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Children's Health

CHILD HEARING CHECKLIST - a patient's guide


This a checklist for parents who may be worried about their infant's hearing.

child hearing checklist


Parents are most likely to be the ones who first notice if their child has hearing problems.

The sooner this is discovered, the sooner something can be done to help. The following checklist will show what a child should be doing at each age. More than one or two "noes" may mean getting a checkup and hearing test (done by an audiologist).

The checklist should be taken to the nurse or doctor:

Six weeks

When there is a sudden loud noise, does your baby:

  • Jump or blink
  • Stir in his or her sleep
  • Stop sucking for a moment
  • Look up from sucking
  • Cry

Three months

Does your baby:

  • Blink or cry when there is a sudden noise
  • Stop crying or sucking when you talk
  • Wake or stir to loud sounds
  • Coo or smile when you talk
  • Turn his or her eyes toward voices
  • Seem to like a musical toy
  • Stop moving when there is a new sound
  • Seem to know your voice

Six months

Does your baby:

  • Turn toward a sound or someone speaking
  • Smile when you talk
  • Cry when there is a sudden noise
  • Stop moving when there is a new sound
  • Like music
  • Make lots of different babbling sounds

Nine months

Does your baby:

  • Respond to his or her own name
  • Look around to find new sounds, even quiet sounds
  • Understand "no" and "ta-ta"
  • Listen when people talk
  • Like copying sounds
  • Use babbling that sounds like real speech
  • Try to talk back when you talk

12 months

Does your child:

  • Point to things and people he or she knows when asked to
  • Copy and repeat simple words or sounds
  • Try to talk
  • Understand things like "come here"
  • Say two or three words
  • Listen when people talk
  • Do what he or she is told
  • Say sentences with two words like "me drink"
  • Know a few parts of the body
  • Do one thing when asked like "get your shoes"
  • Ask for things by pointing, trying to say the word
  • Understand things like "give me that", "don't touch"

Two years

Does your child:

  • Do two things when asked like "get the ball" and "bring it here"
  • Repeat what you say
  • Know lots of words
  • Like being read to
  • Point to a picture when asked like "show me the baby"
  • Use the names of people and things she or he knows
  • Have a name for himself or herself
  • Like the radio or stereo
  • Say simple sentences like "milk all gone"

Three years

Does your child:

  • Know a few nursery rhymes or songs
  • Understand most words
  • Find you when you call from another room
  • Sometimes use whole sentences
  • Use words like go, me, in, and big
  • Tell a story
  • Say how she or he feels
  • Remember and tell about things that have happened
  • Count to three
  • Speak clearly so that everyone can understand him or her
  • Ask lots of "why" and "what" questions
  • Like naming things she or he sees and knows

Getting help:

Always seek advice early if you have any concerns about your child's hearing.

See also:

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