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What is a New Born’s Hearing Like?

newborn laying down sleeping

Your newborn has experienced a lot in their early stages of life. However, did you know that a newborn’s hearing develops while in the womb? Does it make you start to wonder what all your infant can hear at an early age? Do you ever wonder how an infants hearing is even measured, and what the benefits are for having your infants hearing checked at an early age? As a new parent, you may also want to know how you can help stimulate your child’s hearing and help them develop an early response to the world around them.

How Babies Hear the World Around Them

Early on in an infant’s life he or she can hear the world around them. Even while in the womb an infant begins to recognize individual sounds and voices that become familiar to them. Many things can soothe your baby while in the womb such as the sound of their mother’s heartbeat, the sound of their mother’s digestive system, and even the sound of a mother’s voice. Other people’s voices may become familiar to your baby as well such as their other parent’s voice, or even siblings. After being born everything around your baby is a new experience. Soft sounds like the hum of a clothes dryer, or even the sound of an aquarium are all things a baby will begin to hear and may also find soothing. Some noises may scare your baby as well, but don’t worry, its all part of learning the world around them.

Infant Hearing Should Be Tested

Soon after an infant is first born, many tests are run to check for proper development. One of the first tests your doctor may do is called a newborn hearing screening. A hearing screening is a simple test administered to your child through tiny padded earphones to monitor if he or she is responsive to sound. The technician will place a small headset over your infant’s ears and play soft clicking noises or beeps to see how your child will respond. During the test, the technician may also use a patch that is placed on your babies head to monitor brain activity when the sounds are generated. A newborn hearing screening is a quick procedure that takes only a few minutes and is painless, and sometimes the testing can even be done while the infant is sleeping. It is vital to have an infant’s hearing tested early on to check for potential hearing issues.

What To Know About Your Infants Hearing

Early on in your child’s life, it is essential to stimulate their hearing and watch for signs of hearing issues. Place your child in the room with you while you work, or place them around playing children so they can learn how to relate the sounds they hear to activities they might enjoy. Pay attention to unique signs that your child may be hard of hearing. If they do not turn their head towards a noise, or if they do not startle at the sound of loud noises, they could have a hard time hearing. It is important to discuss your child’s hearing with your doctor if you have concerns.

We’ve written a guide for you to know how to properly clean your growing child’s ears.