Multiples are more likely to suffer delays in the area of speech development than singleton children. This is partly due to the fact that some of the factors which can contribute to speech delay generally are more likely to be present in multiple birth families.


These include:

  • Having a large number of siblings
  • Having siblings close in age
  • Being born prematurely

In addition, some people believe multiples are less likely to make the effort to learn to talk because they are able to communicate effectively with each other without using speech.

Children all develop at different rates and there is a very broad range of what is considered normal. Speech therapy may be advisable if your child is not reaching a basic standard for their age. As a general guide, this would be:

  • 12-18 months – saying a couple of words, even just mamma and dadda
  • Next few months – beginning to say more words
  • By about age 2 -starting to put two words together
  • Between 2 and 2.5 – learning 2 new words a week and putting more words together

If you are concerned about your children’s speech, ask your public health nurse for advice. She may suggest putting them on the waiting list for speech therapy.