My Toddler Isn’t Talking Yet – Should I Be Worried?

My little boy turned two last May and is coming up to his 28th month. He dances and sings, he loves to play with trains and cars, really anything with wheels! He likes to colour, put his own shoes on, and climb mountains.

My toddler just doesn’t talk yet.

Should I be worried?

According to most of the information found in popular child development books and on the internet, YES, I definitely should.

Baby Centre says that my child should have around 50 words in his current vocabulary. No wait! The Ontario Government says my child should have 100 words in his vocabulary by 24 months. Parenting claims that my child’s lack of combining words together is a red flag.

And that’s only three of the 2.85 million Google results.

But somehow I’m sitting here shrugging my shoulders at it all.

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This little boy may not be able to “use his words” when asking for something, but he’ll have the noisiest conversations with his teddy bears. He’ll chat your ear off in the car, and tell you stories about his cars, complete with actions and exciting sound effects – if we only knew what he was saying!

His ‘receptive language‘, or his comprehensive and listening skills, are great. He understands simple commands like picking something up, getting a toy for his sister, or putting on his shoes because we have to go to the car. He knows where most of his body parts are, but his cheeks, his nose, and his belly button are his favourite to point to.

My two-year old toddler says the following often and quite clearly: Go, Dada, Mama, Shoes, Nom-nom (when he likes to eat something), Bal (for balloon or ball), Cool, Wow, Uh-Oh and Yeah.

He shakes his head no, he giggles at funny faces and jokes, he’ll wave hello and goodbye, and his response to his sister taking his toy is a cringe-worthy scream. If I tell him that it’s bedtime, he runs to his daddy to protect him from bed!

Quite honestly, he can understand us and he tries to communicate with us – so what’s the issue?

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I’m not overly concerned about my ‘late-talker’, yet I’m constantly finding myself defending him in conversations with other moms, which sometimes end with recommendations for speech therapists in the city.

Call it mother’s intuition. A gut feeling. But something deep inside is telling me to not worry about this. Something is guiding me and telling me that he will talk, when he’s ready, and that the extra stress of worrying about it will do no good.

Children all develop differently, and I see it right in front of my eyes every day. My daughter, who spoke her first words at 9 months and hasn’t stopped talking since, and my son who is communicating to us in his own way.

I continue to read different stories to him, I describe the actions we are doing to him, and I see him listening. He’s just processing the world in his own way.

And so, we wait.

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