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Your Baby's Hearing Checklist

Birth to 3 Months 

  • Reacts to loud sounds
  • Is soothed by your voice
  • Turns head to you when you speak
  • Is awakened by loud voices and sounds
  • Smiles when spoken to
  • Seems to know your voice, and quiets down if crying

3 to 6 Months

  • Looks up or turns toward a new sound
  • Responds to "no" and changes in your tone of voice
  • Imitates his/her own voice
  • Enjoys rattles and other toys that make sounds
  • Begins to repeat sounds (such as "ooh", "aah", and "ba-ba")
  • Becomes scared by loud voices

6 to 10 Months

  • Responds to his/her own name, a telephone ringing, or someone's voice (even when these sounds are not loud)
  • Knows the words for common things (cup, shoe) and sayings ("bye-bye")
  • Makes babbling sounds, even when alone
  • Starts to respond to requests such as "Come here"
  • Looks at things or pictures when someone talks about them

10 to 15 Months

  • Plays with own voice, enjoying the sound and feel of it
  • Points to or looks at familiar objects or people when asked to do so
  • Imitates simple words and sounds; may use a few single words meaningfully
  • Enjoys games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake

15 to 18 Months

  • Follows simple directions, such as "Give me the ball"
  • Uses words he/she has learned often
  • Uses 2-3 word sentences to talk about and ask for things
  • Knows 10-20 words

18 to 24 Months

  • Understands simple yes/no questions ("Are you hungry?")
  • Understands simple phrases ("in the cup", "on the table")
  • Enjoys being read to
  • Points to pictures when asked

24 to 36 months

  • Understands "not now" and "no more"
  • Chooses things by size (big, little)
  • Follows simple directions such as "Get your shoes" or "Drink your milk"
  • Understands many action words (run, jump)

Talk to your doctor if you think your child has a hearing problem.  The following are some common risk factors:

  • Do others in your family, including brothers and sisters, have a hearing problem?
  • Did the child's mother have medical problems in pregnancy or delivery (serious illness or injury, drugs or medications)?
  • Was the baby born early (premature)?
  • Did the baby have physical problems at birth?
  • Does the child rub or pull on his/her ear(s) often?
  • Has the child had scarlet fever?
  • Has the child had meningitis?
  • Has the child had multiple ear infections in the past year?
  • Does the child have cold, allergies, and ear infections often?

For more information about hearing and hearing loss, or speech and language problems, call Idaho CareLine at 2-1-1, or write to:
Idaho Sound Beginnings
450 W. State St., 5th floor
Boise, ID 83720-0036