CircleBumpCheckedFilledMedicalBookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxCheckBoxFilled

Signs of Speech or Developmental Delay in a Toddler?

What are some signs of a speech or developmental delay in a toddler?
save article
profile picture of Michael Lee, MD
By Michael Lee, MD, Pediatrician
Updated September 15, 2020
Hero Image

We all want our kids to develop on track — and if they’re not, we want to get them help as soon as possible. But identifying a delay can be tricky, especially for first-time parents.

It’s a good idea to become familiar with several important developmental milestones. Most kids, for instance, walk around one year of age and most kids talk around age two. Keep in mind, though, that there is a wide range of normal when it comes to developmental milestones. Some kids walk independently as early as nine months. Others don’t take their first steps until 16 months. Both extremes are within the range of normal.

It’s also important to remember that normal development is about progress. In other words, babies start out making simple breathy vowel sounds. Over time, they add on more sounds. Later, they attach certain sounds and combinations of sounds to certain objects, and eventually they begin talking. Even then, there’s a steady progression: most kids start with single word utterances before progressing to multiple-word sentences and sentences become paragraphs. If, at any time, you think your child’s development is beginning to regress, or go backwards, contact your doctor. It’s not entirely uncommon for a baby to seemingly “forget” a certain skill, such as rolling over, for a short period of time, but it’s not normal for a child who was babbling to suddenly stop communicating all together.

Your child’s healthcare provider can help you track your child’s development and spot any developmental delays. In fact, that’s the primary purpose of your toddler’s well-child checkups. So stick to the checkup schedule and expect your pediatrician to ask questions about your child’s social interaction, physical skills and cognitive development. Be prepared to share information about your child’s usual activities, and feel free to ask questions. If you have a nagging sense that something isn’t right, tell your doctor — parents are often the first to spot a problem. So if your heart tells you something is wrong, it’s smart to get a professional opinion — you’re _not _being paranoid.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

save article
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

mother looking at phone while holding baby at home
Parents' Smartphone Usage Could Impact Baby’s Language Development
By Wyndi Kappes
closeup of baby cooing
When Does Baby Start Cooing?
Medically Reviewed by Lauren Crosby, MD
mom and toddler looking at photo album
Reminiscing With Your Toddler Is Powerful Tool for Language Learning
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Singing to Baby Is Crucial for Language Learning, Study Says
Singing to Baby Is Crucial for Language Learning, Study Says
By Wyndi Kappes
build a bear donating bears to classrooms for national teddy bear day 2023
Build-A-Bear Is Donating Stuffed "Learning Buddies" to Schools in Need
By Wyndi Kappes
mother holding ipad for baby at home
Baby’s Screen Time Linked to Developmental Delays, Study Says
By Wyndi Kappes
parents talking to baby
When Do Babies Say Mama or Dada?
Medically Reviewed by Dina DiMaggio Walters, MD
ADVERTISEMENT
father and toddler son talking at home
How to Encourage Your Toddler’s Speech Development
By Lauren Barth
father talking to toddler while sitting on stairs at home
Talking to Your Toddler Could Make Their Brain More Efficient
By Wyndi Kappes
mother teaching toddler sign language while sitting on couch at home
How to Teach Baby 25 Key Words in Baby Sign Language
By Ashlee Neuman
ADVERTISEMENT
young boy resting his head on his mother's pregnant belly
Baby May Practice Crying Even Before They Are Born, Study Says
By Wyndi Kappes
father talking to baby, smiling
Parents Worldwide Use the Same "Baby Voice," New Study Reveals
By Wyndi Kappes
mother and young toddler sitting on the couch at home watching something on ipad
5 Developmental Patterns This Expert Is Seeing in Pandemic Babies
By Jocelyn M. Wood, CCC-SLP
ADVERTISEMENT
Baby Talk Actually Helps Infants Form Their First Words, Study Says
Baby Talk Actually Helps Infants Form Their First Words, Study Says
By Nehal Aggarwal
How to Perfect Your 'Baby Talk' to Boost Baby's Speech Development
How to Perfect Your 'Baby Talk' to Boost Baby's Speech Development
By Erin van Vuuren
Big sister crawling behind baby sister down hallway at home.
Babies’ Language Skills May Be More Advanced Than First Words Suggest
By Nehal Aggarwal
mom helps her toddler learn through app in the car
Toddler FaceTime Games That Boost Verbal Skills and Family Bonds
By Jocelyn M. Wood, CCC-SLP
ADVERTISEMENT
Toddler Speech Delay?
Toddler Speech Delay?
By Hannah Chow-Johnson, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and pediatrician at Loyola University Health System
mom holding and embracing her one year old son
How to Boost Baby’s Speech Sound Development in Their First Year
By Jocelyn M. Wood, CCC-SLP
mom reading to smiling baby during tummy time
How Can I Help Baby Learn to Speak?
By The Bump Editors
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List