Your newborn's hearing in the first month
Unlike your baby’s vision, which takes some time to develop once she is born, her hearing is almost fully developed after birth. Newborns can hear well, but not perfectly because their inner ears are often filled with fluid and are generally underdeveloped. This is why your baby responds so well to exaggerated and high-pitched sounds, and may startle at other unfamiliar sounds. your baby was probably born with the ability to distinguish her mother's voice and respond to it above all others because of her time in the womb. Other voices that are familiar from her time in the womb may also ring a bell for her early on, including sounds like music that she heard often before she was born. Sounds that are new to her at birth may take a little longer to become familiar, but the more your family talks and sings to her, the better she will know the sound of your voices, so make sure to communicate with her early and often.
Chances are that your baby’s hearing was tested at birth, as most states mandate newborn hearing screenings — if not, have it tested within the next 2 months. The two types of newborn screenings are automated auditory brainstem response, and otoacoustic emissions. Both are very quick and painless, and monitor how your baby's ears and brain respond to clicking sounds. You should talk to the doctor if you have any questions about when and how to test your baby's hearing.
Early identification of hearing loss
Identifying hearing loss early is important because babies learn so much, both about how to speak, and about the world around her from sound. Some newborn hearing tests can miss smaller hearing loss, so pay attention to your baby’s development and how things seem to be progressing, and not just the tests. If she does not respond to loud sounds or react to your voice, talk to the doctor. Many factors can influence hearing problems, including genetics, infections, trauma, and damaging noise levels. As your baby ages, have her hearing checked regularly by the doctor.
- “Can your baby hear?” American Academy of Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Web.
- “The necessity of early intervention in hearing.” ENT net. American Academy of Otolaryngology, 2016. Web.
- “Parents.” Hear and Now. National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management. Web.
- “Your Baby’s Hearing and Communicative Development Checklist.” National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. National Institutes of Health, March 6 2017. Web.
More articles at this age
3 weeks old
your baby's appetite is growing, as is her vision, but her hours slept per night might be a statistic that's not quite on the rise yet.
What are nipple shields?
Nipple shields are like armor that protects moms against very cute - but painful - baby gums. There are a couple other reasons why a nipple shield could be helpful for you. If you're thinking about using one, you might want to know the signs that a nipple shield is or isn't a good fit for you and your baby and how the weaning process goes.
Why do babies need so much sleep?
It's not much of an exaggeration to say that all newborns do is eat, sleep, and cry, at least at first - and what are they so tired for? Is it just the exhausting work of being born, or is more going on during those hundreds of naps than meets the eye?
How often do I need to clean baby products?
your baby is pretty easily to throw into the tub when she gets messy, but what about the gear that comes with her?
Why babies should sleep on their backs
Believe it or not, it wasn't always recommended that babies be put on their backs to sleep. Fortunately, we now have more knowledge about how babies should be put to bed. your baby still needs her beauty rest, but you'll want to make sure the conditions are perfect before she drifts off into dreamland.
Why do newborns have more bones than adults?
As demonstrated in kindergarten concerts across the world, adults have 206 bones in their bodies. But believe it or not, newborns have more. Let's go ahead and give you a fun fact to drop at playgroup.