Hearing for Infants


Hearing Checklist

It is important to monitor your baby’s speech and language development as well as responses to sound.

The following checklist provides a guide to hearing and language milestones. If you are concerned about your child’s hearing or speech language development please arrange to have your child’s hearing tested. Your doctor can arrange for a referral to an appropriate location for testing your child’s hearing.

Birth to 3 monthsReacts to loud sounds
Becomes quieter when hearing familiar voice or sounds
Makes cooing noises
Responds to speech by looking at speaker’s face
3-6 monthsTurns eyes or head toward sounds
Starts to make speech-like sounds
Laughs and makes noises to indicate pleasure and displeasure
6-9 monthsBabbles, eg ‘dada’, ‘mama’, ‘baba’
Shouts/vocalises to get attention
Will often respond to ‘no’ and own name
Responds to singing and music
9-12 monthsImitates speech sounds of others
Understands simple words, eg ‘ball’, ‘dog’, ‘daddy’
Turns head to soft sounds
First words emerge
12-18 monthsAppears to understand some new words each week
Follows simple spoken instructions, eg ‘get the ball’
Points to people, body parts or toys when asked
Continually learns new words to say although may be unclear
18-24 monthsListens to simple stories or songs
Combines two or more words in short phrases, eg ‘more food’
2-3 years oldUnderstands longer sentences
Listens from a distance(in quiet)
Follows directions that include 2-3 steps
3-4 years oldProcesses complex sentences structures
Re-tells longer stories in detail-5 or more sentences

Test your Baby’s hearing now

Why should I get my baby’s hearing tested immediately?

Because the first 6 months of life is crucial for the development of the hearing centres of the brain and for learning. The first month is most important because that is when the hearing centres in the brain develop and grow rapidly and efficiently.

Thus ,it is best to test your child’s hearing at birth , soon after birth.

How early can I have my baby tested?

Your baby can be tested on day 1 of birth.haring screening can be done by 1 month of age, hearing loss diagnosed by 3 months of age and intervention begun no later than 6 months of age.

Can I test my child at home if I suspect a hearing problem?

It is best to have your baby’s hearing tested by a professional.

Why don’t “homemade tests” work well?

Because these tests use only loud sounds so babies with lesser degrees of hearing loss can be missed out. Apart from this they provide additional clues (vibration, visual clues) so they may see and feel the movement of stimulus.

New born Hearing screening

What is new born Hearing screening?

New born Hearing screening is testing a baby for hearing loss after birth or soon after birth.

Why should new born Hearing screening be done?

Hearing loss cannot be seen by looking at the baby .a hearing loss could be present despite typical appearing outer and middle ear structures.

New born Hearing screening allows you to ascertain the presence or absence of hearing loss in each ear. It is recommended because the earlier you detect a hearing loss, the earlier you can begin intervention.

Early intervention will give your child a better opportunity to reach her potential so that they can participate in main stream society with her typical hearing peers.

What tests are used for new born hearing screening?

Evoked Otoacoustic emissions (EOAE)
Measurement of OAEs is used clinically as an objective test of normal cochlear function at all ages and it has been adapted as a test of cochlear function in newborns.

Automated auditory brainstem response (AABR)
The ABR is used clinically as an objective, diagnostic measure of the integrity of the ear and auditory nerve pathway up to the brainstem. The ABR measure has been adapted as a neonatal screening test by automating the procedure, reducing the test time and establishing an estimate of auditory thresholds.

What results do I get after new born hearing screening for my baby?

Hearing screening provides number of benefits:

  1. It enables early identification of the problem and refers the identified individual for diagnosis and guidance and early intervention programme.
  2. It gives enough time for the child and parents to cope with the hearing aid/cochlear implants.
  3. It helps the specialist to plan the rehabilitation such as Hearing Aid vs Cochlear Implantation.
  4. It reduces the consequences of deafness and the cost involved in rehabilitation of late diagnosed children.
  5. The language development and scholastic backwardness can be intervened in school going children.
  6. The threat on the life or job or social well being in adults may also be intervened.

Causes and high risk factors:

The high-risk criteria used are:

  1. Family history of hearing loss
  2. Jaundice requiring exchange transfusion and mechanical ventilation lasting 5 or more days
  3. Craniofacial abnormalities
  4. Ototoxic drugs and consanguineous marriage
  5. Birth-weight less than 1500 grams and bacterial meningitis
  6. Infections such as rubella, herpes and toxoplasmosis and those associated with hearing loss
  7. Exposure to sudden loud sounds or hearing loud noises over a period of time