Our baby girl just less than two years old but she can't speak like other babies of the same age. We are not worried about this, but we have a question. My baby girl understand everything, but when she wants to speak, she screams.

She started standing and walking in her 8th month, but other babies start speaking sooner than ours.

People say:

Babies who watch TV (more than 1 hour per day) start speaking late.

Is this true?

They say:

Because TV is a monologue and not a dialogue, baby always listens and will not try to speak, as there is no need to speak and no need to engage in conversation.

We have had a specialist look at our child, but he said that there was no problem.

We want to know whether you have had the same experience or any information about this?

  • 5
    TV is not good for babies, but it's impossible for us to tell you that is the issue here. You need to see your pediatrician and/or a pediatric speech pathologist.
    – DA01
    Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 6:02
  • i anm googling by that keywords but not found any useful article about this... isn't there a statistical research !!! ...? Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 6:19
  • 3
    As DA01 says, this is not an area the internet is that useful for. Have a specialist look at your child!
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 8:07
  • @RoryAlsop ok. but parents should have information about this experience.. Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 8:33
  • 4
    In case anyone else is wondering (like I was), 600 days is about 19.5 months.
    – smillig
    Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 15:16

2 Answers 2


I am a language developmentalist and at 18 months of age I would expect an 18 month old child to have between 6 and 20 words of speech. You have to bear in mind that development does not proceed at the same rate in all children and that 18 months is still very, very young. As long as her understanding of spoken language is improving then that is all that matters at this point.

TV can be good for language development if it is used properly, (to stimulate, not as a babysitter which many people do), because it is further exposure to spoken language. My recommendation at this point is not to worry too much, - I have seen children start speaking much later than this and go on to be fine. My tips are to expose her to as much verbal interaction as possible, to create a language filled environment, to read nursery rhymes to her, (exposure to rhyme increases phonological awareness and aids language development), tell her stories, sing to her and surround her with music, - all of these are proven to have a positive impact upon language development.

Hope this helps.

  • When you say "6 to 20 words", can you clarify if you mean some kind of "syllables with intent" or if you mean "actual words from the language(s) spoken in the home"? For example, my 19-month old says "bababa" to mean cup or bathtime or mum or tractor, and she says "tuh" to mean "behold!", or "let's go over there", etc. Is this the kind of thing you mean Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 11:48

According to some research of "American Academy of Pediatrics", under the title of "BABIES AND TODDLERS SHOULD LEARN FROM PLAY, NOT SCREENS", those are the key findings:

  1. Many video programs for infants and toddlers are marketed as “educational,” yet evidence does not support this.
  2. Quality programs are educational for children only if they understand the content and context of the video. Studies consistently find that children over 2 typically have this understanding.
  3. Unstructured play time is more valuable for the developing brain than electronic media.
  4. Children learn to think creatively, problem solve, and develop reasoning and motor skills at early ages through unstructured, unplugged play.
  5. Free play also teaches them how to entertain themselves.
  6. Young children learn best from—and need—interaction with humans, not screens.
  7. Parents who watch TV or videos with their child may add to the child’s understanding, but children learn more from live presentations than from televised ones.
  8. When parents are watching their own programs, this is “background media” for their children.
  9. It distracts the parent and decreases parent-child interaction.
  10. Its presence may also interfere with a young child’s learning from play and activities.
  11. Television viewing around bedtime can cause poor sleep habits and irregular sleep schedules, which can adversely affect mood, behavior and learning.
  12. Young children with heavy media use are at risk for delays in language development once they start school, but more research is needed as to the reasons.


  • The report also recommends that parents and caregivers:


  1. Set media limits for their children before age 2, bearing in mind that the "American Academy of Pediatrics" discourages media use for this age group.
  2. Have a strategy for managing electronic media if they choose to engage their children with it; Instead of screens, opt for supervised independent play for infants and young children during times that a parent cannot sit down and actively engage in play with the child. For example, have the child play with nesting cups on the floor nearby while a parent prepares dinner;
  3. Avoid placing a television set in the child’s bedroom; and
  4. Recognize that their own media use can have a negative effect on children.
  • 1
    TV is not an ideal medium for young social creatures, being social is.
    – Marc
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 20:44

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