:06

Oh and the only one of mine who didn’t go to nursery was the one speaking in sentences at 14 months so I wouldn’t worry on that front!

Loufer Fri 15-May-20 20:22:11

My DS didn't say a single word until she turned 2. Then once she started she never stopped. We have to tell her to stop talking just so she can eat her dinner ! I definitely wouldn't be worrying at 16 months

Loufer Fri 15-May-20 20:22:31

*DD I meant !

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