When do babies start talking?

I have 16 month old baby. She was starting to say a few words around 11 months old but then she had a string of ear infections which took over 3 months to get tubes put in. She was at a 30% hearing loss in both ears which obviously stopped her communicating. At her 15 month check up, her doctor said she wants her to start saying around 15-20 words by the time she’s 18 months old or we will have to start speech therapy to catch her back up. Since her surgery (and a little before) she has started babbling a ton more. Is there any way to help her start speaking words? I know we’re not bad parents but it’s also sad to see your kid possibly falling behind developmentally.


try the baby flash cards. Colors, pictures etc and just work with her daily. And then, when 6ou sre out take the time to show her things, and tell her what they are, try to get her repeating words to you.

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My son is going through the same issue but he turned 2 in February. His ent evaluation is end of June. He currently goes to speech once a month. They just play with him and say words over and over. Point at your mouth so they now how to move their mouth. They are also teething him sign language.

I’ve always been told they do it when ready. I was also concerned my almost 18 month old only says things like daddy, momma, bath, nana, nite nite, drink, cup, snack, eat. I have tried so many things to get him to talk more and he is just not interested.

She will be fine, just talk and read easy single syllable words to her. Always speak clear too, don’t do baby talk.


Our pediatrician recommend copying our son. When he babbled, mimic the noise. Once he started saying words, use words. I have a lot of conversation with him just babbling to me.

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I would consider placing her in private speech class and inquire if your school district has pre-k disability program for children with hearing loss and delayed speech.

Narrate everything you do throughout the day to her. Talk to her like you’re actually having a conversation.


She will do it when she’s ready. Doctors are wonderful, but not everyone fits into the statistics. Hard as a mom to be told your kiddo maybe doesn’t meet “standard” yet, but trust in time she will. Keep checking her hearing, and let her do her thing.


Repeat until you sound like a broken record :joy:

My 2 year old had to have adenoids removed and tubes put in her ears. She never had an ear infection but she had speech regression which was caused for a complete fluid blockage in her ears and enlarged adenoids. We use flash cards at dinner, we sing songs with directions in them. We use words for everything if she holds her cup, I point and say drink, if it’s dinner time I say eat, when we are swimming I say kick and she repeats all of it. I try to stay away from the baby words like night-night or boo-boo and will say bedtime or hurt… we use “hide and peek” books at bedtime, her speech has improved tremendously since her surgery 3 weeks ago. I’m okay with 1-2 words sentences out of her for now and I know the more language she is able to hear the more she will progress. She has been pretty much hearing under water for who knows how long.

I was going to say picture book but Brittney got ahead of me. Use her method. It will work. Put a smile on your face. Easy words like happy, doggie, kitty are always great.

My son went through the same thing. As soon as he got his tubes he started babbling more then woke up one day and was just sort of talking. He caught himself up within 2 weeks.

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Slowly pronounce words and show what the word is. We use foods, colors, animals and numbers. My 14 month old knows 1&2. Knows sounds of animals, people’s names and a few foods.

. Look up baby sign language, there are tons videos on youtube and use those signs as you talk to her.

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Just talk to her. I have full on conversations with my son from the day he was born (lol dont judge me) and hes very clearly trying to make sounds and learn the difference of them at almost 5 months. (I’m sure that would be much different if he had a hard time hearing me.)

But ALL kids are different, you are not a bad parent. Things happen, she will catch up.


My lil has had speech n swallow since birth. The main thing they will do is yes repeat repeat repeat. While doing this slow down all your words take longer to enunciate every word and let her see your mouth while doing so, of you can


I wish doctors would stop stressing parents out and stop pressuring them.

Just read alot and ask lots of questions.

Sing sing sing

Children talk when ready

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Lol my 18 month old does not say 20 words.

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Read to her and try to get her to repeat words to you. Lots of praise when she does well, make it a fun game.

My husband had around 50% hearing loss at 2-3 years old for the same issue…he did speech and tubes, he is a fully functional loud, well spoken adult. Most days anyway. :joy:

Make sure you are using words not baby talk. Repeat words and when she points to something she wants repeat what it is to her. My son was speech delayed and speech therapy can be a great thing. His sister is almost 7 years older so they had their own language and it caused the delay. Use full sentences and it will get better. You can also start baby sign language

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First off, there is nothing wrong with her developmentally… all kids start to talk at different times… even ones that have had no health issues. Just keep encouraging the babble and keep talking to her…


I do flash cards with my little ones and that helps lots, also reading books together, singing simple songs… And sign language helps a lot because you give visual information when you’re speaking so usually kids who sign start talking right away…

This happened with my son at 9 months. He didnt get tubes until he was 2. He was in speech therapy he still needs it and he’ll be 11 this yr. Just talk to her and give her the words. We also learned sign language and taught it to my son. He loved it.

My cousin didn’t start talking much until he was about 3– but when he did, it was full blown non stop talking. She will be fine:)

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Read as often as possible so not just bedtime if you can help it and talk to her as much as you can throughout the day just including her in your day- even if it’s just explaining about doing the laundry.

Speech therapy is a life saver !


Your pediatrician is giving you false information. It’s recommended that the child speak 5-10 words by 18 months and there is not a need to even consider speech therapy until the child is at least 2 years old. Starting speech therapy is something you can hold off on as your child isn’t developmentally behind, some kids can take as long as three years old to start speaking.

But, the best thing you can do is talk to her. Talk about everything. Say everything you’re doing. Ask her questions. She might babble but eventually it’ll turn into words.


My 2 year old is behind in speech and is in eci and it really seems like it’s helping

Read EVERYTHING to her.

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Keep talking to her. Speech therapy is great I am a speech therapist and a teacher of the deaf. It’s always hard when there is a hearing loss. Teaching signs along with words helps too! Feel free to message me if you want to discuss more

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My girls didn’t start actually talking til they where 3 because of a language issue give her time and keep talking to her

Talk to your child constantly. With my 3 kids, everytime I dressed them I told them what everything was by name, what we were doing. Constantly communicated with them daily. They knew 60 words at 18 months! By 5 word sentences at 20mo. Verb tense down at 24mo. You could carry on a full conversation with them. My kids did the same with their kids. It works. Constant communication was the key. Talk. Talk. Talk. Good luck. Also, potty trained by 24mo. Because you could tell them exactly what was going on, and they understood. Took less than a week to achieve. Again, you’re a great mom and you can do this!! Chatter away with her. NO baby words, or baby pronunciations either.

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Talk talk talk talk and talk to her a ton. Read her books poems stuff in magazines and newspapers- every chance you get can be something to reas n talk w her. Something funny to do is to say long words like rhinoceros, elephant, etc to see how she does with it. Lol I loved hearing my Los try to say those long words.
Other than trying to do that, dobt pressure yourself so much like its a deadline due ir you’ll fail. Bc you won’t. She will be fine if she isnt meeting exactly what your dr said.

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Yeah just like they said just keep talking and naming things around her, join a book club, and there are computer programs that can help too. I am currently using ABC mouse.

My daughter is in speech therapy since last July. One thing we did that helped was sign language. It sounds weird because you don’t have to speak with it but our therapist told us that basically my daughter would see results from the sign language but would want results faster to which she would listen to the words your saying with the sign. Also just keep saying the same words over and over…if she reaches for a toy ball…repeat ball 2-3 times before giving it to her. Just start off slow…my daughter wouldn’t say the word but when asked where the ball was she knew what it was so that is another way to encourage learning. My daughter only would say about 5 words when she started therapy…and she was going backwards because we tried to get her to go from Dada to Daddy…so she stopped saying it all together. They do an eval in December and in that 4-5 months she went from the 5 words to hundreds…they were impressed. Unfortunately she is still in therapy because she tries to talk to fast to where we have no idea what she’s saying and it sounds like babbling…in her head she’s saying complete sentences. Don’t feel embarrassed or discouraged if you have to do therapy…I was at first and now I wish I’d started her earlier. They give your tips and tricks, some work and some don’t, just have to figure out what kind of learner she is. Good luck Mama :wink:

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My 2 and a half year old is still babbling but he is stringing words together. Pediatrician said if he reaches 3 and he isn’t better that it’s time for speech therapy. So don’t worry about it for a while, easier said than done

Talk to her like an adult. 2 out of 5 of my kids are in speech therapy

A child usually doesnt start talking until they are about 2 and a half 3 years old. So you’re not doing anything wrong. If she was saying stuff already she is developing really fast. Which is great. But dont worry. Shell eventually start to talk when it’s time. Also their are DVDs that help. They are really good. Look into them.

Read to her lots, put her hand on ur mouth when u say things u want her to say emphasise ur words say the words very slow and point to ur mouth so she can watch and then feel how the mouth moves to make certain sounds and words

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Speach Speech theraphy is very beneficial either way