When and How do Babies Recognize their Name

When and How do Babies Recognize their Name

Out of the many first things that expectant parents may do is to pick a name for their baby. After the baby’s arrival, they may be calling the baby by his name constantly hoping for some response. It is natural for excited parents to eagerly await the moment when their baby starts to know his name and respond to it.


However, it may be a few months before a baby can begin recognising his name. Name recognition normally happens when babies turn 6 to 7 months old. But regularly repeating your baby’s name may not just be delightful for you but can also help him get familiar to its sound.

At What Age Do Babies Recognize Their Name

New moms may be keen to learn when do babies know their name. You may notice your baby turning towards you when you say his name as early as a couple of weeks old. But this response of your baby may not be due to name recognition but because of familiarity to the sound of your voice.


Research indicates that babies tend to start knowing their name between 6 to 7 months of age. A 6 months old baby may develop the ability to correlate familiar sounds with people or objects they denote. For example, if you indicate to a ball while saying the word ‘ball’ your baby may realise the connection though he won’t be able to say the word until he is 10 to 12 months old or beyond.

However, parents need to understand here that development in babies occurs in a continuum. Every baby can have varying time frames to cover the various developmental milestones. It is perfectly normal if some babies exhibit name recognition a little earlier than others or if some display it a little later.


Parents may like to focus more on frequently using the baby’s name while talking to him so that he may eventually make the association between himself and his name when being called. The important point to bear in mind is that the overall social development of the baby is progressing the pace notwithstanding.

Boy looking at mother

How Do Babies Start Recognizing Their Name

Studies show that words often repeated and said with emphasis can help in initiating language comprehension babies. Words usually articulated to a baby in affectionate tones like mommy or baby’s name constantly can foster recognition and response in babies.


Babies are accustomed to listening to their mothers since the time they were in the womb. Therefore, your baby may not only be familiar with your voice but can also comprehend the tone of your voice and thereby realise the different emotions like love, happiness, anger, anxiety, sadness. The emotional connection which gets established between a mother and her baby when he is still in the womb as part of his neurological growth assists the baby to evolve his verbal language communication skills later on.

How to Teach Baby to Respond to His Name

Some easy tips to help you teach your baby to respond to his name can be:


  • It is better to start using your baby’s name to call him right from his early months.
  • Avoid referring to your baby by pet-names and
  • Talk as much as you can with your baby daily and use his name repeatedly which may facilitate familiarisation and relationship between the sound and his name.
  • Ask other family members and people also to use the baby’s name while talking to him.
  • For better name recognition keep the calling session short and crisp and take small breaks between different occurrences of name-calls.
  • Initially practise calling out your baby’s name to him in a setting with minimalistic distractions.
  • In due course introduce a setting with distractions and other people and consistently keep calling his name till he turns to look your way.
  • You may like to share a reward with your baby after a successful response as part of positive reinforcement.

Parents need not pointlessly worry and hurry their child unnecessarily in case they feel their baby is delaying responding to his name. Just enjoy the frequent cute chat sessions with your baby during this thrilling phase letting him indulge you with his own adorable babbles and eventually he may reward you with suitable responses. Nevertheless, in case your baby doesn’t seem to respond to his name even by the time he is of 9 months it is advisable to refer to a doctor.