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How to encourage 18m old to start talking

(21 Posts)
doadeer Sat 27-Jun-20 18:44:36

Hi everyone,

My DS is nearly 18m, he's a quiet, easy going, peaceful sort of character. Very full of smiles and laughter but a chilled out little guy.

He's not interested in trying to mimic any words or animal noises... He likes to make him own sounds and does say mama and dada but hasn't tried anything else.

We spend so many hours a day reading - it's his favourite activity. I chat to him non stop - explaining what I'm doing, asking him questions, pretending to be animals, pointing things out etc.

I know this isn't necessarily behind, that they all grow at their own rate but I wonder when he will start to try and form words.

Does anyone have any advice?

OP’s posts: |
Perro Sat 27-Jun-20 18:50:44

Just keep doing what you’re doing, chatting to him about what you’re doing/what you can see or hear/the story you’re reading to him etc. There really isn’t anything you can do to speed up his speech, he’ll talk in his own time.
If you are very concerned, have a chat with yoir health visitor, who should be able to put your mind at rest. 18m is still very young smile

ChipsAndKetchup Sat 27-Jun-20 18:52:05

Neither of my boys started talking until much nearer 3.
Try not to stress about it. 18 months is so young!!

doadeer Sat 27-Jun-20 19:03:29

Thank you!

I've got that typical - "all my mum friends keep telling me how many words their babies know" 🙄

So silly really

OP’s posts: |
LeGrandBleu Sat 27-Jun-20 20:07:13

Keep doing that you are doing and if by chance there is some screen time, especially phone or iPad, remove them. Screens are linked to speech delay.
This said, every child has their own agenda. Keep reading and maybe start singing as well.
It will come, and remember that at some point, all kids do, but the advantage you are giving him by reading books will shoot up. By reading 5 books to him every day, he will have heard 1 million word when he starts school.

AgentCooper Sat 27-Jun-20 20:10:02

He will when he’s ready. He sounds a lovely wee boy. I remember panicking when a friend’s DD was saying ‘ta’ and my DS just didn’t seem interested in talking. You cannot shut him up now (he’s 2.5). Yakka Dee on CBeebies is actually a really good programme to encourage new words.

LaTomatina Sat 27-Jun-20 20:24:05

Yup. Nothing to worry about. Sounds like you're doing all the right things. 18 months is very early to be talking much.

Like with all the other milestones, everyone gets there in their own time, and once they do it really doesn't matter who did it first.

Abitlikeabiscuit Sat 27-Jun-20 20:32:13

Hi there, Speech and Language Therapist here. Sounds like you're doing really well helping your little one to talk. Two top tips to focus on in addition are:
- Use lots of one-word utterances to model what your little one could say in that situation (so e.g. uh-oh!, boo!, up, go, more, yum-yum etc) and keep using them in the same way many many times over the next while
- After you say something, leave a pause (up to ten seconds - it seems really long!) where you wait expectantly for your little one to respond. If they do, with a noise, gesture or facial expression, react very positively as if they have said something very interesting.
You can also stop and wait in a familiar rhyme or routine and see if they will either prompt you to continue (using a sound or a gesture etc) or fill in a familiar missing word, e.g. "The wheels on the bus go ...... all day ......". If your little one doesn't try, fill it in yourself and let them try again next time!

Any concerns about hearing at all or do they get a lot of colds?
You can have a look to see if your local Speech and Language therapy team have a helpline - we have one twice a week and would love to chat to you!

blankethog Sat 27-Jun-20 20:36:07

DS is 20 months. At 18 months he could say maybe 7/8 words. We were reading everyday and chatting non stop, I was like a narrator to my own life😂 in the last few weeks all his words have just seemed to just appear out of nowhere, he makes a real effort to copy what I'm saying and has started to put 2/3 words together. What I'm saying is I did nothing different for this to happen, they just go at their own pace and speak when they're ready! If he's happy you're doing a great job!

doadeer Sat 27-Jun-20 20:40:39

This has made me feel so much better thank you everyone and great tips to try.

He does like to watch films - strangely no interest in cbeebies at all but he likes proper films like frozen or shrek and nature documentaries about animals or dinosaurs - he is very into the story and dances, laughs at key bits.

I'll try to cut down this time. It's obviously not all day but can always do less

OP’s posts: |
surreygirl1987 Sat 27-Jun-20 23:07:37

My son is 20 months old and has only been using words properly for the last mo th3 or so. He suddenly had a language explosion where he went from pretty much 0 words to picking up multiple new words every day! Today he learned clock and moss and fork for instance. But literally a few weeks ago he wasn't talking at all and to be honest until 3 or so months ago he wasn't showing clear signs that he understood me either (that did worry me). Hopefully you'll have the same speech explosion with your son. I have a few friends whose babies also aren't really saying anything and they're all a littlw worried too but again only because of comparisons with other babies. And they're all so different- they can't possibly do everything all at the same time!

Rubyroost Sat 27-Jun-20 23:48:27

My kid was the same at 18 months, had over 100 words by 2 and knew all his colours by 22 months. Started saying two word sentences just after 2 and now says 5/6 word sentences, counts to 10 and can say his alphabet andvrecogbises and names letters and numbers. He's gone from basically nothing but mamma and Dadda at 18 months to being where he should be. Don't panic.

Rubyroost Sat 27-Jun-20 23:49:20

He's nearly 2.5 now btw, they develop so quickly in such a short space of time.

doadeer Sun 28-Jun-20 07:04:43

Thank you... It's so reassuring to hear your stories!

OP’s posts: |
Pickles89 Sun 28-Jun-20 09:41:56

Does he still use a dummy? If so I would get rid of it now, even if he only has it at night. You might also notice an improvement if you start offering the majority of his drinks from a rimmed cup rather than a spout or straw. The only other advice I have is to try and avoid background noise, having the TV on or whatever, when nobody's really watching it, when you're interacting, so he can focus fully on you without distraction. Otherwise just keep doing what you're doing! Every child is different. I'm a nanny, and while one little munchkin was chatting away at 12 months his sister didn't have a single word, not even 'Mama', at 18 months. She was however far more dexterous than him and could figure out a shape sorter or peg puzzle in half a minute, whereas he really struggled with them, so it's all swings and roundabouts!

doadeer Sun 28-Jun-20 09:45:25

He has a dummy at night sometimes but we could look to phase it out.

Good point about background noise I do try to give him the opportunity to focus.

Actually this week he has been making some new noises with his mouth so maybe experimenting!

And I just checked he's actually 17m not 18m I miscalculated.

I'll keep trying everything suggested.

I'm a very "now now now" type person... Need to be more patient I think!

OP’s posts: |
FizzingWhizzbee123 Wed 01-Jul-20 18:16:16

Language tends to come in bursts. DS has one around 20 months. You’ll just be amazed how words can just start flowing almost overnight.

Anyother Wed 01-Jul-20 18:32:52

Op, he's very young and I wouldn't worry at all. A book that I've found very helpful on the speech front is 'baby talk' by the late Dr Sally Ward. I found it really helpful and credit it my children's' early speech skills. But it's important to remember that though early speech is lots of fun, it often doesn't mean anything long-term. Eg my daughter could speak much better then my friend's daughter who was 9 months older. Guess who does better at school?

Sunshineeeee Wed 01-Jul-20 23:44:48

Does he hang out with other children slightly older? (I know it's hard during lockdown). I find that to be the biggest catalyst for speech. Children learn from children.

jessstan2 Thu 02-Jul-20 03:54:43

I think you're doing fine, he'll be talking in no time. It's great that you read and chat but don't overdo the chat, if you are non stop he'll be happy for you to do all the talking :-).

AncientRainbowABC Thu 02-Jul-20 12:26:59

Sounds like you’re doing lots of really good things.

We’re in a bit of a language explosion here too, suddenly all these new words are getting picked up, or she’d look at one of her books and just name whatever is in the picture. I think it all sinks in so, even when they’re not speaking as such, they are getting the benefit of knowing lots of words.

I would really second the singing with gaps for the baby to make a sound. We do this with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and DD has always been very fond of going “aaaaaaa” for “star” and “are”. She always looks so pleased with herself too. It’s very funny.

As everyone says, it’ll come.

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