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My 15-month-old only says a few words – Is this normal?

My daughter is 15 months old and only says a few words. She does jabber some and she also still takes a pacifier. She has an older brother and he seemed to talk much earlier. So my question is, is this normal for her age?

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Speech Development At 15 Month Old

At 15 months, most babies can say a few words, like for example mommy, daddy, no, more, look, dog. Some babies have already started to combine words into mini-sentences, while others say practically nothing. It really varies. At this age, babies tend to understand a lot more words than they actually say. So to answer your question; yes, your daughter’s few words are perfectly normal. Your daughter may be one of those children who suddenly launches into talking and you won’t be able to shut her up!

The first child often talks a bit younger because they are getting lots more one on one attention. The next baby often is observing more, but not having so much interaction. Many parents also experience that the second baby is fully occupied with trying to learn how to move around quickly enough to follow what the older sibling is doing, so they are earlier with crawling or walking, but later with talking. Some parents also notice that the older sibling is so tuned in with the younger one, that the younger barely has to say anything that even sounds like words before the older one knows precisely what the younger means!

One thing I would do, is to limit the pacifier. There is quite a bit of evidence that babies that use a pacifier a lot, don’t develop speech so early. This is of course mainly an issue of she uses the pacifier a lot while awake, more like a habit rather than for soothing. Learning to talk is also connected with a degree of frustration – trying to communicate their needs. Babies who have a pacifier popped in their mouth most of the day or as soon as the grizzle, don’t learn to try harder, they get some comfort, but are learning to suck for comfort instead of interact. Of course it all depends how much you use it, but I would try to limit it to just sleep times now.

Just keep talking lots to her, making eye contact, telling her the names of things, holding things out and naming them. Point to her eyes, tummy, hand etc and say the words and she will start to copy in time.

Life is a lot busier when you have more than one child, and there tends not to be so much close one on one interaction, which does make a huge difference. Of course she is also learning and observing lots of other things from having an older brother.

It will come in time, she is still pretty young and will understand lots of what everyone is saying, even if she is not talking much yet.

All the best,
Annie Desantis

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