Almost 6 Month Old Not Turning to His Name

Updated on June 25, 2008
J.V. asks from Georgetown, TX
11 answers

My little guy is almost 6 months. He has great eye contact, his face fills with joy when I talk to him and he seems very interactive and loves to get attention from anyone.

My concern is he does not turn and look when we call his name. I have read babies should know their name by now and be able to orient to sounds. I am freaking out a little bit because my oldest son is autistic. When we call him, if he happens to look at us, he smiles really big and gets very excited by his name and "baby" which is what we usually call him anyway.

Is there anyone out there with a baby this age? Does your baby turn when you call him? Am I being paranoid? He is bright eyed, great eye contact, can almost sit up by himself, kind of rolls over, seems to be on target otherwise.

We have his 6 month appt on Monday. My older son's ped. did not think anything was wrong with him, and that was even after his 2 year appt. and looking back with what I know now, he was SO clearly autistic at that point!

I love my doctor, but sometimes you just have to ask the Moms!


What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone who responded-- every one was helpful! Of course, the day after I posted, I came out of the shower and called his name and he looked right at me! He had his 6 month appt today and the doctor said he looked great-- a very enthusiastic, engaged little guy!

Featured Answers



answers from Houston on

After reading articles about autism in various magazines and newspapers, I was also concerned when my little one didn't respond to his name at 6 months. Then I realised I was often saying his name when his attention was on something more interesting than mommy (i.e., a rolling ball or a teddy bear, etc)or when I was telling him "no". Now my little one is 20 months and is fine. I don't remember exactly when he started responding to his name but he has selective hearing (just like his dad, ha!)and will still sometimes ignore me. I wouldn't worry yet if I were you.

More Answers



answers from Houston on

Hi J.-

I also have an older autistic son (he's 6)and I have a 7 month old son. My 7 month old does not usually respond to his name. He responds to other sounds and facial expressions and has great eye contact. I understand what it's like to be watching every little thing they do and looking for the signs of autism, but at this point I think it's too early for you to worry. Definitely keep watching his development, but I'm sure if it's there we'll both recognize it a lot earlier this time around.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Killeen on

The following is taken from an article in USA Today..

First Signs Inc. says these "red flags" could signal an autism spectrum disorder or other developmental problem and warrant an immediate evaluation:

No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months or thereafter.

No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by 9 months or thereafter.

No babbling by 12 months.

No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months.

No words by 16 months.

No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months.

Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age.

Good Luck... ;-)



answers from Houston on

Both my children were tracking sounds & their names even earlier than 6 mos. So, my prayers are with you and your baby. The first thing I would do is to have his hearing tested. I had a friend whose daughter behaved just terribly for 2 yrs. They finally found out the child had gone deaf. She just wasn't hearing the no's & corrections! Once found, they fixed the prob. Her child is 11 now and still has no probs.If your child couldn't hear well, it would explain how he interracts so well when he sees you talking as opposed to hearing you call his name.
However, if you are concerned about your second child carrying the autism traits, I would hold off on the immunizations on that 6 mo checkup. I have heard that children show much stronger autistic traits after having those shots. Just what I've heard though.
Best of luck.


answers from Houston on

Well I don't remember when my son knew his name but I know he would respond to crazy nicknames before he actually knew his own name, so that fact he responds to baby is great! I wouldn't worry girlfriend. This child is unique and has his own timetable and you are probably watching so much harder because of all you have been through with your older child. My older sister was diagnosed with Rhett syndrome and I am sure my mom watched my development really closely and I turned out great, and you know what so did my sis! She is a beautiful person as I know all of your kids are too. Just try to calm yourself down, pray over your kids, and just talk with your doctor. It is so hard for us mamas to relax sometimes and we can tend to worry. You do have instinct I don't want to diminish that, but it might be in a bit of overdrive right now. You have personal experience with autism and it is just constantly being talked about right now. I don't know if there is a parent out there that hasn't looked for the signs in their kids because we are just overwhelmed with information a times. So take of yourself and that precious little baby and really give it to God. He can take care of all of this! I wish you all the best, everything will be ok!!!! Have a great day :)



answers from Houston on

My son will be 6 months in 2 weeks, and he really doesn't turn when we call him either. I just think they like to take their time. Don't stress yet.



answers from Austin on

I wouldn't stress yet. My son is 6 1/2 mo and he doesn't turn when you call his name either:)



answers from San Antonio on

My suggestion to you is to have his ears evaluated and because of the history with your other child. You mention "he has great eye contact" but it seems when he is not looking directly at you, he does not respond. This does not mean anything is wrong, some babies develop at a different pace, but you should have him checked out. I know fear can take a lot out of us, but don't yield to it. You are on the right track and sound like an awesome mom! Be Encouraged.



answers from El Paso on

hi J.,
i too have an almost 6 month old baby boy. he sometimes looks when when you call his name, i think. i am sure your baby is devloping fine - not that you don't have good reason to worry. i agree with you about pediatricians - in general they are not the experts on development. not sure if you had services for your older boy when he was younger, but early intervention therapists (physical, occupational, speech) are the developmental experts (i was a pediatric PT working with babies 0-3 yrs until i had my son). try not to worry too much, it sounds like your guy is doing great, but if you need reassurance you can always ask your doc for a referral for and early intervention evaluation (or call yourself). enjoy!



answers from Houston on

Congrats J., your gut feeling is talking to you and kudos that you are listening. I offer my experience: First I Must say that I totally loved my pedi. I was 22yrs old and had an active, vocal 2y/o dd. My newborn ds from 6wks til 1y/o did not audibly cry, not babble, was content to just sit or lie still. He was strong as an ox, ate well, bright eyed and excited face. Dr dismissed my concerns as my being young, dd being outgoing, son introvert. DS had ear infections constantly. When I demanded testing, dr referred us to Bluebird Clinic at Tx Childrens Hosp. They tested him for a million things I'd never heard of, which made me more afraid that ds might have something horrible wrong with him. Hearing was tested last due to scheduling. My ds was profoundly deaf. We'd given him countless antibiotics and antihistamines for months. He'd be sick as soon as the last dose of antibiotic was given. That was when ear tubes were a new thing. The drs continued that treatment until at 18mo, they did the surgery anyway because he'd never been free of infection. Surgeon said the fluid trapped in the middle ear was so thick it would never have been resorbed by the body. After the tubes at his 2 wk post op, he was running all over the place and had a 22 word vocabulary! He'd never even let go of the coffee table to inch around because his equilibrium was so bad. He'd never used his voice because he didn't hear sound. Tell your dr you want testing. If he didn't see fit to refer you, find a doc who will. You don't know what's wrong, but you know it isn't right. Blessings to you and your family! C.



answers from Austin on


While in the NICU, my youngest received an antibiotic that has the potential for causing hearing loss. I think it was at 6 and 9 months, we took her to a Pediatric Audiologist for testing.
There's a clinic right by Seton Central, I believe on Medical Parkway. It's definitely worth checking out, if only for your own peace of mind.

Best wishes!