Are you obsessed with calling out your baby’s name? Every parent loves to do that. Infants listen very closely right from their first months and absorb the languages they listen to like an adorable sponge. The receptive language skills of every baby start to develop right from their birth. However, their brains may need longer to process words and distinguish them from sounds around them. Being a parent, you may already be anxious when your baby will begin to recognize and respond to their name. One day soon, they will turn around and look at you when you call out to them but until then, hang in there!
Monthly language learning timeline
Mostly, a baby recognizes and even responds to their name by the time they are 6 months old. Some babies take a bit longer and won’t necessarily recognize their name until they hit the 9-month mark. The receptive language and the expressive language have different timelines when it comes to a baby’s development. A baby starts to understand the language much earlier, while it takes them much longer to say those meaningful words back to you.
Every child has their own pace and learns things according to their own timeline. However, we have brought you a rough estimate of what the baby is expected to understand by what age language-wise:
0 to 3 Months Old
A baby uses crying as their mode of communication during this period. They begin to recognize the voices of their parents and close ones. They may even react to loud sounds and like the sound of music. They start to smile by the end of this period. Some babies may even start to coo.
3 to 6 Months Old
Your adorable little one may start to recognize their name. They also sense the change in tone of your voice. Your baby may giggle and babble when playing with you during this age. They may even squeal when delighted.
6 to 9 Months Old
Your baby will start responding to their name and even turn their head around in the direction someone called their name. They may even recognize simple words like cup, water, milk, etc.
9 to 12 Months Old
Your baby will understand the words ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ during this phase and will also identify their parents. They also know the meaning of ‘No’ by this time; however, they might still not be up to obeying you right now. The baby can also use gestures by this point like waving, clapping, pointing, and reaching out. They may even play along with you by exchanging gestures and sounds while playing. Some even start imitating simpler sounds and words like ‘mama,’ ‘dada,’ etc.
Signs your baby recognizes their name
Every baby is different when it comes to when and how they begin recognizing their name. However, there are some tell-tale signs that the parents can watch out for to see if the baby is actually recognizing and learning their name or not. Here are a few signs that your baby has started to recognize their name:
- The baby turns to look around when called out by their name to see where the sound is coming from.
- The baby pauses and looks up when called, outputting a stop to whatever they were doing.
- As they get older, the baby may smile at you when they hear their name or even babble.
If you notice any of these signs, it means your baby is already on the way to recognizing their name and reaching their milestones successfully.
How you can help your baby recognize their name
If you want your baby to learn and recognize their name, it is suggested that you start using their name early and be consistent with it. Don’t keep changing the names. Stick to their real name and call them out with it frequently. Repetition is the key when it comes to making your infants and toddlers learn anything.
Ask all the family members and even the babysitter to call your baby by their name instead of any nicknames. This consistency will make the baby learn their name faster without confusing them. It also helps make the baby learn communication skills regarding how people are supposed to interact by calling names.
Keep engaging your baby in simple conversations that include their name frequently. This will not only encourage them to learn their name but also teach them communication and social skills. Always use a warm and loving tone while talking and helping your baby to learn their name as it will instigate a feeling of being loved in them. Using these tips will help you in teaching your baby their name and achieve their language milestones easily.
When to Consult your Doctor
Generally, the range is very wide when it comes to normal things for a baby. However, you must consult your doctor if you notice any of the following in your baby:
- The baby isn’t startled by loud noises.
- The baby doesn’t laugh at 6 months of age.
- The baby doesn’t turn around towards the sound source after 6 months.
- The baby isn’t responsive to sound by 6 to 9 months.
- The baby doesn’t babble by 7 to 9 months of age.
- The baby doesn’t use gestures like waving by 12 months of age.
Although these may not be signs to be concerned about, your baby’s pediatrician may consider some testing or screening to determine if there is an underlying medical issue to watch out for that might be causing the delays.