At What Age Do Babies Respond To Their Name? Here’s What Doctors Say

Sameer C
·6-min read

Watching your baby grow from a fetus inside you into an adorable little human is indeed a rewarding experience. With every month after birth, there are so many changes to look forward to, each step more satisfying than the other.

For your infant, it’s a completely new world to explore. As your baby gets more aware of his surroundings, he is likely to identify and understand different things at different stages. In fact, one of the first things they become familiar with is their own name.

Be it their nickname or full name, they will start identifying themselves with it and that’s an extremely adorable phase to capture. All those months of searching for the right baby name has finally paid off. At least that’s what it feels like.

That being said, did you ever wonder at what age do babies respond to their name? Well turns out there is a science to this as well.

When Your Baby Is Interactive

what age do babies respond to their name
what age do babies respond to their name

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Your little one will start recognising sounds and the world around them not long after he is born. The most familiar voice turns out to be that of the mother or father, and they start recognising faces and will smile at familiar ones.

In most cases, you will see babies respond to names as early as four months. However, at this point, your baby still isn’t familiar with the name itself. It’s more likely that he is smiling at your presence. And when you call out his name, he associates the sound with familiarity and comfort.

But that’s not a bad thing at all.

In fact, it’s a sign of your baby achieving his growth milestone. His hearing has no issues, and he is exhibiting muscle control as they are forming an attachment with you.

For your baby, he is associating his name with a happy thought and that’s always a good thing.

At What Age Do Babies Respond To Their Name?

So, when do babies really start identifying their names? Well, experts suggest that the babies are able to recognise their name by the time they turn six to seven months old.

It’s a major milestone and an indicator that your baby is working towards separation and independence. However, do remember it’s a micro-step in that direction and you won’t actually see your baby becoming independent by the time they turn about five years old.

Mums and dads also need to understand that every baby has a different development cycle. And they will achieve the milestone at a different period than others.

It’s completely normal if some babies recognise their name at just five months old, while some do it at about eight months. During this time, your baby will turn around slightly when his name is called.

At the same time, he will make his own noises to try and get your attention.

How Can Parents Help Their Child Recognise His Name?

what age do babies respond to their name
what age do babies respond to their name

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Parents should focus on using the baby’s name as frequently as possible when talking to him. You may want to give up on the baby tongue and talk to him normally. This will help him recognise his name faster.

It will also be a good time to lose the nickname and call your little one by his actual name so he can make the association between him and the name being called.

Parents should also remember that an affectionate, warm tone of voice and a smiling face will also go a long way in helping your infant associate his name with himself.

Paediatricians say that the more times you are to repeat the baby’s name, the more reinforcement it will provide to him. Talk to him through everyday activities like diaper changes, feedings, baths, playtime, and more.

When Will My Baby Say His Name?

While babies will recognise their own name at the age of six or seven months, they won’t be able to say it before they are around 15-months-old.

Toddlers slowly and steadily start learning words. In most cases, their first word could be mama or daddy, and they will slowly pick up other words as well with the number going up to 20 by the time they turn 18 months old.

Interestingly, it’s not exactly a milestone for the baby to say his own name at that age. Paediatricians look for the child’s ability to recognise commands like “Take this toy” or “Eat this food.”

Babies do start building a word bank though as they grow over the next couple of months learning up to 100 words by the age of 24 months. This usually includes their name as well.

In a bid to get them to say their name more often, parents can speak in the third person with the baby when telling them something.

So, the next time you are telling something to your child, try saying “This is Johnny’s toy” or “This is Johnny’s bottle.” You can also try this with other things in the house like “This is Daddy’s cup,” or “This is mama’s book.”

It will help your little one identify things in the house as well as the people it belongs to. It’s also a great way to teach your child about different things in the house and make sure you add a lot of adjectives to help them be more descriptive in their speech.

What Do I Do If My Child Does Not Respond To His Name?

what age do babies respond to their name
what age do babies respond to their name

Image Source: Pexels

Pay attention to how your baby is communicating. If your child isn’t responding to his name at nine months old, make sure to bring this up with your paediatrician.

Your doctor will be looking for a receptive language issue and delay in social-communication skills.

Some doctors may recommend you to a child therapist to understand where your baby is lacking and provide the requisite training and support to the parents. In most cases, it’s more of a case of the milestone being delayed that can be easily corrected by the parents at home.

Parents also need not worry if they think their child is delaying responding to his name. You may want to increase the frequency of the number of times you converse with your baby. This is particularly helpful when there are more people in the house who can also chime in and chat with the little munchkin.


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