When Did Your Child Say His Own Name??

Updated on March 10, 2010
A.J. asks from Redlands, CA
22 answers

My 26 mth old son still does not say his name at all? I was just wondering at won't point would it be worrisome if at all? What age did all your little guys say their own name. He does say his younger brothers name, his two cousins but never himself. When we look at pictures of him , he either says its his brother "Baby Nate" or his favorite cousin Joshua. We play games all the time and ask him what his name is or even just to repeat us saying his name. He just looks at us like we're idiots.

Also I find it weird that when when we ask him to say a word or can you say....such and such he never attempts to repeat the word. NEVER. All the other kids I've been around seem to try to say words when requested at least. Compared to other kids his age I thought he was right up there, but we just went to the park and met a bunch of other kids his age and they seem to speaking much more fluently and making 2-3 word sentences. My son has a great one word vocab list (100-150) words, and uses a bunch of signs, but no where close to these other kids. I know every kid develops at their own pace, and boys are a little bit slower. But there's always that concern you might be missing something? Pediatrician seems to think he was fine at his 2 yr check up, said he was very engaging and I shouldn't worry about it. But you know how that goes???

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answers from San Francisco on

I wouldn't worry about it too much at this point. If he's got a good one-word list, he's probably fine. He might not be using 2 - 3 word sentences because he doesn't have to. He is probably finding that his one word vocabulary is getting him what he needs, so no point saying more. Also, you say he never tries to say a new word when you ask him to. some kids don't like to "practice" in front of others. one day he will just come out and say the word because he's been practicing it on his own. If he's not putting sentences together by age 3, then I'd look into it. For now, enjoy the peace and quiet!



answers from Sacramento on

I always started with please you can hold things away from them and once they say please they would get that item. Than you could start pointing at different things and telling them what they are and they will eventually start mimicking you.

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answers from Santa Barbara on

My "little" guy was about 3, more or less, when he said his own name. You might want to take a digital pic with him wearing distinct clothes so he recognizes himself and show it to him immediately after you take it and see if he recognizes himself.

Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it too much. He might be a man of few words, which could be a blessing. Be careful what you wish for... There are day my 11 year old son does not stop talking for a full 2-3 hours. ;-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Hi A. - nope wouldnt worry about it too much. My first was an early clear talker and my second has a speech delay so I am pretty familiar with what's normal and what's not.

There is always going to be some kid way more advanced than others. I remember thinking my first was doing great at about 26 months. We met a little boy at the park who walked up to my son, put out his hand and said clear as day "Hi, my name is Evan, what's your name?" I asked his mom how old her son was and he was 3 months younger than mine! It's perfectly natural to compare and doubt that our kids arent doing well.

Continue to narrate your day and what you do with your son in simple clear sentences. Who what and where questions are also good. Why is more advanced and closer to kinder level ability.



answers from Houston on

My son is 27 months and doesn't say his own name either. If we say "where is Calvin?" he points to himself so we know he recognizes his own name but he doesn't say it. He says his sister's name, his brother's name and few friends but not his own. Just keep trying, he'll do it sooner or later.

Good luck,



answers from New York on

ask your school district to test him.. just to make sure. yes, every child does do things at different ages.. but when you point to a picture your son could say me... if he can't say his name. or he should be able to say part of his name. he should also be able to say 2 or 3 words together... it doesn't have to be really clear.. but he should be putting some things together.. so i think calling the school district to make sure would be good. and it may turn out he is just behind in this part of speech and will get better with time.. good luck



answers from Salinas on

As long as your son doesn't seem delayed in any other way & appears to understand most of what is said to him, I would definitely not worry! My son, 34 months, just said his name for the first time about a week ago. The Dr wanted to have him evaluated when he was 24 months because he wasn't talking. I just felt very strongly (mother's intuition) that nothing was wrong. He communicated with body language, about 2 or 3 words & probably 2-3 non-words (made up) that I knew what he meant. I had many people tell me stories about boys in particular who just talked really late (3'ish) and nothing was wrong. My son just started talking out of the blue about 6 weeks ago & went from 0 to 60 in lightening speed, just like everyone said he would. He now has 3-5 word sentences. And that's from nothing 6 weeks ago! So hang in there & don't worry! :-)



answers from Miami on


My son just started saying his name last month, he is 30 months old (2.5 years old). I have had him in soccer tots since he was 18 months old and in the beginning of the class they roll a ball around to each other while sitting in a circle, and say their names. Well the class had 8 kids in it and ALL of them could and would say their names...but not my son!!! I did find he was always a bit on the shy side and I wonder if that lead to not saying his name. As I think back I would agree with all that your saying about the ped thinking it was fine that my son too would NOT even try to repeat what we say or ask him to say...I think if Im not mistaken that really started happening when he was 28 months old but still only at home and never infront of others..lol. But now.....OMG he just turned 30 months on the 20th and OMG he does not ever stop...everything we say he repeats even if he's a room or two away (yikes!!)....I really cannot believe how quick it does happen once they decide to start!! It is like a switch goes off. I agree with you they all develop sooooo differently...my son seems to be a deep thinker...he was doing puzzles and shape sorters perfectly at 6-8 months old and yet did not call me by a name till he was 20 months old...he knew his uncles names, the dogs names, grandmas, but not me....uggg...now he never stops with the mom, mama, mommy stuff....LOL its funny!!! I'm sure it is all fine...just wait the switch will go off!! :o)))




answers from San Francisco on

Greetings A.: I have to tell you that as the mother of 5 and the grandmother of several I had to smile at your question because it has been asked by women for years. I would not worry because by the time the child is 3 it really will solve itself .. I have a child with Special Needs, and he recognized his name and tried to say it but couldn't until he was 4-- The problem turned out to be he had so many family nick names he was not sure which was his name!! One grandchild will never at age 2.5 say her nickname & only responds with her full name if asked what it is. Each child of mine had to think that the adults aren't very smart because they didn't know their name. But keep working at it because it is important that they can tell it to someone if ever needed. Just remember that Parenthood will be the greatest adventure ride you will ever be on with lots of twists and turns and excitement around every turn. Enjoy it and create lots of memories.



answers from Sacramento on

He may be feeling that you are putting too much pressure on him to "perform". Try just having ongoing conversation with him throughtout the day. Talk to him just like you would to another adult. How many times do you catch yourself saying to your husband "that's a....... say........?" Sounds silly I know, but I think our little ones may feel it is just as silly when we say such things to them. Of course you will want to be sure to use smaller words that he can understand, or be ready to explain bigger words that he doesn't understand. I love it when children catch me using a big word and stop me to ask what it means. That shows they are really listening and trying to learn. Your son may not do that for a while, but if you are talking with him during the day and being open to all of his questions he'll feel free enough to question you when you go over his head with your conversation.


answers from Jacksonville on

To be honest... I don't have the slightest clue how old my kids were when they first said their own names. LOL I'd never thought about it until I read your post.
I think that if you are worried, you should ask your son's doctor. But I don't think you should "quiz" him or ask him to "perform" words. I know you don't think of it that way... but that is sort of what it amounts to... 'show me what you know'. Kids are much more aware of these little tests than we adults sometimes like to think. My daughter would practically become mute if I asked her something that was too simple. It was quite frustrating, for me, and for her. I don't recall her using her own name at any specific time, but we eventually discovered that she had been using her brother's name (or rather, her 'version' of it which morphed into the correct pronunciation over time) since she was about 6 or 7 months old.
The first name I actually recall her using referring to herself, was another name that has no relation to her or anyone we know. She decided to call herself "A." for her "superhero name". Go figure.

Maybe try to back off a little, and play with it. If he walks into a room and your back is to him, say (without looking) "who do I hear sneaking up on me?" in a playful tone. See what he says. If he doesn't answer... ask... "is it ___?" and use someone else's name a few guesses before saying his. Or when brushing his teeth in the mirror comment about his smile, or ears or eyes or nose.. and make it possessive using his name. But keep it fun and don't ASK him who is in the mirror. He will know you are looking for a particular response and he may clam up.
However you approach it, further testing or follow up with the Pediatrician, or working it out with yourself at home.... just try not to stress over it. He will pick up on it.



answers from San Francisco on

Mine is 23 months. He doesn't have many words yet. He JUST started saying "me" when shown a picture of himself. Hehasn't attempted his own name yet though.



answers from Nashville on

My sister has been concerned about a speech delay in my nephew and at his two year checkup his doctor was telling my sister not to worry yet, but to start keeping track of his words. He told her that my nephew should have 100-150 words by 2 1/2, and that would be still in the range of normal. So if your son has that many, I wouldn't worry too much. I don't think my nephew can say his own name yet either, and he is just a couple weeks away from 2 1/2 now. You can always make an appointment at 2 1/2 yrs if you are still concerned, and go into it armed with a log of his words and such. But I wouldn't worry about it quite yet. You mention that he signs- did you do extensive sign language with him? I have read that teaching a baby sign language can delay their verbal language at first, but that they catch up before too long.



answers from San Francisco on

Our son had a long list of 1 word things he would say too. He was around 2 1/2 when he finally started short sentences, it has evolved trom there. He was around 3 when he finally said his name, it doesn't help that its long (Johnathon). Of course we picked the least used spelling just to confuse everyone. =) I'm sure your son is fine, you should start to see changes in the coming months.

My son has been on the "why" phase for the last month or so. To stop the cycle I ask him "why not?", its a great way to turn the tables around and get him to think. He also now asks "whats your name momma?". I answer with "I don't know, whats my name Johnathon?" and then he tells me.



answers from Kansas City on

my daughter turned 3 in December and I just got her to start saying her first and last name.



answers from Sacramento on

My little boy is 26 months (born Dec. 23rd) and he JUST started saying his own name (Cameron)... of course it comes out "Mameron". hehe He will repeat just about anything he hears and has been putting together 3 word sentences for about 2 months now. His vocabulary is getting better day. Now, having said that... I also run an in home daycare, so he is around a lot of other children (both older and younger) so he has a lot of other kids to learn from. He also has a 10yr old brother. I wouldn't worry about your son just yet.... kids develop at different ages and I know my 10yr old was nowhere close to talking as much as my 26 month old is when he was that age. Also, you mentioned that your son uses a bunch of signs. I've heard that children who learn signs tend to talk later than those who don't. Simply because they don't feel the need to learn to talk as fast since they can communicate with you by other means. You're little one will be fine. I'd say wait until he is 3 and if he is still having problems talking THEN get him in to a specialist. ;)



answers from Sacramento on

I wouldn't worry too much. My son is 27 months and at his well child last month his Dr. started getting concerned about Autism because he was coming up short on a couple of milestones language wise. My son wouldn't ask me for things he would just throw a fit and he won't respond to his name when I call him. And he generally didn't repeat what I was saying to him. However, about two days after his appt. his vocab about doubled. He started grabbing my hand and taking me to show me what he wanted. It was almost like he understood the dr. and wanted to prove him wrong! He still doesn't respond much to his name, but I really think that's just a stubborn thing. If the Dr. isn't worried about autism and he can say some stuff and sign, I would just give him time. The lightbuld should come on soon enough and he'll be talking like crazy. Some kids are just more observers at first and then look out!



answers from Redding on

Dear A.,
Not to make light of your fears, but I think you may have answered your own question to an extent. Your little one doesn't want to repeat words or say his own name and just looks at you like you're "idiots". I am TRULY saying that with a sense of humor. He may just not be interested in the repeating game. But, hold onto your boots because you will have a little one who repeats things you likely wish he wouldn't before you know it.
I babysat one little guy who wasn't much of a talker, but he was bright, affectionate and engaging. His mother was worried something was wrong with him because he wouldn't repeat the names of animals in picture books. If she asked him where the dog was, he would point to it, but he wouldn't say dog. Period. What I discovered is that he much preferred making the animal sounds. If I pointed to a cow, he would moo. If I pointed to a chicken, he would say bock-bock. If I pointed to a cat he would meow. He clearly new the different animals and the sounds they made. He obviously knew a dog from a chicken, he just didn't care to say the names of the animals. There wasn't anything wrong with him. He was just interested in playing the "game" differently.
When my daughter was little, people tried telling me something was wrong with her (OR ME), because she called me by my first name. I mean, people threw FITS. It didn't bother me or her doctor or my family, but other people thought it was the most horrible thing in the world and that she didn't know who "mommy" was.....Baloney.
My friends didn't call me mommy, my neighbors didn't call me mommy, the mailman or the people at the grocery store didn't call me mommy. She called me what she heard other people call me in daily life. My name was the first one she picked up on and hers followed soon after. Mommy had a "name". Grandpa had a "name". Daddy had a "name". She had a "name". I've known many, many children who talk about themselves in the third person for a while. "Riley wants juice. Riley is tired". Getting that whole ME and I thing down is processed differently by kids. I don't think you should worry so much. If your son responds to his name and is getting the hang of others names, it seems to me he's just getting it all sorted out.
Try to remember not to compare him to any other kids. If you're going to take him to the park and let him engage with other children, let him absorb from the experience and just have fun as opposed to it being a comparison experiment. I know that's not your intention, but he's 2. There's likely nothing wrong with him. Relax and enjoy him. Read to him. Shoot videos with friends and family and play them back to watch together so he can see the experience you all shared from a different point of "view".

Best wishes.



answers from Dallas on

My daughter started saying her own version of her name at 2.5 years old. Our son was also 2.5 when he started saying his own name.

My son didn't really pick up on his speech until around 3 years old. Now that he is 4 he talks non-stop. Some children just speak later than others. Does your state have an early childhood intervention program? If it does then you can always see if he is qualified to be evaluated.



answers from San Francisco on

At age three you can ask the local school district to evaluate your son. They might have some programs that would help him. In CA, there are early start programs for kids under the age of 3. I think most of them are county programs. You might want to find out who your local "regional center" is and they could probably tell you about "early start" programs. They would be better able to tell you that your son needs some extra help then the doctor.

To be honest, your son sounds like he's probably fine, but if I were you I would get the opinion of an expert in early education, too.



answers from Minneapolis on

I think he is probably fine. My son has been saying his name for a few months now, and he is 25 months...but he still isn't using two-word sentences much [maybe one or two ..."all done" "no way"]. I actually just took him for a speech evaluation last month at the school district and they said based on his vocab, he is actually advanced and not to worry about anything.
One thing that helped us is I got him some nice flashcards with real pictures, and he loves to go through them and say what he knows, and it also gives me an opportunity to say the words he doesn't know each time we do it. I also count at every opportunity. He eats a lot of cheese and stands there while I cut each slice and count. Alphabet magnets are good. Also, every time I give him a bath, I put a towel around him and hold him in front of the mirror and say "Look, Jack is all wet!" "There's Jack and Mama" I think it helps to see himself in the mirror.
I think if you stop asking him to say words, and instead just emphasize certain words again and again he will probably start saying them more. When you see an airplane, or a banana, or a puppy, say it over and over and get really excited about it and point at whatever it is, and he will likely remember it and be excited to say it too sometime. The people who did the speech evaluation told me to come back in 6 months if he was not gaining words or starting to use two-word sentences yet - so around 30 months. Either way you could express your concern to his doctor and see if the doc recommends an evaluation or not



answers from Pittsburgh on

I feel your frustration! My now 4 year old is very stubborn about what she says.....she wouldnt say her own name till she was 3 nor would she say my oldest daughters name! She still wont say her middle name and is only now saying her last name! I figured out the more I pushed her the more she wasnt gonna say what I wanted her to say! Now she wont stop talking but if I sttill try to get her to say a specific word she just looks at me and laughs! I hope I helped! Good luck!

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