After spending months deliberating about what to call your newest arrival, of course you want them to start understanding their own name as soon as possible. Whilst it is important for you to be a patient parent and wait for them to develop this skill, there are many things you can do to speed up the process.
Parenting a baby can be tough, not least exhausting, especially when there’s a lot of pressure to be doing your absolute best for your baby’s development. Read on to discover some little hacks to help you teach your baby their name, which are fun, simple and very easy to remember, even when working off 10 minutes’ sleep!
Incorporate Their Name Into Everyday Activities
The key is exposing them to their name as much as possible, so incorporating it into your daily routine will make this very easy for you. For example, when you read them their daily bedtime story, you can read them a personalised book that has their name in it, like these baby books.
The book will serve as a reminder for you to say their name aloud whenever you come across their name on the page. You could even go a step further and try a personalised alphabet book, so you can point to all the letters of their name. This will be useful later down the line when they begin trying to spell and write words.
Use Their Adorable Photos
We can all agree it is very funny when babies see themselves for the first time, whether it is in a photo or in mirrors, but photos can also be very useful for teaching them their name. You can make a nice photo book or scrapbook, or just go through the ones on your phone, just make sure to say their name and point at them in the photos.
This is a great bonding moment as well, as you can look back at special moments you have had with your bundle of joy ever since they arrived. Try saying things like ‘There’s Mummy, Daddy and there’s you, Luke!’ and point to them in the photo, or try ‘Aw, look at your cute smile, Emily’ to help them understand their own name.
Cut Out the Distractions
Healthline recommends introducing your baby to their name in quiet, peaceful spaces, to ensure your baby stays tuned in on the sounds and syllables you are pronouncing. It’s very simple: if there is too much going on in the background, your baby won’t be able to focus on the important word that you keep saying to them.
You can try giving them a toy or something to look out for a while and once they have settled into the activity, then start saying their name to them. It is also best to avoid having multiple people saying it to them at once, so perhaps set aside some one-on-one time with your little one and really cut out as many distractions as possible.
Repetition Truly is Your Best Friend When Learning a Baby Name
Say your baby’s name to them as much as possible. Baby’s minds develop at their own pace, but their memory recall is one of the slowest things to develop. It might seem like you are saying their name incessantly to them, but they won’t have a clue that you’ve been saying the same noise at them for the past hour!
Try using their name in sentences when you speak to them, like ‘Michael, would you like this toy?’ or ‘Let’s go change your nappy, Lily’. Hopefully, you can develop a routine of doing this in your everyday conversations with your baby and your baby will begin to recognise their name in no time.
According to Dr Gunjan Baweja, you can expect your baby to start recognising their own name by the time they reach around 6-7 months old. This is because babies have developed the skill to correlate the sounds you make with the object that you are clearly referencing, even though they won’t be able to speak, they will understand what you are trying to say.
Ultimately, the only thing you can do as a parent is wait, but you can certainly try and encourage your baby’s development wherever possible, so why not give these tips and tricks a go? They are all very easy to do and you can quickly make them a habit to ensure your baby starts learning their name as soon as possible.
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