Your baby hears every word.
For many months in the womb your baby has heard your heartbeat and your voice. No wonder the sound of you singing your favourite Norah Jones song is soothing and familiar once he’s out in the noisy world.
Your baby’s hearing is an integral part of his normal speech and language development. Whenever you go to the pediatrician, he will check that your baby is hearing normally. Let him know if you have any specific concerns. If you suspect she’s not responding normally, then ask him if you need an appointment with an audiologist.Think about the following as your baby grows:
- Does he notice sudden loud sounds like the phone ringing or the television / radio?
- Does she respond to her own name?
- Does he respond to common words like bye-bye.
- Does your baby make babbling sounds and does her voice go up and down in pitch when she is babbling?
- Does your baby make several different consonant sounds (such as m, b, p, g) when he is babbling?
- Does your baby seem to enjoy music and respond to it by listening, bouncing or singing along?
Chat to your doctor if most of your answers to the above questions are “no” by the age of six months.
Causes of hearing loss
Most hearing impairment is inherited. Only one third of inherited deafness is present at birth. Another third starts during childhood and the other third only manifests in adulthood.Acquired causes
There are many ways in which babies acquire hearing loss.
- Premature birth
- Complications at birth
- High bilirubin requiring a transfusion
- Given medications that can lead to hearing loss
- Frequent ear infections; had a serious infection such as meningitis
- Exposure to extremely loud sounds or noises