Do girl babies talk more/sooner than boy babies?

My girlfriend sent me this video last night of this baby girl jabbering away! The headline on the video is “Are women born this way?” I don’t think the headline is meant in a kind way, but I can’t deny that I  do talk a lot!

My question is: Do girl babies talk more and sooner than boy babies in general?

Rose talked the earliest of all our kids. She was talking some at 6 months (I swear!) and by 10 months it was full on sentences. I remember this because Michael covered the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and we saw him off at the airport.  He was going for a month. Rose looked at her Daddy and said: “Bye bye Daddy. Have a great trip. See you soon.” It was some crazy sentence.

Walsh talked much later and I was very worried. He started talking a little around 16 months and then by 18 months was saying 5 or 6 word sentences. The doctors just kept repeating: “He’s a boy and he’s your second.”

Lilina was more similar to Walsh than Rose. She was very physical early — crawling at 4.5 months and walking around 9. She didn’t talk until around 18 months also, but immediately it was big sentences.

Walsh is probably my most chatty child now. He kept getting in trouble for it at school last year. I told his teacher he was working against his genes.

Do you think in general girl babies talk more than boy babies? Do you think they talk sooner? Are woman naturally more chatty?

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75 comments Add your comment

fk

August 5th, 2009
11:56 pm

I don’t have anyone to compare him to, but my son was speaking clearly, in full sentences, by his first b’day … even over the phone. My younger sister did not speak until she was over two, but the drs. insisted that was because my brother and I did the talking for her. She was 9 yrs younger than me, and 7 younger than my brother.

My son left college on Sunday. It’s different than from what both my husband and I expected. There is certainly a BIG void at home. Although he was not around every night, we knew he would be home at some point. It’s realizing that he won’t be coming home at all that is the adjustment. Even the dog has a bit less pep in his step. He stayed by the door the first two days, waiting for my son to come home. I felt so bad for myself, but even worse for the dog because he did not understand that our boy is off to start the next chapter in his life, and we in ours.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 6th, 2009
12:52 am

FK — you’re making me tear up! I am planning on hitting several college issues next week so stay tuned for that!

penguinmom

August 6th, 2009
3:05 am

I think girls are naturally more verbal but when they talk is determined by many different things including personality and birth order. The further down you go, the longer it seems to take because the older siblings can (and do) interpret for them. I’ve heard of some families where they’ve had to forbid the older siblings from interpreting just to force the youngest to actually verbalize correctly.

FK, that is so sad about the dog. Just think how excited the dog will be when your son comes home for his first weekend visit. We only have 5 or 6 years before our eldest leaves but, with a 5-yr-old in the house, we won’t have an empty nest until we’re 55.

KC

August 6th, 2009
7:19 am

While I only have girls, compared to my friends’ boys, mine started talking much earlier. Even my second talked just as early and as much as the first. For her, it didn’t matter that her older sister was telling jokes at age two — she just wanted to join in the fun. They have two grandmothers who can talk paint off the wall and a mother who would rather listen, so maybe it’s a mix of genetics and environment for us.

motherjanegoose

August 6th, 2009
7:40 am

penguinmom…I agree with you on the birth order thing.

Language acquisition and development are my topics and I would like to share that children who have large vocabularies tend to be better readers, writers and speakers. Most children have what we know as receptive language before the expressive language kicks in.

Our vocabularies are somewhat determined by our environment. If you are in a talkative environment, you likely will have a larger vocabulary. Parents who interact with their children, ask questions and talk a lot are parents who are giving their children an a FREE advantage and preparing them for the world. ( even a grandparent will do….LOL). Parents who park their children in front of the TV or DVD player are making a big mistake. The old adage…children should be seen and not heard …does not fit. While children should be respectful…bright children tend to be talkative and inquisitive with good vocabulary comprehension and processing skills. Children who read a LOT or are read to also have stronger vocabularies.

FK…I remember reading a sad story ( like yours) about the dog and college once. Our little schnauzer will be just like this when my daughter leaves next fall. She is overwhelmed with joy now as our son is home temporarily before he settles into Pharmacy School and she sneaks down for a visit to where he is living in our finished basement, He told me last night that she jumps on his bed and licks his feet…LOL We got her after he left for college but she adores him. Another reason why pets are so good for children….unconditional love. We have always had a dog and feel blessed. First a cocker spaniel, then Ole Yellar , then 2 schnauzers. They were all wonderful.

motherjanegoose

August 6th, 2009
7:44 am

Theresa, I am just back from a meeting in Memphis and submitted a topic about language acquisition ( my speaking topic) that is not here. This is so frustrating. Perhaps it will show up or perhaps you can find it for me. If this is a hint for me to leave the blog…I will take it… LOL as it happens to me so many times ( randomly) and I am about out of patience. We shall see. Thanks….

motherjanegoose

August 6th, 2009
8:06 am

THIS IS NON RELATED BUT HAPPENED TO ME LAST NIGHT IN ATL….

I got into the airport around 7:45 and had not eaten dinner. I stopped at Paschal’s for some southern friend chicken ( 1 chicken breast), 2 muffins and veggies. I asked two ladies ( in the crowded food court) whom I did not know, if I could sit next to them at the empty part of the table. My hospitality kicked in and I asked them if they would like a muffin ( on my plate that I just purchased) . Reply, “NO, if you are gonna offer us something…offer us some darn ( not the word that was used) meat and not bread…” Hello, I was just trying to be nice but I guess that did not count. This is why many folks are not interested in helping others.

JJ

August 6th, 2009
8:28 am

MJG – HOW RUDE!!!!! Why can’t people just be gracious and say No Thank You.

FK, my daughter is leaving in 10 days. I’m writing her a letter, and I’m going to leave in on her bed in her dorm as I leave. Just writing the letter makes me cry. And that’s so funny about your dog. We have two doggies, and I wonder how they will react to her not being there.

workingmom

August 6th, 2009
8:29 am

I think every child develops at his/her own pace and while people would like to make generalizations, they are not true. My son was an early talker. My daughter (second child) was very late. She was one doctor appointment away from being referred to a speech therapist if she did not speak x numbers of words by the next visit. Fast foward a few years, she is now 9 and we can’t get her to stop talking a lot of the time! :)

FCM

August 6th, 2009
8:31 am

I think FIRST babies talk sooner period. My children did hit different milestones at different ages. Over all they are healthy normal children.

However every 2nd or later child in both mine and their father’s families has been a delayed talker. (I am a first born).

FCM

August 6th, 2009
8:36 am

My youngest child still doesn’t talk so much…But sings just about anything she feels like letting you know.

JG–any ideas where I can get the kid some voice lessons? If its a God gift I want to make sure we honor it.

Thanks!

Becky

August 6th, 2009
9:33 am

The boy walked and talked first..The girl just really in the past 6-8 months started talking to anyone and everyone and never wants to be quiet..She even talks in her sleep now..I don’t guess that I’ve ever noticed that much of a difference in the boys vs girls in our family as for who talks first..

Razz

August 6th, 2009
9:58 am

JJ- that’s a wonderful idea. I remember my mother did the same when I left for college (she mailed it the first week I was there) and it was really touching. She also would randomly mail me little gifts and cards. Like I couldn’t come home for my birthday so she actually mailed me a cake! And around the holidays she mailed me a little Christmas tree to put in our dorm room. Just little things to let me know she cared and that I was missed…
Best of luck to you and your daughter

JJ

August 6th, 2009
10:32 am

Thanks Razz……

pd

August 6th, 2009
10:40 am

pd

August 6th, 2009
10:41 am

From that ^ article:

“Girls start using gestures like pointing or waving bye-bye earlier than their brothers, and they play games like patty-cake and So Big sooner, according to a study of children ages 8 to 30 months. Girls understand what you’re saying before boys do, start speaking earlier (at around 12 months versus 13 to 14 months for boys), and will continue to talk more through the toddler years. At 16 months, they produce as many as 100 words, while the average boy utters closer to 30. Although girls remain somewhat ahead through toddlerhood, the gap does begin to narrow, and at 2 ½, both boys and girls have 500 words, more or less. “

YUKI

August 6th, 2009
10:53 am

My almost 18 month old son only speaks a few words- like Bye Bye, Mama, Dada, bubbles and then he babbles a lot. I’m not really worried about it at this point. Everyone is different. I try to speak to him and point out things as much as I can, but I guess he will speak more when he is ready.

HB

August 6th, 2009
11:30 am

Yuki, do keep a close eye on that. He could just be a late talker, but you may want to have his hearing checked. I’ve had several friends with children who were only babbling and saying simple syllables like Mama, Dada by 18 months to 2 years, and it turned out they couldn’t hear well. In each case, there was no permanent disabilty, just a need for ear tubes. These particular kids didn’t have an unusual number of ear infections to clue the parents and doctor into the problem, but enough gunk built up to muffle their hearing.

YUKI

August 6th, 2009
11:35 am

Thanks so much for the input. Actually he already has tubes! But I will keep an eye out anyway. You never know and it’s not like the kids can really tell you.

new mom

August 6th, 2009
11:50 am

Something else that may (or may not) be a factor: how soon you break them of their passies, vs how soon they start talking. In my very unscientific study, it seems like there are more boys that I see while we’re out who still have passies in their mouths–they have to be at least 2! We also have friends whose boys still use them too, they are 4 and 2, and even the 4 yr old still occasionally uses it. We broke our daughter of it when she was 18 mths, we had already limited its use to sleeping and car rides. But our pediatrician said we needed to go cold turkey w/her, and after a week, she understood that passies are for ‘babies’ and she’s a big girl. Makes it interesting when she sees older boys and calls them babies….

Anyway, the ones still on passies just aren’t talkers–why would they be, with their mouths full all the time? Our daughter takes after me, she’s a chatterbox. It only takes one time of her hearing a word for her to repeat it over and over, so if you met her, she might just tell you that she’s a chatterbox too! ;)

JJ

August 6th, 2009
12:17 pm

I can’t stand to see a kid with a pacifier after about 2 years of age. That’s lazy parenting in my opinion…..I see them at the mall, 4 and 5 years old, with a binkie in their mouths.

motherjanegoose

August 6th, 2009
12:50 pm

@ JJ pacifiers….yes, this is an attribute of lazy parents IMHO who are offended when you mention it. Speech Pathologists and Orthodontists will tell you that they are ready to take your $$$ if you decide not to listen to those who say….GET RID OF THE PACIFIERS. Also, bottles and pull ups on 4 year olds. Yes, there are exceptions but not everyone can claim the exception card.
There will be other posters who poo poo this idea but I rely on advise from the SLPs I work with and those who work in the orthodontia field…not fussy parents.

nurse&mother

August 6th, 2009
12:53 pm

my kids were as different as night and day. They fit the stereotype to a T. My firstborn (daughter) was extrememly articulate. I can remember when she was not even 2. She could speak in completel sentences (and long ones at that). Passersby would even ask how old she was and marvel at her vocabulary.

Now when my son came along 8.5 years later, he was the complete opposite. I actually thought for awhile he had autism (between lack of vocabulary and his screaming fits). He sounded like a caveman grunting and pointing. Eventually, he seems to have caught up. He is now 3.5 and talks up a storm. Funny thing, he still seems to have a secret language sometimes. He knows what words are, but when he is in a funny mood (or angry mood), he spouts off the nonsense words.

nurse&mother

August 6th, 2009
12:54 pm

Preschool really seemed to help my son.

Oh, I don’t think that I did anything different when both were babies/toddlers. I think that is just how they are wired.

HB

August 6th, 2009
1:21 pm

My pacifer pet-peeve: parents who give them to the child for no reason!!! There are differing opinions on how and when to break the habit, but I can’t stand when parents prevent their babies from having any say in not using it. I’ve known several moms and dads who seem to feel a need to constantly fuss over baby and for example, will stick a paci in the mouth of a perfectly content 9-m-o who is sitting and playing. Leave the kid alone! She’ll let you know when she needs something!

violasmom

August 6th, 2009
1:30 pm

I usually lurk, but I had to tell my paci story…my daughter used one to sleep (we had about 5 or 6 in various locations throughout the house and her room) until she was about 18 mos old, at that point we told her she had to give them up before she turned 2 because only “babies” had pacis. We woke up the next morning to find all of them in the trash, guess she was just waiting for us to say something…

JJ

August 6th, 2009
1:39 pm

My daughter lost her pacifier one day when I was strolling her to the park. I tried to give her another one, but she never took it. She was about 7 months old at the time…….

pd

August 6th, 2009
1:47 pm

I never gave my son a pacifier.

Also, the doctor said for him to use a bottle for just one year, so on his first birthday, I threw them all out

Denise

August 6th, 2009
3:09 pm

I have an almost-2 niece and she barely talks at all. She doesn’t even babble. She points and pitches a fit sometimes when you don’t understand what she is asking for. My brother and his wife don’t TALK to her enough in my opinion and she is not in school/daycare to interact and learn to communicate with others. I’m worried about her lack of talking because I know she hears and understands. she did everything else really early – crawling at 5 or 6 months, walking at 8 or 9 – but I think that is because she has older brothers that she wants to keep up with.

new mom

August 6th, 2009
3:32 pm

I agree that talking a lot around your child fosters that communication with them, and to not use baby-talk or even repeat the cute ways they might say something. Our daughter might still on occasion try the point, but not as much because we would stop her and help feed her words, such as ‘please (item) mommy/daddy’, then follow with ‘thank you for (item) mommy/daddy’. There’s no better time to get her to learn what needs to be said, and how to say please and thank you, then when SHE wants something! That is starting to work with ‘yes ma’am/sir’ and ‘no ma’am/sir’, and ‘no thank you’ (which I think is really confusing for her, why is she thanking us for something she doesn’t want?)

Becky

August 6th, 2009
3:42 pm

new mom, I taught my 2 to say “thank you, but not right now” if they didn’t want something..Seems to be a great thing for them…

new mom

August 6th, 2009
3:52 pm

becky, that’s a good way to explain it too!

HB

August 6th, 2009
4:10 pm

New mom, is especially confusing because of the reason you mentioned (thank you for something you don’t want) and because they don’t understand why you use it with no sometimes (to turn down something offered), but not always. I babysat a little boy who at about 20-months had please and thank you down and always said them with no prompting, so we tried to teach him no, thank you. He learned it too well. “John,” said in a stern disapproving tone, “did you hit your brother?” “No, thank you.”

MA

August 6th, 2009
5:03 pm

My son was an early talker(10 months – sentences) but a late walker(22 months) because of a rare bone disease. My daughter(they are 3 years 5 months apart) was an early walker(9 months) and a later talker but jabbered at 9 or 10 months). She also had a pacifier until about 2 1/2(only at nap, bed, and car time and I was not a lazy mom) and it never hindered her talking. She is in her teens now and has not had braces. They were both chatterboxes as toddlers and even now in their 20’s and teens.

motherjanegoose

August 6th, 2009
7:43 pm

MA, as I mentioned, opinions are good but I tend to trust the professionals: SLPs and Orthodontists.
If either of these is your profession, please accept my humble apologies.

This is kind of like me saying that my kids have eaten peanut butter for years and never had an adverse reaction. Statistics show that there are MANY who are allergic to peanut butter and also many who have speech and ortho problems due to using a pacifier. I do not gather the statistics, I just trust the professionals.

You are lucky and that is great…not everyone is.

new mom

August 6th, 2009
8:26 pm

Theresa, if you haven’t already picked a topic for tomorrow…did you see that John Hughes died today? There are many of us who could probably get very nostalgic, remembering our favorite lines and scenes from his movies we grew up on. :(

slp mom

August 6th, 2009
11:50 pm

I’m a new blogger to the site with strong feelings on the topic…..my comment is not to pigeon-hole your child into the stereotype of boys vs. girls, just do ALL you can to encourage language to develop in your child. The potential is there. Most importantly, be a good listener: listen to your child with exaggerated expectancy, imitate what they said, add an extra word or two to raise the vocabulary bar for them, and let them know what they say is important! Replace the electronic toys with shared reading together and immerse them in language. Interacting and talking with your child is the best thing you can do. And, Amen to throwing away those pacifiers. A good friend recently took her child to ‘Build a Bear’ and let her child pick out an animal to ‘make’ and said goodbye to her passie….forever now a part of the stuffing of her beloved stuffed animal. How cute is that?????

penguinmom

August 7th, 2009
2:19 am

It is not stereotyping to say girls talk more than boys, just reality. There are always exceptions to any rule but that doesn’t make the generalization invalid. There are shy girls who don’t talk a lot and there are verbose boys. However, if you put a bunch of kids in a gym, the majority of the boys will find a way to play something physical and the majority of the girls will stand around talking.
Even for adults, the men that I know can talk a lot if they have something they are really interested in but will often just be quiet. The women I know find it difficult to not talk even if they are not interested in anything particular. (Or is it that women will always find something to be interested in so that they can talk about it?)

As far as pacifiers, a doctor told my cousin that after the age of 1, a pacifier stops being soothing and starts being a habit. So, we tried to get rid of the pacifier before our kids turned 1. They all stopped using it without any problems.

new mom- earlier today I looked up the list of movies hughes did. While I haven’t really seen any of the things he’s done in the last 10 years, his work from the 80’s is classic.

motherjanegoose

August 7th, 2009
7:34 am

HOORAH SLP MOM. I assume that you ARE a speech pathologist and I ( for one) am delighted to have you. I have spoken ( at conferences) to SLPs in 26 states and learn so much from them.

My SON (who is heading to Pharmacy School) talked a LOT ( as baby) and so did my daughter.
they both are avid readers and have large vocabularies.

We talk a lot in our family and still do. I chuckle when we go out to eat and see couples who just sit there and look at each other the ENTIRE time. We talk to our waitress and sometimes other guests.

Thanks for your input and please continue to share what you know to be true. Sometimes, I feel like the lone ranger here when I try to pass along information that has been shared with me by those
( like yourself) who REALLY do know. Since I talk to everyone, I learn a lot of things I do not know.

From motherjanegoose...

August 7th, 2009
8:22 am

…”I learn a lot of things I do not know.” Well, duh – didn’t think you learned things you already knew! And give it a rest with your son heading to pharmacy school – you have only mentioned that, oh, about 24 other times since you learned he had been accepted off the waiting list.

And of course girl babies talk more(and sooner) than boy babies – that is why God gave girls two sets of lips and boys only one set!

JJ

August 7th, 2009
8:31 am

Knock it off, she’s proud and she’s allowed to brag!!!! I sure would if it were my kid…

JJ

August 7th, 2009
8:58 am

I was hoping for a fun Friday topic……not the same one from yesterday…….

new mom

August 7th, 2009
9:22 am

We could share our favorite lines from John Hughes movies…my favorite from Sixteen Candles was when Sam’s grandmother exclaimed ‘oh look, Samantha has gotten her boobies!’ and her grandfather says ‘let me get my magnifying glass’.

One of my most favorite movies of all time is NL Christmas Vacation, I swear I could probably recite the entire movie if it was muted. sad…anyway, every line from cousin eddie is classic, as is aunt bethany saying grace by reciting the pledge of allegiance, and eddie saying ‘play ball!’ at the end :)

motherjanegoose

August 7th, 2009
9:31 am

JJ….thanks for the support…

what is the blog name “from motherjanegoose” would that not be TO motherjanegoose?
Maybe I am too stupid to get it! I am always amused at those who hide behind other blog names to attack others.

I believe I have mentioned it less than the amount of times that JJ has mentioned her daughter heading to college. This is a BIG deal for both of us, we are delighted and sorry if it offends anyone.
Best wishes JJ….

As I have mentioned before, it is a good thing that professionals pay me for my words, even though there are those here who are critical. Some folks do need to learn a “lot of things…” but they are too busy being critical to hear anything. I often learn new perspectives to things that I already know.

HB

August 7th, 2009
9:31 am

But MJG, “those who know” do not always agree with each other. The American Academy of Pediatrics says pacifiers are fine for the first year. Recent research even indicates that pacis may help prevent SIDS. The Mayo Clinic has a list of pros and cons (and tips, such as not forcing a paci on a child as I mentioned yesterday) of pacificier use here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pacifiers/PR00067. They sum up with, “The decision to use a pacifier — or not — is up to you. Let go of any guilt or pressure as you learn what works best for your baby.”

To use your peanut butter analogy, it’s like you saying even though most children will not be harmed by it, none should eat it! In truth, though, parents should watch for allergic reactions, just as they should watch for signs that the paci is a problem — prolonged constant use, jaw tightening, etc (these are among the Mayo’s tips).

motherjanegoose

August 7th, 2009
9:52 am

I would trust an orthodontist and/or an SLP over a pediatrician any day on pacifiers as they are more specific to the situation. Maybe that is just me.

I have had kids, in my class, with obvious problems. When the parents visited their pediatrician, they were told there was nothing wrong. RIGHT. The doctor does not sit in a average classroom of children day after day to observe the said child. Seeing a child in an office is not the same.

If an orthodontist/SLP tells me that pacifiers are not good for kids over one, I listen…maybe it is just me.

I respect medical doctors immensely but those who look in mouths day after day or spend hours in therapy tend to know more specifics. Just my opinion…ignore it if you wish!

Also, regarding vocabularies: my son had a good friend in elementary school who talked up a blue streak (sp?) and he is now going to law school. I am equally proud of him and his family.

As I mentioned before, our neighbor ( who talked ALL the time as a child) scored a PERFECT SAT score….hoorah for him too!

THESE ARE BOTH BOYS!

Have a good day all!

JJ

August 7th, 2009
10:17 am

Newmom – good to see you here. When is baby #2 due?

I love the line from 16 Candles “What’s happening hot stuff?”

I’ll have to go look at John Hughes movies…..I don’t know them all.

I love NL Christmas Vacation. Chevy Chase just cracks me up. All I have to do is look at him and I start laughing. Same with John Belushi. I love to watch the original SNL’s on repeats. I remember as a teenager, staying up till midnight with my brother, and watching SNL. I always waited until the News, “I’m Chevy Chase and You’re NOT!” OR those funny telephone calls he would do as the camera was panning to him……

No, motherjanegoose...

August 7th, 2009
10:21 am

…if you would stop writing and bragging long enough to try to comprehend what others are writing you would have seen that “From motherjanegoose…” continued the “dotdotdot” by QUOTING what you had said earlier – hence, it was FROM motherjanegoose.

And how many times are going to tell us that you would trust SLPs and orthodontists over anyone else!

And don’t compare yourself to JJ – she has a right to brag this year on her daughter – you have been bragging on the son for 5 years now – you get another chance to brag next year when your daughter graduates from HS, of which I am sure you will remind all of us ad nauseum for the next 10 months!

HB

August 7th, 2009
10:42 am

Nothing wrong with your opinion, MJG. You choose to focus more on possible speech dental issues for pacifier use; another parent pay choose to focus on sleep issues and SIDS risk. That’s fine. My point was you’re not the “lone ranger” listening to experts, spreading information, and learning new perspectives. There’s a broad spectrum of viewpoints and data on pretty much any topic out there, and those disagreeing with you will often have as much “expert” information to back up their opinion as you do. So we should all open our minds, listen to each other, critically analyze the information we take in, and not be so quick to judge people who come to different conclusions than we do as being less informed or prone to ignore facts and expert opinions.

new mom

August 7th, 2009
10:55 am

Hey JJ, I have six weeks till our due date. I haven’t been as active online this summer, as I’ve been trying to get out with our daughter a lot and we’ve stayed really busy…but now my energy level is plummeting! So I am trying to pace myself more, so I don’t have as many afternoons where I’m completely exhausted and can’t hardly move. I will sometimes wonder ‘why am I so tired, am I sick?’ and then think DUH, I’m pregnant…

And speaking of John Hughes, another favorite of mine was Ferris Bueller’s day off. I always loved the principal getting attacked by the dog! And my husband’s favorite movies growing up were Uncle Buck and Planes, Trains & Automobiles, both Hughes’ movies. His movies were definitely a big part of our lives when we were teenagers–we both got sad last night reading the news of his passing.