Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Walking the walk but not talking the talk

After those first steps 2 weeks ago Matilda spent most of the weekend toddling around. Still a bit wobbly and not yet able to stand up without something for support but definitely getting there. She’s also oh so excited and the feeling of walking, huge cheesy grin on her face as she works our how to go out of the dining room, into the tiled hallway and then into the lounge. Our house being Victorian and with wooden floors isn’t the easiest place to learn, no completely flat surfaces or nice soft carpet to land on but she’s managing.

This is great. More than great. But we realised that over the last few weeks her talking has deteriorated. She could say Henry by the time he was 3 weeks old but never says it anymore. So to for Bracken and Daddy, gone and will not be spoken no matter what the encouragement.

Of course as a parent you begin to worry; Why has she stopped? Is there something wrong? Are we not doing enough playing and teaching with her? Has having Henry caused it?

Who knows, could be a million and one things. No doubt adjusting to having Henry in the house has to have an effect. Maybe she has been using all her brain power on learning to walk and growing teeth (oh yes, a molar is coming through at the moment, such a fun time). Whatever it is I hope it comes back soon.

Not that she stops ‘chatting’ of course, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever met a noisier 16 month old. Just nothing that is really a word. Sometimes she’ll look at you and this 20 second torrent of ‘words’ will pour out. No idea what she’s saying, although it does sound remarkably like Italian. So maybe that’s it, maybe she’s bypassed English and gone straight to learning Italian?

We had a few snippets at the weekend, a few signs of words returning. The Lady of the Manor and I are claiming feet, mummy, Rhys (her cousin) and OK. But said only once and once only. Too quickly to get full verification and adjudication from an independent official therefore throwing that element of doubt into the mix.

So what can we do? Just be patient and hope? Any games or activities you’ve done to encourage speech? We do plenty of reading, books are the definitely the favourite toy, but what else?


  1. Personally I would worry. I’m not expert but Olivia went through a phase of chatting and then just stopped. I worried an assumed we were doing something wrong, but with plenty of singing, explaining what things are and just general chatting to her she is doing well. Bubbles, car, ball, muslin, cheese, mamma, daddy, gramps, granma and a few others. All are slightly slurred but they are there. And T’s will be too, just at her own pace. But as I say, we found nursery rhymes a big help.

  2. Well we are at the 18 month mark and we have a lot of babble but no real words other than mama, ta ta and ball. It’s obvious he understands a lot of things so I don’t really worry. He also only hears Italian from his father so I use that as an excuse that he is trying to work things out in his head. No consolation I know but I am sure you have nothing to worry about. Just keep chatting away to her and I’m sure eventually you will be like Okay you can stop now!!

  3. Megan has done similar, and I’m pretty sure Heather did too, so I guess it’s quite common for them to learn words and then forget them again. It’s strange comparing the two of them actually, because at the same age Heather could say many more words, but we both agree Megan understands much more of what others say to her than Heather did. I guess that’s proof – if it were needed – that they’re all different. Matilda sounds like she’s doing fine

  4. My 17 month old loves singing rhymes and sings along with many of the words as I sing to her. You can get finger puppets on Amazon for all the well known rhymes which adds a bit of visual interest too. I wouldn’t worry, one day all of a sudden she will start just literally repeating everything you say, then she will be chatting away before long.

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