My son will turn 2 on the 5th of August this year. He hasn't picked up any words beyond mama and papa. Firstly is it okay that he hasn't yet spoken beyond these 2 words? There are a few things which are making me confused. When we call him, he doesn't respond most of the time. Although if we switch on his favorite rhyme in the mobile he would immediately come running. Before he was even 1 years old he is to show his body parts like eyes, nose, head and stomach with gestures if asked, which he is no longer doing apart from doing high-fives with both his hands. Although he take lot of interest when I read out from his picture book. Six months down the line he used to ask "what?" on each picture which he no longer does. His play time is usually running here and there. Although he is good at stacking. There are many other activities which is making me sometime worry that maybe something is not okay but sometimes I feel many things he is doing is much more than a 2 yr old could do. Please share your thoughts and experiences, as it would be really helpful.

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    Kids going backwards in their development that much usually means something is wrong and should be checked out by a doctor. Also, check his food - if he is getting a lot of high calorie but nutrient poor food, he will probably be a bit behind other kids. – T. Sar Jun 23 '17 at 17:57
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    Have you talked to his pediatrician? – Joe Jun 23 '17 at 21:31

It is not abnormal for little boys not to talk until after they are two (I have a brother 16 years younger than I am who didn't talk until 2 1/2, though he did have some very communicative gestures!)

With my son, our pediatrician was definitely the best resource for checking developmental milestones (she had us fill out a questionnaire every few months to see if his development was within normal range), but I've found out since moving that we were pretty lucky to have had a dr like that - I have been completely unable to find something comparable where we live now.

I remember they were always very interested in whether I thought there might be something wrong with my son's hearing at his check ups. There never was, but I guess the onset for hearing problems can be subtle. It sounds like your son hears fine (since you said he responds to the rhyme). Might be something to watch for though.

There is definitely a performative element to communication too - meaning that there needs to be a reason to communicate from your son's perspective. He might be learning more than you think, and just doesn't feel the need to show you. Does he try to communicate? Gesture? Say things that aren't words? Point at what he wants? Those are all good things that would probably indicate he's ok, even if he isn't talking. And performance applies to games like pointing to parts of his body, too - he might still be ABLE to do it, but if he feels like he's learned that game already, he might not see a reason to play.

Also you said he likes books - read him more books! My son got good at stringing words together by memorizing the picture books we read. Also, more rhymes and songs might be a good way to go too - kids memorize those really well, and especially if there's some kind of moving or dancing that goes with the rhyme, it can be a great way to get them engaged with language.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and I can't tell you how much positive I feel to look at the way you have described. Yes he does everything with gestures from showing wt he wants to an extent that take my hand to show me wt he wants to say. Planning to put in a school from next month so that he can play with his age group other kids. A big thank you once again!!!! 😀 – SDP Jun 27 '17 at 15:25
  • @SDP of course :) I'm glad that helped! – MAA Jun 28 '17 at 21:55
  • The questionnaires are usually pretty standard. I believe our pediatric office typically uses ASQ. Since it sounds like you appreciated the insights from these milestone questionnaires, you may want to consider simply purchasing them directly instead of going through your pediatrician's office. – Kyle Strand Jul 27 '17 at 21:02
  • Also, another anecdote--I didn't talk at all until a few months after I turned three, after which I started speaking in complete sentences (my parents don't have a recorded "first word" for me, but apparently my first sentence was "that smoke is terrific" while watching a model train). I've heard similar stories about other children as well. Of course, this doesn't address the aspect of the question regarding regression in communication skills. – Kyle Strand Jul 27 '17 at 21:03

Your child is within normal limits for verbal comprehension in boys. Girls usually develop speech earlier in chronological age and more rapidly in fluency. 2-yo girls can often string together 4-word sentences while boys are lucky to know 4 words.

Certainly any major concern should go to your pediatrician, but his development doesn't sound abnormal to me.


I'd do some signing with him. Thats what we did with our uncommunicative daughter, saying the words as we signed them. We just bought a few simple books off amazon and taught ourselves. She learned seven or eight signs a day. At 3 she now speaks at the level of a five year old, according to our paediatrician and still signs occasionally whether she needs to or not.

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