A child’s ability to hear affects how and what they learn, their relationships with others, and their ability to communicate effectively. Although hearing loss or problems can be spotted fairly easily in children when they are one year old or older, it can be difficult to assess a younger child’s hearing.
When your child was born, there’s a good chance that the hospital staff gave them a hearing test to make sure that their ability to hear was normal. If there were any problems or concerns, you would have been alerted and given information regarding what you should do to address the issue.
But once you take your child home, it is up to you as a parent to monitor every aspect of their health and development, including their hearing.
Signs Your Baby’s Hearing Is Normal
It’s important that every parent realize that it is difficult to recognize hearing loss in infants. However, there are certain benchmarks related to behavior that you can observe that will help you identify developing problems that may occur after you bring your child home from the hospital.
Read through the various examples related to the normal development of your child’s hearing from two to twelve months. If your infant exhibits any deviations from these benchmarks, contact your pediatrician who will be able to help you find appropriate professionals, such as an audiologist and ENT, who can begin to address any concerns you may have.
Normal Hearing at Approximately Two Months
You should be able to observe the following in your child when they are about two months old:
● They startle to loud sounds.
● They are quiet when they perceive familiar voices.
● They make vowel sounds like “ohh” or “ahh.”
Normal Hearing at Approximately Four Months
In two more months, you’ll see pronounced development in their ability to recognize and imitate sounds. Behaviors that you should observe include:
● They look for the source of sounds.
● They begin to make babbling sounds.
● They also start to chuckle and squeal.
Normal Hearing at Approximately Six Months
In a few more months, with the development of certain motor abilities and brain functions, you will see even more animated behavior in hearing, recognizing, and making sounds. Here is what to expect of them:
● They turn their head toward loud sounds.
● They star to imitate speech sound.
● They babble in a more complex manner, making sounds such as “ba-ba.”
Normal Hearing at Approximately Nine Months
When your baby is about nine months old, his or her hearing is becoming quite refined and their ability to form more complex sounds is really starting to take shape. This is what you can expect:
● They imitate the speech sounds of others.
● They can understand words such as “no-no” or “bye-bye.”
● They now turn their head toward soft sounds.
Normal Hearing at Approximately Twelve Months
As they near the one-year mark, your child, if he or she has normal hearing, should start to become quite the communicator. They will be able to do the following:
● They can correctly use “ma-ma” or “da-da.”
● When asked they give you a toy.
● They readily respond to singing or music.
If your infant is not meeting the benchmarks noted above at approximately the times indicated, then there may be cause for concern. If you have questions regarding the development of you child’s hearing, contact Joshua Light, M.D. at 561-737-8584 or you may connect with his medical practice by using the convenient form located on this page.