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Newborns hearing development

At birth the inner ear is fully developed and a newborn baby can hear quite well. However, their middle ear is still full of fluid that affects the hearing. Therefore, the baby can not hear perfectly, and the hearing is still immature. Which is the reason for newborns responding best to high-pitched sounds and voices.

From day one, the baby pays close attention to voices and can react to familiar sounds, like the parents talking. Some babies get startled at loud or unexpected noises, but how the baby reacts is also related to the temperament.

Baby’s response to sounds and noises

When the baby is around 2 months, it usually gets more quiet when hearing a familiar voice and even makes a cute sound in response. Usually at about 4 months, the baby starts to look for the source of the sound and as early as 6 months they might try to imitate the sounds you make.

When turning 8 months old, the baby babbles and respond when you change the tone of you voice. When reaching one year the baby will probably recognize and respond to her or his own name and might be able to say single words like “ma-ma” or “pa-pa”.

The baby’s hearing is a way of learning and making sense of the world. It’s the baby's way of communicating with you and letting you know how they are feeling. Some mothers can recognize different types of crying and understand what their baby is asking for or needs.

The baby’s ears and hearing is fully developed at birth, but the portions of the brain that respond to complex sounds and connect what is heard to a meaning, will continue to develop until the age of 12.

Read about ways to help your baby’s hearing and talking development.

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