Sound Advice for Children's Ears

Do You Hear What I Hear?

While some babies are born with hearing loss, others develop impairments as they grow older due to injuries, ear infections, or other diseases. Even if your newborn was tested, watch for the following signs of normal hearing. Failure to meet these milestones could be a sign of hearing impairment.

BIRTH TO 3 MONTHS: Your child should: Startle or wake to loud noises; appear soothed by your voice; turn her head and smile when you speak to her.

3 TO 6 MONTHS: Your child should: Play with rattles and other noisy toys; look upward or turn to a new sound (doorbell, ringing phone); respond to changes in your tone of voice; repeat speech patterns like "ba-ba."

6 TO 10 MONTHS: Your child should: Babble frequently even when alone; respond to his name; look at objects and pictures when someone talks about them; recognize words for common things (cup, shoe) and sayings ("bye-bye").

15 TO 18 MONTHS: Your child should: Follow simple directions; use two- to three-word sentences; know ten to 20 words and use them often; enjoy being read to and playing games like peekaboo.

Copyright © 2004. Reprinted with permission from the November 2003 issue of Parents magazine.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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