My Twins are Behind in Talking…How Can I Help?

Last updated on July 15th, 2018 at 07:32 pm

On average, twins are about six months behind single babies in their language development.

Twins may be slower to pick up speech and language skills because:

  • twins tend to receive less attention in shorter bursts than single babies
  • parents often speak to one twin while looking at the other, but children need eye contact to help their language development
  • twins tend to spend more time with each other, so they pick up each other’s speech rather than that of adults and older children around them
  • twins have less time to practise speech as they compete to get themselves heard
  • sometimes one twin may answer for the other

Don’t worry if your twins seem to be slow to speak. Just try to make sure they have plenty of time to talk and express themselves.

Talking to twin babies

Nappy changes can be a good opportunity to give twins one-on-one attention. You could bathe each baby separately to give you time to chat with them individually.

You can also:

  • turn off the TV and radio for at least 30 minutes each day, so your babies can listen to the noises around them with no distractions
  • listen to your babies and respond to them as they experiment with different sounds
  • try to play and read books with your babies individually; make time to talk to your babies individually each day, using their name and making eye contact
  • encourage older siblings, friends and family to talk to your babies one to one

Read more about how to encourage language skills in children.

Twins & Multiple Births Association (Tamba) has information about twins and language. Tamba also has a free (in the UK) telephone helpline. Twinline** is open every day from 10am to 1pm and 7pm to 10pm on 0800 138 0509.

Talk to your GP (*doctor) or health visitor if you’re concerned about your children’s language skills.

Editor’s Note:  

* Clarification Provided for our U.S. Readers

** Resources Outside the UK:

  • Multiples of America: US non-profit providing information, research studies and clubs throughout the U.S. for multiple birth families (and families-to-be)

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From www.nhs.uk

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About the Author

NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk) is the UK’s biggest health website. It provides a comprehensive health information service to help put you in control of your healthcare.

Comments

One Response to “My Twins are Behind in Talking…How Can I Help?”

  1. Rosie ReevesRosie Reeves says:

    As caregivers we are experts at body language, so we know what our babies want…but we have to make them ask to encourage speech. Wait for responses before handing items over, give them choices between two toys or two items of clothing so they find their voices.

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