Normal responses to sounds

Finding out if your child suffers from hearing loss may be difficult, especially while he or she is still an infant.

Here is a general guide to how children react to sound. But you must have in mind that each child develops individually.

  • All babies have a startle reflex to loud sounds. A nurse or a family doctor may test this.
  • During the first months, minimal response to sounds can be observed.
  • From 3 to 5 months, the infant begins localising the sound using the eyes or turning the head.
  • From 6 to 8 months, the child turns towards moderately loud noises.
  • From 9 to 11 months, the child quickly and easily locates new and interesting sounds.
  • From 12 to 18 months, the child recognizes clothes and body parts when named, and can name (but maybe not pronounce) the terms for familiar objects such as cat, puppy or teddy.
  • From 24 months of age, the child starts talking using short sentences.
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