One of the first things you do as a parent is probably to look for the perfect name for your child. After all, it is a big deal, as this is the first step to creating one’s identity. So, when you’ve named your child (the perfect name, might we add), you soon start wondering when your child will recognize their name. It is a special moment when you see your child looking your way and smiling each time you say their name — we don’t blame you if you’re eagerly waiting for this moment!
However, just like every other milestone, your child’s ability to recognize their voice is also a developmental milestone that will happen at its own pace, depending on your child. We’re about to tell you at what stage you can expect your child to recognize their name, so read on!
Your Child Is Interacting With You
When you make noises and talk to your baby, you would have seen them respond. This happens soon after birth! When a parent calls their child, the baby will turn towards the direction of the voice and give all their attention. When you see this happen, you probably think that this is your child responding to their names. But that’s not usually the case. What’s happening here is that your child has identified you as a source of comfort. They know that you are a familiar face and a safe space for them, so when you call an infant by their name, they will respond. This is their way of communicating or interacting with you!.
While this denotes that their hearing abilities are developing, their muscles are working in perfect condition, and they have a special bond with you, it does not mean that they know their name — this takes time!. Don’t worry, though, because this too will happen soon enough.
When Do Babies Recognize Their Names?
Now that you know that in the early months of your child’s life, they aren’t precisely responding to their names but responding to your voice, when exactly will your little munchkin recognize their name?
As we mentioned above, this is highly subjective, but most babies begin to recognize their names anywhere between four to nine months. Understanding that they have a name specifically for them is a critical milestone in their life. Also, it signifies that your child is developing the ability to create an identity for themselves. Further, it means that they have discovered a sense of separation from the others versus themselves (this signifies independence).
What You Can Do To Help Your Baby Recognize Their Name
There are a few ways to help your baby recognize their name, but having said that, do not rush your baby into it. It’s normal for some children to reach various stages of development at a later stage than others. Here’s what you can do to help your baby recognize their name:
- Repeat Their Name Frequently: The more you say their name, the more likely they will associate themselves with their name. They will begin to recognize a pattern: when you say that sound (the name), you look in their direction and ask for their attention. They’ll also see that that particular sound is directly related to them so that it will get their attention! Say your child’s name when you play with them, talk to them using their name when you change their diaper. Make sure you call out to them and say their name when they are eating as well.
- Pay Attention To Your Tone: It is best to use a high-pitched or a sing-song voice when using your baby’s name. This way, their name stands out from the rest of the words you use in a sentence. This should get their attention better, and they’ll know that their name is significant and addressed to them.
- Do Away With Distractions: Babies are often overstimulated — there’s just so much information they are taking in at all times. From the quiet of the womb, this can be a significant change. So, maybe take them to a more silent room during some parts of the day. During this time, focus on them wholly and stress on their names. When there aren’t too many distractions, they’ll focus on their name better.
- Use Photos As Tools: You could pull out a photo album and your child pictures of close family members or friends. As you point to each family member, use their names. When you come to a picture of your baby, point to it, and say their name. Having seen themselves in the mirror, they may be able to make a connection and identify themselves with the photo, thereby to the name as well.
Do not fret if it seems like your child hasn’t recognized their name yet — each child is different, and there is no standard time in which they should overcome a particular milestone. However, if you have any concerns about your child’s development, it is best to consult their pediatrician. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below!