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Signs of Hearing Loss

Read this page to learn about some signs of hearing loss.

As your child grows, does something seem wrong with her hearing?

Does she:

  • Sleep soundly even when you talk loudly near her?
  • Not babble anymore (after 9 months)?

Signs of normal hearing
If you think your child has a hearing loss, talk to your doctor. Also, read this timeline of normal things most hearing babies do.

Just remember, all children are different. They may not do all of these things on time:

From birth to 3 months:

  • React to loud noises
  • Wake up at loud sounds
  • Be soothed by the sound of your voice
  • Start making sounds in the back of her throat, like going "goo"

From 3 to 6 months:

  • React to the sound of your voice
  • Start turning her head or eyes towards sounds
  • Like playing with toys that make noise
  • Stop to listen to voices
  • Smile when someone talks to her
  • Cry in different ways when she needs different things - such as if she's hungry, or needs to be changed.

From 6 to 12 months:

  • Answer to her name
  • Make many different baby talk sounds
  • Start to understand simple words, like "mama," "dada," and "wave bye-bye"
  • Turn her head to familiar sounds, like a telephone ringing
  • React to changes in your tone of voice

By 12 months:

  • Copy sounds that she hears
  • Answer simple questions like, "Where's the ball?"
  • Recognize her name
  • Understand what "no" means

From 12 to 18 months:

  • Give you a toy when you ask her
  • Point to parts of the body when you ask her
  • Put sounds together
  • Use a few simple words, like "mama," "more," and "no."
  • Follow simple directions that you tell her

By 18 months:

  • Understand about 50 words

drawing of a green bird

By 2 years:

  • Understand yes and no questions
  • Use words that you often use at home or school
  • Make simple sentences
  • Follow simple orders without being shown what to do

By 2 years:

  • Use about 270 words
  • Say or sing short rhymes and songs
  • Check out interesting sounds, or tell others about them

By 3 years:

  • Make simple sentences of 3 to 4 words
  • Use about 1,000 words
  • Be able to tell a story
  • Know her name and the names of people in her family
  • Sing songs

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National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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