Your Baby’s Hearing: When and How to Get It Checked

November 20, 2023

Your Baby’s Hearing: When and How to Get It Checked

In this post, we aim to provide clarity on the importance of hearing checks, when they should be carried out, and what these assessments involve. Read on for more info…

Why are Baby Hearing Checks Important?

Hearing plays a crucial role in a child’s development, influencing their language learning, social interactions, and cognitive growth. Early identification of any hearing issues enables prompt intervention, optimising your child’s development and quality of life.

When Should Your Baby’s Hearing be Checked?

Hearing tests should ideally begin shortly after birth and continue throughout your child’s developmental years. The key moments include:

  1. Newborn Hearing Screening: This is typically performed within the first few days of life, while still in the hospital. It’s a quick, simple, and painless process that checks your baby’s initial response to sound.
  2. Routine Check-ups: Your child’s hearing should be evaluated regularly during their routine health check-ups. Your GP, Paediatrician or health visitor will monitor your baby’s response to different sounds as part of their overall development assessments.
  3. School-age Screenings: Once your child begins school, regular hearing checks should be conducted to ensure any issues are detected early and don’t interfere with learning.

What happens during a newborn hearing test?

The newborn hearing test, also known as the otoacoustic emissions (OAE) test, involves placing a tiny earpiece in your baby’s ear that plays soft sounds and checks the inner ear’s response.

What should I do if my baby fails the hearing test?

If your baby does not pass the initial test, don’t panic. They will be referred for a more comprehensive assessment. A failed screening doesn’t necessarily mean your child has a hearing problem.

Can hearing problems develop later, even if my baby passed the initial test?

Yes, it is possible for hearing problems to develop or be detected later in life. Hence, regular hearing assessments are crucial throughout your child’s developmental years.

Top 5 Tips for Monitoring Your Baby’s Hearing

  1. Pay Attention to Milestones: Be aware of hearing and speech development milestones, like responding to your voice or starting to babble around 6 months.
  2. Observe Responses: Watch if your baby turns towards sounds or appears startled by loud noises.
  3. Engage with Sounds: Use toys or musical instruments and observe your baby’s reaction.
  4. Encourage Communication: Regularly talk and sing to your baby to stimulate their auditory development.
  5. Regular Check-ups: Don’t skip routine health visits, as they are crucial to monitor your baby’s overall and auditory health.

Ensuring your baby’s hearing is in good health plays a significant role in their growth and development. It is, therefore, essential to know when and how to get their hearing checked.

You can consult your baby’s Red Book to find more information about your baby’s development. There is also now a handy online version here:

Our Childhealthy health checks offer the opportunity to chat with one of our paediatricians and raise any questions or concerns relating to your child’s health – from birth to teenage years.

If you do have any concerns about your baby’s development, you can contact us at Childhealthy and one of our paediatricians will be happy to review your child’s development and offer any advice.

Best wishes, Dr Yiannis and the team.




Disclaimer: Information contained in this article is intended as general advice and does not replace a medical assessment. If you are concerned about your child, please contact your doctor for advice.


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