A concerned mum has asked if she should be worried about her eighteen-month-old son’s speech delay, as he is still babbling rather than talking.

A mum has taken to Reddit’s parenting forum to share her worry about her eighteen-month-old son’s speech delay. The mum says that her son is still not talking, despite understanding some words and phrases, and that his paediatrician has recommended further testing if he does not start speaking by the time he is two.

Meeting Milestones

Speech Pathology Australia recommends that a child of eighteen months should be able to say around sixty words and phrases, copy words and phrases that they hear and be able to use verbal communication in pretend play. Despite acknowledging her sons understanding of some words and phrases, the mum says that he doesn’t seem to be meeting key communication milestones.

“Our eighteen month old has one word that he uses correctly (up) and mostly babbles,” she wrote on the forum. “Our paediatrician has said if he doesn’t have more words by August, we should look into hearing tests and therapy.” The mum went on to offer some possible factors in her son’s speech delay, including that he is an only child and does not attend daycare.

Every Child Is Different

Comments on the mum’s post highlighted that many children do not hit developmental milestones at the expected time. “My son was slow to develop his verbal skills,” one mum said. “At around 2 1/2 he really turned into a word parrot. Now the grandparents are commenting on how much of a chatterbox he is becoming!”

Others said that early intervention can help address any potential speech delay or difficulty. “Your child is most likely fine,” another parent wrote. “But an early evaluation/early intervention won’t cause any harm either.”

Development milestones can cause a lot of stress for parents, especially when your child isn’t quite sticking to the expected timeline. While in most cases, issues resolve themselves and each child develops at their own pace, it’s always a good idea to keep your doctor in the loop about any concerns you may have.

Did your child begin speaking ‘early’ or ‘late’? Share your story in the comments.

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  • my son is delayed in his speech but the wait list for a public speechy is too long and we can’t afford to go private. Get hearing checks done and a referral in as soon as possible


  • All children are different, and each development happens differently, but if doubt seek a 2nd opinion


  • If in doubt a Speech Pathologist should be able to help.


  • Although I should mention my deaf son spoke ate. Perhaps get his hearing checked.


  • My daughter says about 6 words she is 14 months old. She babbles a lot tho so I don’t think it will be long til she starts saying sentences.


  • My son is almost 2 and he is hardly speaking. He just doesn’t want to and he will when ready


  • A lot of mum’s want to reassure another parent if they are worried about their child’s speech. Saying their own child was delayed and then had no problems might seem helpful but there are some children who will need early intervention. Not all children will just “grow out of it” without help. If this is one of those children who needs early intervention then they are losing valuable therapy time waiting for improvements that may not come without direct intervention. As a mum of a child who needed early intervention, didn’t listen to her gut and EVERYONE told me not to worry – their child, brother, neighbour’s kid etc was the same and they were fine, I wish I had someone reassure MY worries by saying – “It might be nothing, but if you’re worried you should definitely get it checked out”.


  • My daughter was very slightly deleyed, I think she was saying some words but not heaps, up until she was almost 2. She’s starting to talk heaps now.


  • My son was late, when he was 2,5yrs old he spoke about 5 words. The health nurse gave a referral for some speech therapy, but to be honest I was not concerned and ditched the speech therapy after 4 sessions or so. He just developed a bit later then his peers, but he developed just fine.
    However my 5year old is really speech delayed. She has Down syndrome and only in the last half year she says some more words and only single word sentences, but rather unarticulated / not very well pronounced. She has speech therapy since she was 1,5


  • Every child is different, but it sure wouldn’t hurt to get him help. Nothing bad could come of it that I could see. And if he is simply a late bloomer, he might get ahead with some therapy.


  • I feel my daughter is early and already making 4-5 word sentences at 21 months


  • This is a concern for my son who is 2 now. I am waiting patiently for him to build a sentence but for now I am happy with his 1-2 words

    • Don’t worry too much, kids develop in their own pace.


  • All my kids started talking late, but haven’t stopped since… Sometimes I wish they would for five minutes…


  • My daughter said her first word early but then she didn’t say anything for a while. All of a sudden she just exploded with words, so sometime children want to be sure that they are confident to say the words before they say it.


  • Generally, if you feel worried about your childs speech or meeting milestones then you are probably right.

    • Luckily there is so much support and help if worried about children not reaching milestones.


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