3 Steps to Teaching a Child How to Say Their Name

Bridget Hillsberg
February 6, 2022

3 Steps to Teaching a Child How to Say Their Name

You spent so long picking out the perfect name for your sweet child . . . and now it is time to teach your baby how to say their name! Who is ready to do this? Because, seriously, it's the cutest thing ever! 😍Unfortunately, we can't make our little ones say their name overnight. It is a process, and you may have to work on this for months! Don’t say we didn’t warn you! But don’t worry, we’re here to give you a 3-step plan to help get your little one to say his or her name! ⠀

Step 1️: ASK and ANSWER

First you model for your child by asking and answering. Tap her chest and say, “What is your name?“ Then answer the question by saying your little one’s name in a fun, excited tone. Do this several times a day! Do this every day for about a month! For example, with my daughter Stella, I would ask her name and immediately answer the question for her, modeling her name: "What is your name? . . . STELLA!”


After a month or more of repeating Step 1, move on to the next step. Ask your baby, “What is your name?” then give your little one the initial sound of their name for a clue. With Stella I would say, “What is your name? . . . SSSS!” and she would finish the word by saying, “Stella!” (which sounded more like "Della!") So cute! Remember, precise articulation takes time, so be sure to give praise for any verbal attempt!⠀

Step 3️: ASK and WAIT

After months of practicing steps 1 and 2, you might be ready for ASK and WAIT! Here is how it works: Ask the question: “What is your name?” . . . THEN WAIT. Wait for 5 -10 seconds. Your child may finally be able to answer independently! If not, go back to Step 2 for a while longer! Remember what I said at the beginning? This is a PROCESS!

When should you start teaching your baby to say their name?

Every child is different, but you can probably start teaching this at approximately 12 months old. Just be sure your little one responds to her name first—this is how you know she is ready! The time you spend on each step will vary from child to child, so be patient and stick with it! Repetition is key! Your child should pick up this skill by 24 months!

To learn simple and effective strategies to help get your little one talking, check out our Talk on Track (newborn-14 months) and Time to Talk: Toddler Course (15-36 months). We’d love to equip you to experience the joy of your little one talking to you!

Bridget Hillsberg
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