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15 Month Old Not Yet Laughing, Walking Or Talking

by Jo
(Western Australia)

toddler not walking or talking

My 15 Month Old Sweet Toddler

My baby (well I guess Toddler is the right word) will be 15 months old in 9 days and she is still not laughing. She smiles all the time and babbles away but I have never heard her laugh. I tickle her and she tenses up and gives me strange looks – wondering what on earth I am doing.

She is very interactive so I am not worried that she has sight or hearing problems… but she is not saying any distinctive words yet either – only babble (dada, nana etc). She doesn’t point or wave.

She is also not walking yet either. She cruises along furniture and can stand unsupported for about 30 seconds.. but she is not walking yet.

Should I take her to the doctor to get checked out or is she just a late developer? She is quite small for her age – she only weighs 7.5kgs.

Baby Help Line:

15-Month-Old Baby Not Laughing, Pointing, Walking, Talking…

What an adorable girl you have! You ask about her development and that she isn’t walking or talking yet, doesn’t point, doesn’t laugh and that she is underweight.

My main concern is the weight of your toddler. It seems that her weight is below the normal range, and this could have serious effects on your child’s development. Has she always been small? Any signs of food intolerance?

At 15 months, a toddler should be able to walk with assistance and stand alone. Since she is cruising along furniture and standing by herself (if only for few seconds), my guess is that she will be able to walk the coming months.

The lack of talking does not seem very strange to me. At this age a lot of children do not really talk, but may say at least one word. Does she appear to understand words, even if she doesn’t talk? What if you ask her where mommy is, the lamp, daddy, and so on? Does she look in the right direction? Does she respond to her name? If she doesn’t seem to understand words at all, maybe you should bring it up with her doctor and see if they would suggest a hearing test or development screening after all.

Is she interested in reading picture books? That is one great way to have fun together and practice her language skills.

The lack of pointing is the one thing that makes me wonder a little bit. Most babies/young toddlers have quite a strong will at this age and since they can’t really use words yet, they figure out that pointing is an efficient way to get what they want.

Lack of pointing and waving is one indication of a development problem, but not in isolation.

Children that have serious development problems, such as autism, usually have a number of symptoms, such as not looking the other people’s eyes, not being interactive, over-sensitive to noise and more.

The fact that she isn’t laughing… I don’t know if that would be considered an issue. I don’t think so, but I am not really an expert. I know it is considered an issue if a baby or toddler never smiles back when smiled at, but that is obviously not the case with your daughter.

If I were you I’d probably discuss the issues at your daughter’s next health check up. (Is one scheduled for 18 months?) If she still doesn’t walk or talk at all after the summer, then it might be wise to follow it up. And use the summer months to really have fun with her and stimulate her development.

Of course, if you are very worried, talk to her doctor already now. There is no point in walking around being worried and your daughter will sense your stress too.

I really hope and believe that your sweet daughter is just fine.

Warm wishes,
Paula
(Answer approved by our Medical Reference Team)

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Comments

Jul 07, 2013

see the dr.
by: Anonymous


my son is at a similar place. he is 13 1/2 months and i have only heard him laugh maybe 10 times and none for very long. when we tickle him he just kind of grunts and smiles, but no giggle. he doesn’t point. he is doing ok on walking…starting to take a few steps. anyway, the ped gave me a developmental questionairre to fill out. he scored low on it so he referred us to the state’s Early Intervention program. I went there and they did an assessment on him. they said he will a little delayed in a couple areas and he will be receiving some therapy. i’m not too worried about him. but it is nice to know professionals will be evaluating him to see if he is making progress or getting worse. they are REALLY nice. anyway, one thing they said about the laughing (and also that he puts everything in his mouth and keeps his mouth open all the time) is that he may be on the opposite side of the sensory spectrum as autistic children. they are too sensitive to things, but he may be not sensitive enough…meaning he wants more stimulation or just doesn’t feel things the way most people do, like tickling. he wants to taste everything to get more information about it. so, maybe your daughter is the same way. i think it is like “sensory processing dysfunction”. i don’t know much about it yet…just trying to do some research. i don’t feel worried about it. i think he will be fine but may be a difficult child always pushing the limits and making messes for the fun of it, etc. anyway, talk to your dr. it can’t hurt.
emily adornmail at gmail dot com


Jul 30, 2013

To worry or not?
by: nikkobug68


Hi there,
I am a mother of two. I have an almost 5 year old daughter and an almost 6 month old son. As we all know, all children develop at different stages. From my experience as a parent, I would not worry about the not walking or talking. A lot of toddlers are not walking and talking at 15 months. My daughter started walking around 15-16 months. The fact that your daughter can pull herself up and move about holding on tells me that she will be getting the hang of balancing and taking those first steps soon.
Talking, well, I think since she is babbling and saying a couple small words, she’s doing just fine there too, as long as she responds to your voice. Can she follow your voice as you speak to her? Does she startle at loud noises? If so she can probably hear just fine and is just in the process of learning how to say more.
When it comes to laughing and pointing, that concerns me a little. My son has been laughing since a little before he turned 4 months old. He’s always been very smilely and giggly. He started smiling a lot just at a couple weeks old. Not just gassy smiles, but also when I’d talk to him or enter the room, things like that. I can tickle him just about anywhere and he giggles like crazy. Maybe he started all that early, but there’s such a huge gap in their ages that it raises questions for me. Did he start smiling/laughing too soon? Should she be laughing by now? I think when it comes to this, it couldn’t hurt to ask her doctor.
Her not pointing concerns me a little too. My son will grab at things he wants. I know that’s not pointing, but to me it’s his way of telling me what he wants. My daughter was pointing at things before she turned 1 and pointing and telling what things were before 2.
Like I said, all childern grow and develope differently. This is just what I have learned from my kids. I say overall, always follow your motherly instincts. If you are concerned, then ask her doctor for his advice. It will never hurt. It’s always better to ask a lot of what may seem like silly questions and seem like an overly worried mom, then to not ask and find out later that something just isn’t right.

Best of luck to you and your cutie,
Desiree


Nov 04, 2013

Some thoughts
by: Anonymous


Children who have been born with mothers under heavy anesthesia (either in a vaginal birth, or a c-section) may develop more slowly. Also if a child is whisked away from the mother and put in an incubator/nursery for a few hours directly after birth, there is insufficient bonding time with mother/family. Instead their first experience in the world is people with masks on rushing around, then being placed under warm bright lights completely alone, like you would incubate an egg…

Besides that it may just be the personality type of that person. Personality type is determined by both genetics and influences starting immediately after birth. We all know people that may be serious minded, and don’t laugh. They come from babies that don’t laugh.


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