TV viewers watch her interact with her Jersey Shore family on the reality reboot, but Jenni "JWoww" Farley was missing her real family during the season two premiere of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.

She talked candidly about her 2-year-old son, Greyson, during the episode, noting that his speech has been delayed and that he's started seeing a therapist.

Clearly, Farley was feeling troubled by the fact that her 2-year-old isn't talking yet, but it's something a lot of parents can relate to—speech delays are very common in 2-year-olds, something Farley heard frequently from supportive TV viewers who reached out after the episode aired.

The mom of two (Greyson's older sister, Meilani, is 4) recently took to Instagram to thank all the fellow parents who messaged and commented with similar stories about their own children's delays and challenges (and post a video of Greyson saying "mama").

"I cant thank you enough," Farley wrote. "To find out Greyson is 'behind' or 'delayed' crushed me... but only for a moment…"

Farley says that she recognized her disappointment over the delays was related to a desire to have "perfect children" but she also recognizes that her son is perfect the way he is. That doesn't mean she's not doing everything she can to help him (he's in therapy three times a week and she's made some changes to his diet).

"I've had almost every test done you can think of," writes Farley, who notes that she chose to share this part of Greyson's life on television so that other parents might feel how she did when she got all those messages from viewers.

"I want to help anyone going through what I'm going through... I'm sure people need support the way I've needed it," she explains.

What parents need to know 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, most kids at 2 years old are speaking in sentences of two to four words (something like "I want milk" or "good morning mama") and the CDC encourages parents to check in with their doctor if a child isn't at least using two word phrases ("drink milk," for example) by age two.

But the reason why experts recommend parents loop in the pediatrician isn't because there is necessarily anything wrong with a 2-year-old who isn't yet speaking a lot, but rather so that parents can have access to interventions that might help, and like Farley mentioned, get tests done to rule out physical problems.

"Your child's doctor will likely consider possible underlying reasons for a speech delay, from hearing problems to developmental disorders," writes Mayo Clinic pediatric expert Dr. Jay Hoecker.

"If necessary, he or she might refer your child to a speech-language pathologist or a developmental pediatrician. Treatment options for toddler speech development depend on what's causing the speech delay and its severity. When treated early, however, speech and language delays and disorders generally improve over time."

Research suggests between 2.3 to 19% of kids between 2 and 7 years old have speech delays, so it is common. About one-third of kids younger than 3 and a half who have a speech and language delay don't need therapy a year later, even without intervention. But intervention (like what the therapy Farley's son is getting) is recommended, because in two-thirds of cases, the kids do need it a year later, so starting early doesn't hurt.

One study found that about 13% of 2-year-olds are late talkers and that boys are three times more likely to be in that group. The researchers also found that by the time the kids were 7 years old, 80% of the late talking toddlers had caught up to their peers in language development.

So, JWoww, when it comes to Greyson's speech, you're doing everything right, mama.

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Back when my husband and I were creating our wedding registry, it was a fun, low-pressure opportunity to select some new dishes and linens. After all, I knew a thing or two about stocking my home and making the "wrong decision" with thread count was the only thing that posed any risk to my sleep at night.

Fast-forward a few years to when I created a baby registry before the birth of my first child—and I found the experience to have a much steeper learning curve. Unlike those sheets, it felt like a bad swaddle or bassinet selection would be catastrophic. Unsure of what to expect from motherhood or my baby, I leaned heavily on advice from friends who already ventured into parenthood. (Starting with their reminders to take deep breaths!)


Now a mom of three little ones under the age of four, I'm happy to be in a position to pass along some baby registry wisdom.

Go shopping with a veteran parent

As first-time parents, my husband and I barely knew the difference between a bouncer and a swing, let alone what specific features we would want. So when a mom friend recommended we head to Walmart to build my registry together—because she found them to carry the trendy brands she loved AND make registering a breeze during her pregnancy—I leapt at the chance.

By walking through the aisles together and actually getting to see the products, I was much more confident in my registry selections. Thanks to that quick, in-store tutorial from my friend, I understood exactly how to match a perfect infant car seat with an extra base and stroller—which is something I would have been clueless about on my own.

Include items at a variety of price points

When it comes down to it, a registry is really a wish list. So, while I had a personal budget for a stroller if it had to come out of my own pocket, this was an opportunity for me to ask for the stroller of my dreams. And, wouldn't you know it? A few family members went in on it together, which made a bigger price tag much more manageable.

At the same time, it's nice to include some of the smaller ticket items that are absolutely essential. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was to skip buying my own diapers for those first few weeks. (With super cute patterns, these are also surprisingly fun to give, too!)

Think about the gifts you would like to give

The first time I bought a mom-to-be a gift after my own child was born, I knew immediately what to look for on her registry: a diaper bag backpack, which I had come to have very strong opinions about after battling falling straps with my first diaper bag. This allowed me to feel like I had a personal touch in my gift, even if I brought one pre-selected by her.

I also appreciate it when my friends clearly incorporate their style into their registry choices, like with adorable baby outfits or nursery decor—and there's no sweeter "thank you" than a picture from a friend showing your gift in use.

Ask for things to grow with your child

Even though it's called a baby registry, there's no need to limit yourself to gifts to use before their first birthday. (To this day, I still have people who attended my baby shower to thank for the convertible bed that my oldest child sleeps in!) Knowing that, I would have included more options with long lifespans into my registry—namely, a baby carrier that can be used during the newborn months, baby months and well into the toddler years. A well-designed baby carrier would have saved my back from serious pain because it would have allowed me to comfortably and ergonomically carry my toddler as she made her way into the 25lb+ club. One brand that's designed to grow with your baby and accommodates 7-45 pounds (up to about four years old) and offers both inward and forward-facing positions is Ergobaby. With several different design and style options, you can easily find one that caters to your parenting needs. From an all-in-one carrier, like the Omni 360, that grows with baby from the newborn stages into the toddler years or a newborn-specific carrier, like the Embrace (and don't worry you can later upgrade to a carrier for an older baby, I recommend the 360 Carrier). The best part? All ergonomic designs are supportive and comfortable for both baby and parent, offering extra lumbar support with breathable, lightweight mesh styles. Everyone (even grandparents!) can get a kick out of babywearing, which is a nice and welcomed break for parents. Having one of these on my registry would have certainly made those first few years so much easier.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

This article was sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Whether I live next to you or across the country, social media makes it easy for us to stay updated on each other's lives and that's a wonderful thing. I love seeing pictures of your kids and I think it's great that you choose to share videos of your child singing, giggling and taking his or her first steps.

I simply choose not to share pregnant pictures, or even a family photo from the hospital once our daughter arrived because my pregnancy, birth and growing family are parts of my life I wanted to protect from the outside world.

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