Hearing loss in babies and young children

Hearing loss in babies and young children

Hearing loss left untreated in babies and young children can have a negative impact on the development of their vital speech and listening skills, inhibiting their ability to cope with school and work in the long-term. [1] Recognising the signs of hearing loss early, and taking immediate action, are the best ways to ensure your baby or young child reaches their full hearing capability. [1]

What are the normal hearing patterns in babies?

As your baby grows, it is important to observe the way they interact with you and other close family, to be sure that they are developing their full capacity to listen and interpret sounds and be able to respond competently on cue.
 

Newborn

Your baby can recognise you and your partner’s voice, and is soothed by a calm voice or lullabies. They can be startled by sharp or loud noises.

3 months

Your baby will be more receptive to hearing and language. They may look at you directly and gurgle (attempted communication) when they hear your voice.

4 months

Your baby can react excitedly to sounds, and may even smile when they hear your voice. They may also watch your mouth and try to copy you, voicing some consonants including g, k p, b and m, and some vowel sounds.

6 months

Your baby will be able to recognise where sounds are coming from, and turn rapidly towards new sounds . Their babbling may start to sound more like words.

9 months

Your baby now understands that words and gestures have a connection.

12 months

Your baby will be able to recognise songs they love and will try to sing along. They are now understanding and speaking simple words.

How can I tell if my baby or young child has a hearing loss?
  • Is your baby or young child not responding when you say things to them?
  • Does your baby or young child have to turn their head in multiple directions to hear?
  • Is your child asking you to repeat yourself often?
  • Has your child’s teacher noticed anything amiss?
  • Does your baby or young child have trouble distinguishing a particular voice when multiple people are in conversation?
  • Is your baby or young child having problems forming words and sentences properly?
  • Does your baby or young child strain to hear short or soft noises?
  • Is your child struggling with school work?
What should I do next?

If you think your baby or young child might have a hearing loss, call Neurosensory on our toll free number 1300 965 513.

References

[1] Community Affairs References Committee, Hear us:Inquiry into Hearing Health in Australia’, 2010, Senate Committee Report.