Hearing exams

Hearing exams

Your child's hearing will be checked during well checkups. Hearing affects speech and language development. It is important to watch for signs of hearing loss during the first two years. Following are some ways to check your child's hearing and ways to help with speech and language development.

  • 0 to 4 months
    • sometimes stirs or wakes up when someone talks or makes a loud noise
    • sometimes startles or jumps when a loud sound occurs
    • can be soothed by a familiar voice
  • 5 to 8 months
    • turns their head toward a sound or when their name is called by a person not visible
    • wakes up to talking or a loud noise
    • enjoys rattles and other toys that make sounds
    • makes a variety of cooing and gurgling sounds
  • 9 to 12 months
    • turns their head in any direction to find a sound
    • responds to their name when spoken quietly
    • uses their voice to get attention
    • begins to make two syllable sounds, such as "mama" or "dada"
  • 12 to 24 months
    • follows simple instructions
    • begins to repeat some sounds you make
    • uses words of more than one syllable, such as "kitty" or "cookie"
    • turns their head in any direction to find an interesting sound or a person speaking
  • 2 years
    • without seeing your lips, points to at least one part of the body when you ask "Where's your foot?" or "Where's your nose?"
    • without seeing your lips, points to the correct picture if you ask, "Where's the cat (or dog or man)?"
    • without seeing your lips, follows instructions such as "Give me the ball" or "Put the block on the table."
    • begins to use two-word phrases, such as "Drink milk" or "Go bye-bye."

When to call your health care provider

If you think your child has a hearing problem, call your health care provider to make an appointment.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5, sixth edition, ped-ah-91554
First Published: 02/01/2010
Last Reviewed: 11/16/2022