Hearing is a critical sense for your newborn’s speech and cognitive development. Identifying any hearing issues early can make a profound difference in their growth. While professional newborn hearing screenings are the most reliable, knowing how to conduct a basic hearing test at home can help you spot potential issues early. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to test newborn hearing at home.
Understanding Newborn Hearing
Before we dive into the tests, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of your newborn’s hearing development. Newborns are not born with fully mature auditory systems, but they should be able to hear and react to sounds from birth.
Signs Of Healthy Newborn Hearing
- Startling or jumping in response to sudden noises
- Calming down at a familiar voice
- Turning eyes or head toward a sound
- Showing recognition of familiar sounds
- Lack of reaction to loud sounds
- No response to your voice by three months
- Not turning toward sounds by six months
At-Home Newborn Hearing Tests
Gently make a variety of sounds around your baby while they are awake and see if they react. Try soft and loud noises, high-pitched and low-pitched tones, and different types of music.
Clap your hands behind the baby’s head to see if they react. Their reaction could be small, such as a blink, startle, or turning their head. Make sure you are not in their line of sight.
Ring a bell at different distances from your baby to check if they can hear it. Start close and move further away, noticing if and when their reaction changes.
Speak to your baby from various directions and distances. A baby with normal hearing should recognize and respond by looking or smiling.
When to Seek Professional Help
It’s important to remember that at-home tests cannot replace professional hearing screenings. If your baby consistently shows no reaction during these tests, or if you have any concerns about their hearing, it’s important to contact your pediatrician immediately.
Final Tips and Tricks for Testing Newborn Hearing at Home
- Ensure a quiet environment when conducting these tests. Background noise can affect your baby’s response to the sounds.
- Always approach the tests when the baby is well-rested and in a good mood. Timing can greatly influence their response to sounds.
- Regularly perform these simple tests and keep a log to track your baby’s auditory development.
- Remember that every baby is different, and an absence of response doesn’t necessarily mean there is a hearing problem. Always consult with your pediatrician.
Frequently Asked Questions For How To Test Newborn Hearing At Home: Easy Steps & Tips
Can Babies Hear At Birth?
Yes, most newborns are born with the ability to hear, but hearing levels may vary.
What Is An At-home Newborn Hearing Test?
An at-home newborn hearing test involves observing responses to various sounds in a quiet environment.
How Can I Check My Baby’s Hearing?
Checking your baby’s hearing can be done by noting reactions to soft and loud noises or using specific apps designed for hearing checks.
Is There A Hearing Check App For Babies?
Yes, there are various smartphone apps available designed to help parents conduct simple hearing checks for babies.
Dr. Leah Alexander, M.D., is a board-certified Pediatrician in New Jersey and has been working at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000. Since 2005, Dr. Alexander has worked as an independently contracted pediatrician with Medical Doctors Associates at Pediatricare Associates of New Jersey.
She also has a passion for culinary arts that extends beyond the medical realm. After completing culinary school at the French Culinary Institute, she started Global Palate, LLC, a catering firm, in 2007. She ran her own catering company for six years and served small group parties as an owner and executive chef.