Should I be worried that my toddler isn’t talking yet?

MilestonesJust over a week ago I met up with a friend who’s little boy is just a few weeks younger than T. I felt quite despondent after seeing her. O was chatting away constantly in baby language and I know from my friend that he has started saying quite a few words. Although T was making lots of sounds, he hadn’t started making sentences of gobbledegook or said any words.

I know everyone says not to compare babies, they all develop at their own pace, but we all do it, don’t we? It’s natural to be proud when we see our precious tiny people developing, or worried if they’re not. We want them to be the same as the other babies, but we’re also secretly pleased when they’re ‘better’ and hit their milestones first, no matter how nonchalant we seem.

Despite reassurances from two health visitors, I was getting concerned that his language skills were falling behind his peers. I’d obviously asked Dr Google about it too. I was reassured to discover that he wasn’t showing any of the typical signs of autism, but I was still worried that he was going to be speech delayed.

I felt like I’d failed him. It must be my fault he hadn’t started speaking yet. Maybe I wasn’t talking to him as much as I should. Was a delay in speech going to affect his social skills? Would he ever be able to make friends?

The day after I met up with my friend T started babbling away in sentences. He hasn’t stopped since. He also said his first word, ‘pop,’ which sounds more like ‘bop.’ He says it when the toaster pops or when we’re singing ‘pop goes the weasel.’ He also says ‘ba’ for ‘bump’ or ‘bang’ sometimes. His Mama’s and Dada’s seem to be more in context now too, although I wouldn’t say he’s quite mastered those words yet.

So I’m really glad I spent all that time and energy comparing him to his little friends. Blaming myself for my perceived failings as a parent. Imagining the worst case scenario. Not a waste of time at all. Muppet.

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4 thoughts on “Should I be worried that my toddler isn’t talking yet?

  1. Sarah HP

    I was exactly the same with my twins. They barely said any real words before age 2 which totally freaked me out. I was comparing them to their older sister who was a typical chatty girl who who was very verbal and speaking in proper sentences at age 2. I had proper mum guilt that I was so manic looking after everyone that I didn’t talk to them enough or that they didn’t get enough stimulation. We are a bilingual house and I started worrying that that was confusing the boys. Looking back 6 months I need not have worried at all the boys are really coming along with their speech. They still have their own random babbling way of communicating with each other and their pronounciation is not always very clear but they can definitely make themselves understood and pick up new words everyday. Ocassionally I am a little nostalgic about the pre verbal days – no one telling me off for singing or demanding apple juice! It is one of those things that will happen its own time.
    Sarah HP recently posted…Shoes. The enemy of leaving the house!My Profile

    • Helen Post author

      Hehe, I sometimes think I should be careful what I wish for!! It’s great to know that your boys are really coming on with their speech now, they really do just do things in their own time, don’t they?

      How amazing for them to grow up bilingual! My brother will be bringing up their little boy to be bilingual (sister-in-law is Spanish), I can’t wait to see it.

  2. Alex Bump to Baby

    My Son Ethan is 28 months old and has literally only just started to become properly vocal. I worried for SO long about his speech, but he got there in the end. Going to nursery and being around other vocal children has really helped him too 🙂 xx

    • Helen Post author

      It’s such a worry, isn’t it? You’re right that they get there in their own time, though. And it’s so amazing when they finally make that progress too- I’m so happy that he’s finally making conversation-type sounds. And he knows 3 words, woohoo! Xx


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