We all say, "babies/toddlers/kids are all different and hit milestones when they're ready" but we all know we want our kids to be "ahead." If you deny it, you're lying. W wasn't a "late" walker, but he wasn't early either (he started consistently walking a few weeks ago at like 13 and a half months). Same with crawling, not late, not early. Now that he is walking, the focus is talking.
I didn't even realize he should consistently be using words until I had an encounter like my little illustration up there. It wasn't in person, it was online, but still. W doesn't even consistently say Mama or Dada. In my/his defense since The Sailor was deployed from 5 to 13 months there was no Dada around and no one was calling me Mama. But he doesn't have any other words apart from Meow. He and Tom Cat will go back and forth meowing at each other all the time. It's thoroughly amusing, but that isn't even a real word!
So I start working on it, focusing on Mama, Dada, and ball (since his favorite thing in the world is a ball of any size) and still nothing. Then I happen to be reading another blog and they mention working on a new word with their 12 month old for an hour or two and now they're using it consistently! What the heck dude?!
So then I turn to the trusty dusty internet to see where it says my son should be, and it's pretty much useless. Most articles jump from 12 month milestones to 18 month milestones and that's a HUGE difference!
According to Baby Center:
7 to 12 monthsWhen she babbles and vocalizes now, your baby sounds as if she's making sense. That's because she's trying out tones and patterns similar to the ones you use. Foster her babbling by talking and reading to her.
13 to 18 monthsNow your child is using one or more words, and she knows what they mean. She'll even practice inflection, raising her tone when asking a question by saying "Up-py?" when she wants to be carried, for example. She's realizing the importance of language as she taps into the power of communicating her needs.
When W babbles it totally sounds like he's just speaking a different language. He knows what he's saying, I just don't. But he's 14 months old and not using any actual words, so according to that article is he not "behind" unless he doesn't progress between now and 18 months?
And, according to WebMD:
- Baby talk at 12 months. Most babies say a few simple words like "mama" and "dadda" by the end of 12 months -- and now know what they're saying. They respond to -- or at least understand, if not obey -- your short, one-step requests such as, "Please put that down."
- Baby talk at 18 months. Babies at this age say up to 10 simple words and can point to people, objects, and body parts you name for them. They repeat words or sounds they hear you say, like the last word in a sentence. But they often leave off endings or beginnings of words. For example, they may say "daw" for "dog" or "noo-noo's" for "noodles."
W does listen to me when I tell him to give kisses, shut the door/drawer, sit down (in the tub), and a bunch of other "one-step requests." But apparently I have another 4 months to teach him 10 simple words before he's "behind."
Here's my other issue though - I don't wanna be the Mom that cried genius. W might say sounds that kinda resemble real words, but I don't wanna be all like, "yeah, he has a better vocabulary than I do already!" We all have that friend who's kid makes a noise and obviously they're saying such-and-such word. No they aren't; they're just babbling! I'm pretty sure W "says" Gabby (our dog's name) but until it is at least 90% distinguishable, I'm not comfortable saying he knows that word yet.
Since I just spent all that time talking about things W isn't so great at, I obviously have to point out the things he is good at. He's incredibly social and listens really well when I tell him not to do something. The kid has amazing hand eye coordination and is super strong. He can throw a ball with more accuracy than I can with either of his hands.
Did your little one hit milestones ahead of schedule or on time? Do you also drive yourself crazy focusing on stupid milestones?