This is how your baby's hearing develops
Already in your stomach, from around the seventh month, your child learns to pick up sounds. This includes your voice, the rustling of your blood and your heartbeat, but also sounds from your environment that it perceives through the abdominal wall. However, it hears external noises 20 to 30 decibels quieter than you, since the amniotic fluid and the uterus function as a soundproofing device. Since they hear your voice particularly often, it’s not surprising that they recognise it after the birth and identify you as their closest caregiver.
Since your baby still has a little amniotic fluid in its ears in the first few days, which must first dissolve, they continue to perceive all sounds muffled. At the end of the first month after being born, their hearing is fully developed and they will specifically respond to and address your voice. Over time, your baby will also try to mimic your voice by coo’ing. Here you can see that their hearing and speech development go hand in hand. However, it will be a while before your baby understands the words you’re speaking.
From around the age of seven months, they will recognise objects that you often play with by their names. Most children are already responding to their own name by this point. By the age of ten to twelve months, your child will increasingly enjoy music and will try to make loud noises themselves with rattles or building blocks. While this can be a challenge for your ears, it will help your child develop healthily.
This is how you can tell that your baby can hear you
If you feel that your baby cannot hear you properly, see your paediatrician. There are a few things you can use as a guide to check how your baby’s hearing is developing. Between the fourth and sixth week of life, your little one will be frightened by loud noises. From the third to fourth month, your baby chatters and laughs. It also turns to the sources from which it perceives noises.
Between the ages of seven and eight months, your child tries out different sounds and voices and can utter the first two-syllable words. As soon as your child is between ten and twelve months old, you may be able to understand some small words they try to speak. You can contribute to the healthy development of their hearing by introducing your baby to new sounds.
You can sing them songs or put on music with nature sounds. You can also read them a bedtime story as they go to bed. This helps promote speech in your child as they try to learn and mimic later on. Be careful not to overwhelm your baby with too many sounds and impressions. You should give them time to process all of the senses and stay curious.
The more impressions your child gains in the course of its lifetime, the more exuberant it will react to them. Don't worry if it isn't as far as other kids their age. Every newborn has its own pace of development. As long as they are actively participating in your family life and joyfully explores their environment, nothing stands in the way of their healthy development.