Indicators of hearing loss during baby and toddler development

Infants and young children have developmental milestones that parents can watch for to identify a possible hearing loss

  • By 3 months, your baby recognises your voice and makes cooing noises. Sudden, loud noises should startle your baby.
  • By 6 months, your baby recognises speech sounds and familiar noises. Interesting noises make your baby turn their head, and your baby plays with their own voice and laughs. Your baby also uses their voice to indicate pleasure and discomfort.
  • By 9 months, your baby understands simple words like ”?mommy' and ”?daddy', ”?no', ”?bye-bye' and their own name.
  • By 12 months, your toddler can speak one or more real, recognisable word.
  • By 18 months, your toddler understands simple phrases and retrieves familiar objects on command and speaks between 20 to 50 words and short phrases and your toddler learns new words each week.
  • By 24 months, your toddler's spoken vocabulary should be 200 to 300 words and simple sentences can be spoken. Adults who are not around the child on a daily basis can understand your child's speech. A toddler at this age should also be able to sit and listen while being read books.

If you suspect that your child has a hearing loss, you should contact your family doctor/GP.


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