Having A Mute Toddler - The Transformation

The Story Of My Chatty Toddler

They say second born children will often be delayed in their speech, with the oldest doing all the talking for them. This has certainly been the case when it comes to our two and it has caused me a fair bit of worry over the last year or so. I have wondered whether I have done something wrong, not spent enough one on one time with LJ, meaning she just didn’t get the same opportunities to talk as her sister.

Little G started talking at 8 months old and by the time she was one, had a full vocabulary not too dissimilar to now. She was able to communicate and understand complex words and took it all in her stride. To us this was the norm, so when LJ didn’t reach those targets we began to wonder if there was an issue. Now, common sense kicked in quite quickly and we realised that G had been a one off, a special case in the world of toddlers and their speech. We relaxed a little and expected LJ to start talking by 18 months, in line with her peers.

18 months passed by and there was not a single sound coming out of her mouth. Not even a mama or a dada. She was completely mute. I am a worrier anyway but this pushed me over the edge, I didn’t know what to do or what to make of it all. What made it worse was that all of the other toddlers we knew were chatting away, whether that be a toddler babble or actual words.

chatty toddler

By her second birthday I was really starting to worry, but she had started to point to things and was able to understand everything I was saying. That came as a huge relief as at least I knew she had the understanding, she just couldn’t express or communicate in return. She had however, said her first word – her sister’s name. I cannot tell you how much I sobbed over that one! She’s always adored her sister, giving her the first smile, the first laughs and now the first word. But it was her only word, not enough to stop the worrying.

She turned 2 in December of last year and I would say by February of this year she seemed to change. Suddenly she seemed to find the words she had been looking for. I actually made a note of them, to remind me of how far she’d come.

– mine

– baby

– sisps (crisps)

– bye

– no

– yeah

So in just a couple of months she had gone from one to seven words and we were able to see why – she had been waiting until she could say them perfectly. When Grace started to speak, she had a fantastic vocabulary but she had her own versions of those words. LJ, except for crisps, was saying everything clearly and perfectly. Along with these new found words, she was showing signs of embarrassment, like she didn’t want to be praised for speaking. We pretended we weren’t absolutely over the moon that she had broken her silence – even though we were wanting to jump for joy!

cheeky toddler

By April, she had grown in confidence and was starting to say more and more. Something that seemed to really help with this was the fact that we moved LJ into G’s room. Sharing has meant LJ is subjected to G’s late night ramblings and so she has no option but to listen and absorb! April also brought slap cheek into our lives, meaning G couldn’t go to school for fear of catching it and passing it along to me and baby. Having her home for 7 weeks or so gave them chance to really bond as siblings and gave LJ chance to hear her sister speaking day in, day out.

We are now in June and my mind is completely blown. She has so many words I couldn’t possibly write them down. I would even go as far as saying she is chatty and definitely would give her the title of Miss Bossy Boots! She has got past the embarrassment phase and is attempting new words daily. I still don’t make a fuss but inside I am dancing, I want to give her a million kisses every time she says something new – I am so proud of her.

A couple of weeks ago the girls came into our room bright and early. G announced that she had taught LJ to tell a joke. Still half asleep I nodded and they proceeded to tell me the joke.

G: Knock knock

LJ: There

G: Ammonia

LJ: Who

G: Ammonia little girl and I can’t reach the doorbell.

By this point both Mr F and I were fully awake, staring at eachother in disbelief. LJ had remembered the right things to say. Amazing. But it didn’t end there…

LJ: Knock knock

G: Who’s there?

LJ: Daddy.

G: Daddy who?

LJ: Doorbell not work!

Tears down my face. My clever little girl had remembered what to say – not to mention that G had actually taught her an actual joke, not the normal nonsensical jokes they say at that age. They both got big hugs that day and probably wondered why on earth mummy was so emotional.

Chatty LJ

All this time I had been worrying, worrying that something was wrong, that I had done something wrong. But turns out she knew the words all along, she just needed to wait until she was ready to say them.

my sig 2016

A Mum Track Mind


  • Reply
    Something Crunchy Mummy
    June 11, 2016 at 9:08 am

    I would have worried too but when they do finally pick something up its such a relief. I like you am a worrier and worry about everything! Sounds like she is doing amazing and love the knock knock jokes. #fortheloveofBLOG xx

    • Reply
      June 12, 2016 at 10:05 am

      She is obsessed with telling them now, funny little thing x

  • Reply
    Debs @ Super Busy Mum
    June 11, 2016 at 10:35 am

    My daughter had a severe tongue tie that was only picked up one month before she turned three, at what should have been her 2yr check up. Mental right? Anyways, since then {7mths ago now} and since helping her to stretch out her tongue tie, her words are coming along. She is three and a half now and has the speech of a 2yr old due to being diagnosed with the tongue tie a year late. But she’s getting there. Every new word brings me close to tears. x

    • Reply
      June 11, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      LJ has tongue tie too and I knew it may affect her speech but I think as she has grown she has been able to stretch it out or something as her speech is so good now. Such a worry isn’t it? x

  • Reply
    June 11, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    So glad she’s speaking so well now, gorgeous, gorgeous photos x #fortheloveofblog

    • Reply
      June 12, 2016 at 10:02 am

      Thanks Vicki x

  • Reply
    June 11, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Oh what a beauty, I worried over everything when my son was younger, he took his time over everything..walking. talking, he didn’t get any teeth until 19months! I think they do everything in good and perfect time. He is now in the top of his class so I needn’t have spent all that time agonising. That joke is adorable it is so heart-warming to hear how they get along as sisters 🙂 #FortheloveofBLOG

    • Reply
      June 12, 2016 at 10:02 am

      It is silly we worry so much isn’t it? Can’t be helped though I guess. x

  • Reply
    A Mum Track Mind
    June 11, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Aww Katy she is just so beautiful! I have just had my second child and she is only 5 months old so I don’t have any personal experience of this but my Mum always says that my second eldest brother didn’t say a word until he about two years old. The reason for this was his older brother was doing all of the talking for him. Ben would apparently point and grunt and Jon (the older one) would translate “Mummy, Benny wants xyz”! Cute really 🙂 Just shows that there is no “normal” and they usually come to the milestones in their own good time. I wonder what baby number three will be like? Thanks so much for joining us on my linky #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Reply
      June 12, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Definitely no normal, just takes a while to realise that I guess 🙂 x

  • Reply
    Tracey Bowden
    June 14, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    I loved this and love, love, love how they adore each other that much that their love has helped her speech so much. You must be so proud of both of them #fortheloveofblog

    • Reply
      June 20, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      It is amazing how much she loves her sister x

  • Reply
    You Baby Me Mummy
    June 16, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Bless her, I’m so glad she is jabbering away now, super cute! xxx

    • Reply
      June 20, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      You would never think she had been a mute x

  • Reply
    Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons
    June 17, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Oh dear, I must be a bit over emotional as I just cried at this! It really resonates with me though and it’s lovely to read the reassuring story that I’ve been looking for for ages. My son turned 2 in April and his speech has been very slow to develop. I remember at his one year HV appointment the HV saying that he should have 20 words by the time he was 18 months which he was a long way off of – he had maybe one or two and that was it. His understanding has been great since about that age, and my gut feeling was always that he would get there in his own time, but it’s difficult to trust that sometimes when the professionals are telling you that he’s so far behind. But I’m now seeing exactly what you were at around the same age – suddenly out of nowhere he has loads of words, and is finally starting to copy words we’re saying! I don’t know whether he just didn’t have the confidence or the inclination before, but it’s all happening now. I completely understand the worry that you’re doing something wrong – I would read loads of advice on encouraging your child to talk, and think ‘but I’m following it all and it’s still not happening, am I not doing it right?’ I really wish there was a time machine to go back and tell myself of a year ago that it’ll all happen in his own time! Thanks so much for sharing this Katy – it’s been such a reassuring read.

    • Reply
      June 17, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Oh Katy I’m sorry it made you cry but am glad it helped you in some way. There is so much pressure on kids isn’t there and therefore on us as parents. He is 4 months younger than LJ so I’m telling you, in a few more months there will be no stopping him. You should have heard her yesterday playing I spy, you wouldn’t think she had ever had an issue. Big hugs xxxx

      • Reply
        Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons
        June 17, 2016 at 10:24 am

        Thanks Katy – I should have clarified, it was the good kind of crying! I loved the joke telling, it was so so cute.

        • Reply
          June 17, 2016 at 8:23 pm

          Mwah! xx

  • Reply
    Sam - Travelling With Our Kids
    June 20, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    So glad to hear she is now chatting away! Our youngest is 16 months and only says 3 words. He just grunts and points. You can only worry when people constantly say he should be saying more…maybe I’ll stop worrying so much as he may get it soon 🙂 x

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