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Talking at home but not nursery (14 mths)

7 replies

Catz · 30/09/2008 17:27

Has anyone had experience of a baby/toddler who talks at home but not nursery? Nursery don?t think DD (14 months) can talk but she talks all the time when she is with me or DH. I?m worried that either it?s a sign that she?s unhappy there or shows that they are not paying much attention to her.

Some background ? sorry it?s a bit long. She goes to nursery 2 days a week and has done since she was 8 mths old. The nursery is reasonably good but DD has found it difficult to settle. She?s been there 6 months and she still cries when left, though I?m told she settles down after a few minutes. On evenings after nursery she is more easily upset and difficult but that may be tiredness. I am worried that she is unhappy when she is at nursery and that not talking is part of that insecurity. Nursery keep making comments such as ?soon she?ll be able to talk? and clearly don?t believe me when I say she does. In fact she started using recognisable words at 10 mths old and people outside of the family commented on it at that age. Of course her words aren?t perfect but she is understandable and not just to me. She is quite friendly and will helpfully point things out (e.g. ?flower? etc) to random people who reply showing they understand (?yes it is a pretty flower? etc). This week, for example, she?s had ?conversations? like that with a mum (stranger) in mothercare, our cleaner (a single man with no kids), someone walking a dog past our house etc. She talks so much that several other mums have asked me whether I?ve been deliberately working on speech with her (which I haven?t). Sorry, that sounds as if I?m trying to show off which I?m not ? plenty of children can do what she can ? I?m just trying to show that I?m not deluded.

Is this just completely normal or a busy nursery that doesn?t have time to listen to an individual child or is it a sign of unhappiness. Many thanks for reading all this!

OP posts:
nurseryvoice · 30/09/2008 19:02

We had an elective mute, but he spoke at home but to no other adults.
It took a long time for him to say anything about 2 years so he was 4 and just about to start school.
He enjoyed nursery , he told his mum.....

MrsMattie · 30/09/2008 19:06

Is it possible that the nursery don't understand her as well as you do? I often meet families where the toddler will babble a load of old nonsense (to my ear) and then the mum will say 'yes, you're right! those flowers are such a pretty shade of blue' etc etc .

14 months is incredibly early for a child to have fully formed, recognisable words.

Scarfmaker · 30/09/2008 22:11

I look after a 14 month old and she can clearly say cat, ball, mumma, dadda, oh oh,
shoe but this is only on her terms and when she's in the mood!

Catz · 01/10/2008 10:12

Thanks for the replies. It's good to know that some children don't speak but still enjoy themselves. It's putting together the crying when left, difficulty in the evenings and the non-speaking that's worrying me. I'm worried that it means that she's insecure when there even if not actually crying. Either that or that it indicates that the nursery staff simply don't spend much time close to them. Of course it could just be that she's tired in the evenings and a bit overwhelmed by everything at nursery.

Of course I understand more of what she says that they do and she's hardly about to get a job reading the BBC news but she does say quite a few things clearly. I've been watching to see whether other people understand her to see whether it is just a lack of clarity. In the past couple of weeks I've seen her understood (ie. they use the word back) by people who aren't close friends when she's said things like flower, shoes, bike, nana (banana), biscuit, milk, hello, bye, baby, eyes, ears, mouth, hair, nose (she has a thing about pointing out features on children's faces at the moment!). All these words are surely quite common at nursery and I can't believe that they've just not picked it up in 4 months. She was 10 months old when people first started commenting on words she'd used. I really don't want to sound as if I'm trying to show off. It's not recognition I want from the nursery, I just want to know that she's happy and right now I feel that she's not.

Thansk for reading all of this if anyone does!

OP posts:
roadha · 01/10/2008 19:18

Firstly, I believe you (that she can talk) recognisable to you and others as I have experienced many children of this age talking.

It could be that Nursery actually has helped her with her speech (and you of course), as in this enviroment she would be stimulated and at this age alot of emphasis is put on pointing out facial features, and everyday objects.
She could be really enjoying Nursery and just 'taking it all in' and in her own way trying to tellyou what she has been doing at Nursery.
I have also known many children not talking at Nursery but being very happy there, its just her way and she'll talk there when ready. I would however talk to her Key worker as comments like 'I'm sure she'll talk soon' means they don't believe you! Which makes me very unhappy. I would maybe go into the office or staff room, with key worker and play for a while with familiar toys and books, so see if she chats away in this enviroment (with out others and all the stimulating toys/walls etc.. around her. If I were her key worker this is what I would do on a one to one with her, no distractions, and I would always believe the parents.
As for checking if she is happy, do the usual and pop in early or get someone else to pick her up early or maybe you have a friend that would like to look round during the day??
Sorry, rambled on long enough, hope I've given you a few ideas.x

Catz · 02/10/2008 12:04

Hi Roadha,

Many thanks for your helpful and positive message. I will try your suggestion. The nursery staff are generally very good and helpful but you're right, I don't think they believe me. I suppose I'm concerned that they will think I'm a deluded individual desperate for affirmation that my child is 'advanced'! I just want to make sure she's happy. It's so difficult to tell. I do pick her up at random times and she is playing and doesn't tend to cry till she sees me. She does still cry when we get there and when I mention nursery and she is clingy and whingey (sp?) afterwards but it's difficult to know whether she's secure when there. Anyway, I will try your suggestions and see.

Thanks again

OP posts:
lovefamily · 03/10/2008 11:18

I was just about to post about the same thing. My dd has just turned two but has been going to nursery for 3-4 months now and is a chattaholic (as you would expect at this age). Its only today that nursery asked if she talks at home only to tell me she doesnt say a peep there and is really quiet. This is quite worrying to me as dd is a lively, constantly happy little girl. Now, I have handed in my notice a while ago as soon after starting I decided it wasnt the place for her. Its a long story but its only after we started the settling in sessions after signing up that I got to see how it truly was, rather than a glimpse on a quick show round. Shes half way through her two month notice period and I have found a nursery that when compared the one she is at I say 'wow'. Basically its sooooo much better in so many ways.
Anyway for your situation I would look at the following things: is it a big nursery - if so she may be getting 'lost' in it. Also look to the nursery, what are the staff like - talkative and happy, young or old? I think the general look of the nursery is a good indicator too - is everything run down and old or neat and looked after.
My dd will start the new nursery in 3-4 weeks and it is smaller - she will be with 7-8 others of her same age (2-2.5 years) with two key carers. Whereas where she is - she 'supposedly' has two key carers but they are not always there and I 'deliver' her to any one of 7-8 workers (she goes 3 mornings a week), the nursery is very run down, dirty toys and the two key carers she is supposed to have - the older one is lazy and will always sit at the table doing the table activity waiting for the children to come to her and the younger one NEVER smiles or looks happy - I saw this at a settling session. She read a book in a monotone voice, always looks grumpy and like she doesnt wanna be there.

Oh and another thing - check out their Ofsted report at i think. I did for the both nurseries and for the one I dont like even Ofsted themselves had raised some similar issues to mine including about encouraging children to speak - they reported that the staff did not encourage learning new words and speech. In fact this isnt hard to see when many times when I am there they have a tape player blaring out ALL the time. Children literally CANT speak cause they cant hear each other etc etc.

I hope this helps you somewhat and I am sorry for going on a bit - but couldnt explain everything without making it long. I think I agree with the person on here who said go in early or get a friend to look around.

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