“I’m worried! My baby ignores me when I call his name!”. Do you have this concern? Keep reading to find out why this might be happening and how to help your little one with their receptive language skills.
As a parent, it can be disconcerting to call out your baby’s name and get no response. It is normal to worry that something might be wrong, but there are many reasons why babies might not respond when their parents call, and most are not cause for concern.
The ability to recognize and respond to one’s own name is an important milestone in a baby’s development. It’s usually one of the first signs that they are beginning to understand language. It can be frustrating for parents when their babies don’t seem to respond. Fortunately, there are ways you can help your baby develop receptive language skills so they can eventually be able to recognize their own name.
In this article, we’ll discuss why babies may not always respond when called by their names, as well as some tips for helping them learn how to do so.
How receptive language develops
Receptive language is a set of skills that allow us to understand the things we hear. This includes recognizing and responding to our own name, as well as understanding other words and instructions. Receptive language skills begin developing in infancy and continue to develop throughout childhood.
Here are some milestones related to the receptive language skills in the first year:
- Up to 3 months: Babies learn to recognize their caregivers’ voices and begin to understand that crying is a form of communication.
- Up to 6 months: Babies begin to recognize their names and changes in tone of voice.
- Up to 9 months: They understand simple, everyday words, including their name and respond to those by turning their head when they hear it.
- By the age of one: Most babies will recognize their own names when said by familiar voices, as well as understand simple commands like “sit down” or “clap your hands,” and identify basic objects like a ball or bottle when pointed at.
As babies grow older, they learn more complex receptive language skills, such as understanding questions, following multiple step directions, and using pronouns correctly. While some babies may seem to grasp these concepts quickly, others may take longer to fully understand them.
My baby ignores me when I call their name. Why is that?
There are several possible reasons why a baby may not respond to their name. One possibility is that they’re too distracted by other stimuli and do not hear you calling them. They may also be too young to recognize the sound of their own name, especially if it is a less common one. Additionally, if your baby has hearing loss, they may have difficulty recognizing speech in general and thus have difficulty recognizing their own name.
Finally, children can sometimes go through phases where they seem to ignore their parents’ calls just because they want to—mostly as a way of asserting independence and control over how they interact with others.
5 tips for helping babies learn to respond to their names
If your baby is not responding to their name, there are a few things you can do to help them learn how to do so:
- First of all, make sure that the environment is calm and quiet so that your baby is less likely to be distracted.
- Then, try using their name frequently when talking or playing with them, in a cheerful tone of voice.
- You may also want to point out other people and objects and name them, in order for your baby to become more familiar with the names of things.
- Additionally, try engaging in activities like peek-a-boo or clapping games where your child must respond to your cues in order for the game to continue. This will help your baby become more familiar with responding to their name.
- Finally, you can start using simple commands like “wave your hand” or “give me a hug” followed by the action so that your baby learns how to respond to instructions given in a certain tone of voice.
What should I do if my baby continues to ignore me when I call his name?
If your baby continues not responding to their name after trying the strategies outlined above, it is important to take them for an evaluation by a professional such as a pediatrician or speech-language pathologist. They may be able to identify any underlying issues and provide additional strategies for helping your child learn this skill. Additionally, they may recommend a formal assessment to rule out any developmental delays or conditions.
If your child is diagnosed with any type of disability, it is important to work closely with a healthcare team and other professionals to ensure that your little one gets the help they need in order to reach their fullest potential. Early intervention services such as occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, and physical therapy can be extremely beneficial for helping babies learn receptive language skills like responding to their name.
By providing an appropriate learning environment, using your baby’s name frequently, and engaging in activities that require them to respond, you can help your baby learn this important skill. If your baby continues not responding after trying these strategies, make sure to take them for an evaluation by a professional. With the right intervention, your baby will be responding to their name in no time!
“My baby ignores me when I call his name” is a normal concern for parents. In the Kinedu app, you can learn how to observe each of your baby’s milestones to make sure that their development is on track. Download it for FREE.