Can your baby hear?

We should be aware that hearing is pre-requisite to speech and language development.  When a hearing loss exists, a child does not get the full benefit of language learning experiences.  If a hearing loss goes unnoticed, delays in speech and language can occur.  For this reason, early detection of a hearing loss is very important.

The information on this page is meant as a guide to help you determine if your toddler/preschooler is hearing properly.  If any concern with hearing kindly contact your health care provider.

Follow your baby’s hearing milestones:

Birth to 3 months
  • Reacts to loud sounds with startle reflex; is soothed and quieted by soft sounds 
  • Turns head to you when you speak; is awakened by loud voices and sounds 
  • Smiles in response to voices when spoken to; seems to know your voice and quiets down if crying
3 to 6 months
  • Looks or turns toward a new sound; responds to "no" and changes in tone of voice 
  • Imitates his/her own voice; enjoys rattles and other toys that make sounds 
  • Begins to repeat sounds (such as ooh, aah, and ba-ba) 
  • Becomes scared by a loud voice or noise
6 to 10 months
  • Responds to his/her own name, telephone ringing, someone's voice, even when not loud
  • Knows words for common things (cup, shoe) and sayings ("bye-bye")
  • Makes babbling sounds, even when alone
  • Starts to respond to requests such as "come here"
  • Looks at things or pictures when someone talks about them
10 to 15 months
  • Plays with own voice, enjoying the sound and feel of it
  • Points to or looks at familiar objects or people when asked to do so 
  • Imitates simple words and sounds
  • May use a few single words meaningful
  • Enjoys games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
  • Follows one-step commands when shown by a gesture
15 to 18 months
  • Follows simple directions, such as "give me the ball" without being shown
  • Uses words he/she has learned often
  • Uses two to three word sentences to talk about and ask for things
  • Knows 10 to 20 words; points to some body parts when asked
18 to 24 months 
  • Understands simple "yes-no" questions (Are you hungry?)
  • Understands simple phrases ("in the cup," "on the table")
  • Enjoys being read to; points to pictures when asked
24 to 36 months 
  • Understands "not now" and "no more"
  • Chooses things by size (big, little)
  • Follows two-step commands, such as "get your shoes and come here"
  • Understands many action words (run, jump)

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