when do babies respond to name


When Do Babies Respond to Their Name?

Most parents are excited to find that their baby is responding to hearing its name, and it’s a milestone for both parent and child. Usually this happens in the first year of life, but when exactly?

4-6 Months Old

As babies approach 4 or 5 months old, they start to become aware of their own name and may turn to look when they hear it. Shortly after, they start babbling back when spoken to. They also begin to understand simple commands such as:

  • Wave bye-bye.
  • Give a kiss.
  • Show your toes.

It is important to note that this is only a response to an action and not necessarily a verbal response to the baby’s name.

6-9 Months Old

By 6 months, babies may start saying mama and dada as a response to those names. As their language begins to develop, so too will their response when their own name is said. Some babies may respond by looking around, while others may try to repeat their name. Parents can help encourage their baby by saying their name before tasks, like before changing a diaper, playing peekaboo or before feeding.

9-12 Months Old

At this age range, the baby becomes more responsive to his/her own name and can understand the different aspects of language such as adjectives and adverbs. The baby will start to progress from babbling to speaking with more clarity. Babies at this age can usually comprehend simple instructions such as shaking their head for yes, and hand for no. In addition, they may use hand signs to indicate when they are hungry, tired or in need of a hug.


Babies usually respond to their name much earlier than anyone can expect but the response varies from one infant to another. Parents may begin to hear their baby responding to their name anytime from 4-6 months and can expect their baby to use more advanced language around the 12 month mark.