A new baby brings excitement and hopes for the future. When your baby is first born, a number of tests are performed to ensure the baby is healthy and ready to go home. One of these tests is to check the newborn's hearing.
A newborn hearing test is given by a newborn hearing screener, and test results are reviewed by an audiologist. While most babies don't have hearing loss, it's important to detect possible hearing loss early. Discovering hearing loss early allows parents time to arrange early treatment and support that will set the child up with the best opportunities for success.
The Screening Tests
Two common hearing tests performed on babies are the otoacoustic emissions test and the auditory brainstem response test. Depending on the child, one or both tests may be performed.
Both tests involve a trained staff member placing a small device at the opening of the baby's ear, one at a time. This device sends sound waves into the baby's ear and measures the response. The screenings are painless and take between 15 to 45 minutes to complete. It's so unobtrusive, many babies will sleep through the entire test.
Is My Child Hearing Correctly?
Some parents may wonder if their child's hearing is normal and on track. The following checklists can help serve as a guide. If you suspect something is amiss, please give the Speech, Hearing & Balance Center a call at (801) 357-7448.
Birth to 3 Months
- Reacts to loud sounds. Awakened by loud voices and sounds.
- Is soothed by your voice. Seems to know your voice.
- Smiles when spoken to.
3 to 6 Months
- Turns head to you when you speak.
- Responds to "no" and changes in tone of voice.
- Imitates his/her own voice.
- Begins to repeat sounds (such as ooh, aah, and ba-ba).
6 to 10 Months
- Looks upward or turns toward a new sound.
- Responds to his or her own name.
- Knows words for common objects and sayings ("bye-bye"). Looks at things or pictures when someone talks about them.
- Makes babbling sounds, even when alone.
10 to 15 Months
- Points to or looks at familiar objects or people when prompted.
- Imitates simple words and sounds. May use a few words.
- Enjoys games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake.