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How to Test Hearing in an Infant at Home

by
author image Darla Ferrara
Writing since 1999, Darla Ferrara is an award-winning author who specializes in health, diet, fitness and computer technology. She has been published in "Mezzo Magazine" and Diet Spotlight, as well as various online magazines. Ferrara studied biology and emergency medical technology at the University of Nebraska and Southeast Community College.
How to Test Hearing in an Infant at Home
When your baby can move his head, he should look at you when you say his name. Photo Credit Mike Watson Images/moodboard/Getty Images

Babies develop hearing during gestation, sometime around the 24th week. At this point, they become accustom to individual noises. After birth, those noises tend to get less of a reaction. Sounds familiar to your home, such as a brother running around, will not arouse much of a response from a newborn who has been listening to this noise for weeks. There is little you can do at home to discover a newborns hearing range, but a few informal tests during the first year can alert you to problems.

Step 1

Sit your newborn someplace where you can clap your hands behind his head. A loud clap coming outside of the infant’s view should startle him. If he reacts with a small jump or cry when you clap, his hearing is fine. Repeat the test a few times if necessary.

Step 2

Watch your babies head movements. As she gains control of her movements and can look around, stand to the side and call her name. The sound of your voice should get her to turn her head. The noise does not need to be loud. She knows your voice and will seek out the sound with her eyes.

Step 3

Include picture books in play when your baby reaches about 10 months. Go over the pictures and tell him what word each picture represents. For instance, point to a cat and say the word “cat.” After sometime, when you play, if you say cat, the baby should point to the right picture. This indicates that he not only heard the word, but understood the meaning.

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