Learning to Talk

Dear Mr. Dad: I have a 1-year old who says only two words: mama and dada. My best friend’s son is two months younger and she’s constantly bragging about his vocabulary. It’s driving me crazy—and it’s making me worry that there might be something wrong with my child. When do children start talking? Do they all talk around the same time? Is there any way I can assist my child to talk sooner?

A: As with walking and most other developmental milestones, there’s no fixed time for children to start talking, and what’s “normal” is a big, big range. Some start putting together words as early as nine months; others don’t have much to say until they’re two. The size of the vocabulary and the child’s age when words start tumbling out of his mouth is no indication of intelligence (Albert Einstein supposedly was nearly silent until age four).There’s definitely a luck-of-the-draw component here, but here are a few things that may speed things along. [Read more…]