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It may seem like your baby perks up whenever you call his name, but it's not until he reaches 5 or 6 months that he should consistently respond to it. At 2 to 3 months, your baby is responding to your face and your voice -- not necessarily your words. Within the next few months, your baby will turn to your voice. And by the middle of his first year, he'll be able to distinguish the syllables of his name, although he won't yet understand what it means. --Hagar Scher
Originally published in Parents magazine, October 2006. Updated 2009
The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.