Long-Term Preemie Issues

Hearing Problems

Preemies are considered at high risk for hearing problems. Watch out for these symptoms as your baby gets older:

  • 3 months: Baby doesn't recognize mother's voice or turn his head toward the direction of a sound.
  • 6 months: Baby doesn't enjoy vocal play or make noise in numerous tones.
  • 9 months: Baby doesn't turn his head when you call.
  • 12 months: Baby doesn't babble or isn't able to say "mama."
  • 18 months: Baby doesn't respond to requests or move to the rhythm of music.
  • 24 months: Baby's speech is difficult to understand, and he can't follow simple directions.

Speech and hearing therapists can help improve communication with a child who has hearing problems. Most hearing difficulties can be treated by hearing aids. If the loss is severe, children can be taught other forms of communication such as sign language or lip reading.

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