|Birth||Postnatal||Childhood Illness||Glossary A-Z|
Babies begin to hear in the last few months of pregnancy.
Thus, when an infant emerges into the world, they are well equipped for
hearing, although some evidence exists that an infant's sensory threshold
is higher than that of an adult (i.e. a stimulus must be louder to be
heard by a newborn).
1-3 Month Old . During this period babies love to
hear their parents voices. Babies this age seem to respond best to the
female voice, the one historically associated with comfort and food. That's
why most people will raise the pitch of their voices and exaggerate their
speech when talking to a small baby.
4-7 Month Old . A baby's hearing is crucial
to speech development. During this period most babies are beginning to
understand the fundamentals of communication through hearing and language.
When younger, a baby understands meaning through the tone of voice, but
now the infant is beginning to pick out the components of speech. Most
infants this age can hear and understand the different sounds a parent
makes and the way words form sentences.
8-12 Month Old . During this period, most
babies will be making more and more recognisable sounds, such as "ga,"
"ba," and "da." These sounds tell you that your baby's
been listening to you for quite some time. You'll also know your baby
is hearing you and understanding what you say when you ask: "Where's
Daddy?" and she looks his way, or you say: "Go find the blue
ball," and she crawls over to it.
1-2 Years Old . No matter when your child says his first words, it's a sure bet he'll be understanding much of what is said to him/her well before that. He should be able to respond to commands ("Roll the ball to Mommy") and should be fully aware of the names of familiar objects and family members. This tells you that the baby's hearing is functioning well and helping in the development of language skills. Babies during this period will also enjoy the other pleasures of hearing: listening to children's songs and music, laughing and yelling with friends in the park, listening to a bedtime story.
More than 3 million American children have a hearing loss, an estimated 1.3 million of whom are under 3 years of age. Hearing loss can be temporary, caused by ear wax or middle ear infections .
If you are concerned about your baby's hearing, contact your baby's doctor.
For more developmental milestones in an infant's first year, go here .
The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken
from the following source(s):
|http://www.hon.ch/Dossier/MotherChild/postnatal/hearing_dev.html||Last modified: Oct 21 2004|