A boy of few words

Bub is over eighteen months now but his speaking is probably on a par with most 12 month olds, or younger. According to various websites he should be using several words regularly by now. But we only have one ‘da da’ or maybe two if you count a regular use of a grunted ‘urrgh’.

I’m not too worried as Bub clearly understands an awful lot. He can follow quite complex commands (‘take teddy and give him a ride on your train’ or ‘put the ball in the pot and shake it’.) Also his daddy apparently spoke very late and caused his mum great frustration as she was sure he could but just refused. I don’t think Bub is refusing but I do believe he’ll get it sooner or later.

I met up with some mummy buddies and their babies recently. One thing that reassured me was that whilst Bub is clearly behind average in speech development his buddies are not chatting as much as i’d thought they might be. Many of them have quite big vocabularies, I’m told, but are clearly not as vocal yet in public. Maybe only their parents can understand what they are saying but I found it a little reassuring that they weren’t all chat-chat-chatting away all afternoon.

One thing I do find odd is that when Bub was younger he did say more words. He used to say ‘edah’ and then ‘ed’ whilst pointing at food he wanted to eat. He has said ‘nana’ and ‘mama’ occasionally too. This is now done with the multi-purpose ‘urr’. Maybe is was coincidence that it sounded like ‘eat’?

When did your little one start speaking and what were their first words? Any tips on encouraging a reluctant toddler to expand his vocabulary? Some ideas for good games much appreciated (and yes we do read to him several times daily.)


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3 Responses to “A boy of few words”

  1. Lisa | mama.ie Says:

    At 18 months, my son was the same as your son. He didn’t even seem to use Mama and Dada in context – he used them randomly, if at all. And like your son, he seemed to have stopped saying a few words like “ball” that he had said previously. I remember reading that he should have between six and ten words at 18 months and being a bit freaked out. But I was satisfied that his understanding was there, so I figured he’d be fine. And sure enough, just six or eight weeks later, the words started to flow. Now at 22 months, he has more words than I can count. And he’s starting to string them together in little sentences recently. The funny thing is that he went from no words to at least 20 or more words almost overnight. It’s like the words were there all the time, he just waited until he was confident in them before he started using them.

  2. Jenny paulin Says:

    I blogged about the same thing last week! My boy is 2 and doesn’t say many words at all, although is trying more now. So as your boy is younger and like mine, clearly understands commands I wouldn’t worry!! (even though you do!) I always think that suddenly one day he will just speak a sentence and shock me! Xx

  3. callsignmommy Says:

    My now 4 year old son has a ridiculous vocabulary. This, after his grandmother suggested that his speech was so delayed at 2.5 that we should seek help. I was worried at that age, but figured that he had been working on other things and would get there when he was ready. He did. I’m willing to be that your less than verbal small people excel in other areas — for Turbo it was the physical realm. He could scale small buildings before he ever said “mommy.” Son number 2 is almost 2 now and just beginning to use words regularly. Never fear. Give them time, keep talking to them in adult language with full sentences and they’ll surprise you soon.

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