|He only says 4 words and he is so obviously behind his peers when I go to playdates.|
Because my excellent eater, at 17.5 months, has words with three different consonant sounds and just two vowel sounds. She does have a large "vocabulary" but all her words sound the same. I see other kids her age all the time and they are all over the map in terms of speech.
|He is 16 mo and his 12 mo pants fall off him.|
Please, please do not think that by nursing a child until 16 months you have done something wrong. It is very normal for children to eat few solids and not to speak more than a few words at that age. VERY normal. Yes, the averages, and yes, his weight, but frankly, I think you are assuming that you are literally starving him and that this is affecting his speech and I simply do not hear that.
Yes, he needs more calories if he's off the charts. I agree. But no, it doesn't necessarily have to do with your cooking skills and it also doesn't mean he was meant to be at the 50th percentile. Some kids just talk later. Some kids eat more solids later. They're more methodical. Period.
It's great that you're getting him help but don't beat yourself up. I'd have been thrilled if my child spoke four distinct words at 16 months, or if my almost-18-month old could say more than 3 consonant sounds consistently (she eats tons of crackers and nurses frequently... she's great at chewing in general). And I know my kids are bright, normal, and healthy.
Do not compare him to the dead-average of these charts. Someone has to speak later, and it is not a sign of intelligence or anything. Maybe they're just making sure!