Out of the many first things that excited parents may do is pick a name for their baby. Whether you chose a cherished family name, a name with meaning to you and your partner, or just a name that has a nice ring and good recollection, sure, you put a lot of time pondering into what to name your baby. Parents are expected to excitedly await the moment when their baby starts to know his name and respond to it.
Before they realize their name is related to them, your baby will likely hear you repeatedly call them in their first month. So, does it really make sense for parents to seek the appreciation they think they deserve to want to know when their babies recognize their names?
It doesn’t take long for infants to start responding to their surroundings. They will almost immediately turn towards their mother or father’s voice and smile at smiling faces. And this can lead to assumptions.
After nine months in your womb, your baby will recognize the sound of your voice and the voices of your spouse and any other people who live in the house, such as older siblings. Parents may believe that their baby responds to their name as early as four months, but this is unlikely. They’re more likely to answer not because they know their name. Still, because they recognize the sound of your voice, they’re more likely to give attention to a familiar and comforting presence. But that’s also good! It indicates that their hearing is good, they have reasonable muscle control and forming an attachment to you. Take advantage of the warm and fuzzy emotional payoff!
How to Teach Baby Their Name
There are several ways you can help your child learn their name. Don’t be concerned if these methods don’t work right away. Again, all babies reach developmental milestones at different times. Your infant is developing at its own pace.
Here are some ways you can help your child learn their name:
- Repetition. Most parents are already doing everything necessary to teach their baby her name by repeating it repeatedly. A baby’s name is best learned through repetition.
The more you refer to your baby by name, the sooner they realize it is for them. You can begin teaching your baby’s name from the beginning – from the moment they are born, use their name as frequently as possible.
- Eliminate distractions. Perhaps there are too many things going on, and your baby isn’t paying attention. Try moving to a quiet room, giving your baby a toy to play with, and sitting quietly for a while. Then, when you say your baby’s name, see if they respond.
- Change your tone. Specialists suggest changing your tone of voice when you call your baby. Try a singsong voice or an excited whisper of their name to see if that gets your baby’s attention better than your standard speaking voice.
Avoiding nicknames and warm facial expressions will also help your baby associate their name with love and safety. Point to family members and name them to help your baby understand that names represent people. Examine your baby’s features in the mirror with her. Say things like, “look at Ryan’s ears!” and “here’s your nose, Lizzy!””
Signs a Baby Knows their Name
So, how exactly can you tell if your child recognizes their name? It’s actually tricky, and you can’t necessarily know for sure.
First, consider your baby’s age. While some babies can recognize their names as early as four (4) to six (6) months, most should reach this point consistently by seven (7) to nine (9) months.
Second, pay attention to your baby’s body language and any sounds they make. Suppose your baby consistently turns towards you, vocalizes somehow, or shows other signs of recognition. In that case, your child probably knows their name.
What to Do When Your Baby is not Responding to their Name
Parents worry when their child is not responding to hir name. Children with significant social delays, such as autism, often don’t respond to their names when called. This makes it difficult for adults to get their attention or call them away from what they’re doing. It also makes it difficult for them to participate in social interactions with peers. They may not be aware that someone else is talking to them.
Remember that just because a child is not responding to his name doesn’t necessarily mean he has autism. Even children without autism can also have difficulty with this.
It’s good to contact your baby’s pediatrician if your little one doesn’t consistently respond to their name when their first birthday rolls around. Your child’s doctor then may suggest having your little one’s hearing checked or that you schedule an evaluation with a speech-language pathologist.
Communicating with your child is one of the best parts of being a new parent. It’s fascinating to see your little one’s eyes light up when you say their name.
If your baby hasn’t reached this milestone yet, take a deep breath. Remember that all children develop at their own pace, so the fact that your baby hasn’t responded to their name by 9 months isn’t a cause for concern. Perhaps your baby is simply too preoccupied with playing and exploring the world around them!
Even if your child is behind in this developmental milestone, don’t compare them to another, even another of your children. A comparison will only cause unnecessary stress and take away the joy of ordinary moments and treasures with your child.
Parenting can be overwhelming at times, but take a deep breath and remind yourself that each child is their own unique individual, just like the name you gave them.