Pregnancy and baby

Language development and twins

There are several reasons why twins may be slower to pick up speech skills:

  • Twins tend to receive less attention in shorter bursts than single babies.
  • Parents often speak to one twin while looking at the other, however, eye contact from the speaker is needed with all children to help the development of language.
  • Twins tend to spend more time with each other, so they pick up each other’s immature speech rather than that of the adults and older children around them.
  • Twins have less time to practise speech as they have to compete to get themselves heard.
  • Sometimes one twin may answer for the other.

There's no reason to worry if your twins seem to be slow to speak, as long as you ensure that they have plenty of time to talk and express themselves.

It's good to talk

Good opportunities to give twins one-on-one attention can be during nappy changes, or you could bathe them separately at night to give you some time alone to chat with each baby.

If one twin is playing, it's a good opportunity to read to the other or, if possible, you could stagger bedtime stories and read to each twin individually. It's a good idea to avoid excessive television viewing or time on the computer while your children are young as this can stunt language development.

Read more about encouraging language skills in children. If you're concerned about your child’s language skills, talk to your GP or health visitor.  


Page last reviewed: 10/07/2012

Next review due: 10/07/2014


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