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21 month old not talking! Advice please?

Hi ladies

I've been a little concerned about my son who is 21 months. He isn't talking yet and it seems that all the other children his age are saying quite a few words now. He says 'mama' and 'dada' when he wants to but not that often. I talk to him all the time and sing to him and i know that he hasn't got a problem with his hearing because he will respond to his name (half the time) and responds to noises etc. He can understand me quite well when i talk to him. If i say 'pick your juice up', he will go and pick it up. Or if he's holding something or picked something up he shouldn't have i say 'give it to mummy', he will 90% of the time come and give it to me etc. His understanding of language had definitely improved a lot over the last 2 months but he doesn't want to talk yet!

I have noticed a big improvement though in his babbling. He didn't used to babble very often, was quite quiet. But he doesn't stop babbling now and i've noticed that his babble has developed a rhythym (sp?) now and sounds like he's having a conversation in his own language. I know all children develop differently but it seems that he's always been a bit behind!! Sat at 8 months, crawled at 14 months, walked at 19 months. Do you think i'm expecting too much or should i mention something to my hv in case he needs some help?

Thanks for any advice



  • hey hun, i dont have much advice but my wee boy is the same. hes 18 months and only says "hiya" and "dadda" and occasionally "yes" but he only says them randomly, and not when its appropriate. hes also started babbling alot more and babbles the same things over and over so im hoping he might start talking more soon. my hv made him have a speech assesment and wants him to have another soon. she even went as far as to call it "abnormal" (cow) but i just believe babies develop at different rates...still doesnt stop u from worrying though does it :\( image xx
  • Im ????n exactly the same boat as you. My 22 month old has just started to say some th????ngs (but only 'no' 'cake' and 'poo' lol!). H????s understand????ng also seems to have developed and he ????s babbl????ng much more - Heres hop????ng they just beg????n to talk one day. I was really worr????ed about ????t a few months ago but now I can see he ????s ????mprov????ng I am not so concerned anymore.
  • Its funny its all boys! My little boy will be 3 in a few months and he still doesnt really talk! He knows how to talk and can say many word he just chooses not to! In stead he loves to talk in his own wee lanuage, he understands everything I say to him so im not worried in the slightest my older brother was the same when he was a baby and theres nothing wrong with him now.
  • lol maybe boys *are* just lazy. mines certainly is :lol:
  • Hi, my little one, 23 mth didn't talk much at all up until last month, we went on holiday for a week and all of sudden he just started talking, and hasn;t shut up since!

    It seems that he didn't bother with single words and waited till he could put a few together.

    So I wouldn't worry too much, he' ll start when he's ready.
  • Hi my boy is 17mth and still no words , I wouldn't worry too much as I've seen threads on here before about this and the general response I'd that as long as they appear to understand you and communicate in their own way like shaking their head for no etc it's not something to be concerned about. My bro didn't actually talk to 3 and he was like rachiers boy. Just waited til he could say sentences .... I know it's frustrating though, I'm desperate for him to call me mummy! Grrr image
  • Ollie is 22 months and didnt talk . We thought his hearing was fine but when he saw the ENT specialist they did a pressure test which showed a build up of fluid behind his eardrum, meaning that although he could hear things and responded to us he couldnt hear the definition of what we were saying enough to be able to produce words himself.
    He could communicate through shaking his head, and gestures, but couldnt talk.

    He had grommets put in last friday, and within a week he is saying things that sounds so much more like words than just his babble before hand.
    Where he was only saying mama before, he now says dada (sometimes) hiya, ganad (grandad), ana (nana) ta and yes.
    we were delighted yesterday, when i found he he picked up my fone and inadvertently rung my dad, as he was saying hiya ganad and laughing. It was joy!

    Not to scare anyone, as boys do tend to speak later than girls, and there was a period of illness with Ollie, but if you have any doubts about it get them checked out.

  • Sorry to butt in but have you tested his sight / friends lo didnt talk either at that age and my friend was advised to test lo's sight/hearing - it turned out lo has very bad sight hence lo couldnt see mumy's lips in order to copy the soon as lo got glasses - her development was good.

  • Thanks so much for your replies.

    I keep being told that i shouldn't worry and that boys do seem to be slower when it comes to talking.

    I'm going to see my hv soon so i think i'll mention my concerns to her and see whats she says. He hasn't had his sight/hearing tested so maybe i should suggest this to the hv.

    Thanks for your reassurance x
  • Hi there. I'm a paediatric speech and language therapist and it seems to me that your child is following the normal developmental pattern. If in general he has been slower with certain milestones, then it's likely his communication development is slightly delayed too, but certainly not by much. It sounds like you're doing all the right things but for more advice then try (I think that's right). You can also call your local speech and language therapy service for advice over the phone. Other folk are correct when they say it's a positive sign if your child can understand language. However, I also feel people need to know that there are common language difficulties that affect only expressive language and so a child who understands but doesn't speak isn't 'out of the woods'. I hope everything works out well for you both. X
  • My son is also 21 months and will not say hardly anything. I believe his hearing is fine and he knows what a lot of things are. I can ask him to bring me his cup, or put it in the trash and he will do it usually without my help but he just will not say anything. He babbles ALL THE TIME . He loves to talk and sometimes it looks like he thinks he is actually talking. He will babble and shake his head and he will point at something and babble and then look at me to respond. For a while I thought it was cute and normal and I would go along with it but now I am starting to think that maybe I shouldn't have because when I try to get him to say a word he wont do it. Every now and then he will copy me and say a word but once he does he never says it again. The only consistant word he will say is "bye bye" and it's not that clear but you can tell. His ped told us that it isn't something she wants to be concerned with right now but she will have to run some test once we go back for his 2 yr check up if he has no progressed. I believe she said that once he is 2 50% of what he should be saying needs to be understood by a stranger. So, I am also very concerned because I am afraid that he will not start talking in the next 3 months but I know there is nothing wrong with him. He is very smart and very active he loves playing with other kids and laughs and smiles like he should. I do think though that babies will go at their own pace so I believe that if all the tests come back fine, then there shouldn't be anything to worry about. Your son was a little behind in everything else then it only seems normal for him to be a little behind in talking. I hope everything works out for him image 

  • My Son Is 2 yrs 8 months but he only say mama.should i worry .

    we did all the test and its noraml .can u please help me.

  • Hi. My son is 21 month old, and i'm pretty much in the same position as you are, Happymama. He has amazing recognition of his toys, who all his family are (he'll point to us if asked. EG: Where's daddy/mummy/sister/nana) He even recognises our cats by name and can identify them, He's bright as a button in every aspect. But just will not talk!!! he says mama, mammy, mummy. but that's all he says. Like you, i've noticed a change and increase in his baby babble. And i've also  noticed he's started copying peoples actions (hand gestures etc) I was worried he may have something like aspergers, as he does fly into (sometimes) uncontrollable rages and hits himself with anything he can get his hands on. But, when it comes down to it, i think little boys are just lazier haha. My daughter (7) by this age, never shut up. lol (still doesn't) And we're a vocal family, always talking, singing, etc. So, He's not lacking there. We've not had his eyes or ears tested since he was born. But i'm going to book in with my GP this week to see what advise he can give me on getting my son tested for any underlying problems, Like aspergers syndrome. Good luck to you, and thank you for posting. I know i'm not alone on this now!! image (BTW I read, that, as long as they can communicate non verbally (which my son does very well) then there's no real problem. Better to be safe than sorry tho!!) image 

  • Hi my little one is 21months old. He is not talking. when is was 12 months old he use to mom , daddy. But  after that suddenly he stop talking. not me is not talking a sing word also. Pls help me

  • Don't worry, try to let your baby with with more other baby, this would help.

  • It's very common and completely normal I promise! My son is now 3 but only started really saying odd words at around 21 months. Now he could talk the hind legs off a donkey! Once he started things moved was like he'd been taking it all in and it suddenly exploded. 

    One thing I would say is my son was very early with walking etc, I think he was more of a mover than a talker to start with if that makes sense? 

  • It's not just boys my 21 month old girl will only say mama and align of winning noises she doesn't really babble but she understands everything you say to her 

  • A lot not align and whining not winning 

  • Don`t worry so much. Mine ir almost 3 years old and doesnt talk as much as other do. At that age (21 months) he was the same like yours. Make some parties or events with kids who is talking and you will see - he will start to speak!

  • My 21 month old is not yet talking regularly yet either.

    He started walking at 10 1/2 months and has not stopped since.

    He doesnt slow down to speak.  his hearing was checked and perfect.

    He is currently in speech therapy(this will be his 2nd week)

    I am not to worried.

    he says a few words....on his time only.

    he says. mama, dada, up, yes, no, blaze (cartoon), bubbles.


    but he babbles to himself all the time. like he wants to have a full conversation. but no one understands what he is saying.

    i have a cousin who also didnt talk until after 2. and now he never stops...and he is 12. so I guess he will go at his own speed.

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