By around two months, your baby will react to familiar voices and get quiet and calm when he/ she hears you talk. From this time, he/she will also try following the source of sounds and appear disturbed or startled by loud noise.
Right from birth, some babies are shown to pay close attention to sounds and voices, especially high-pitched ones. They get startled at loud or unexpected sounds. This process will occur several times and soon, your baby will not only hear sounds, but will also develop a curiosity and tendency to inspect the source of the sound.
At six or seven monthsof age, your baby will realise where sounds come from, and she will turn quickly towards new ones. He/She will also be able to respond to low pitch noises, as long as she is not distracted.
The fact that your baby reacts and turns to loud sounds signifies a lot of crucial developments. It tells you that your baby’s hearing prowess is developing well, that he/she is attentive and wary of her surroundings, that he/she has the desire and congenital and mental framework to process a sudden distinct sound, and that he/she is curious by nature. The physical act of turning would also signify that your baby has control over his /her neck, eyes, muscles, and body in general to turn themselves to inspect the noise source.
Keep in mind that all babies do not react to sounds equally. Your baby’s response to noise will probably depend on his/her temperament. Some babies are more sensitive to things around them, so they may react more to loud noises.
One can do certain things to make hearing a more joyous and pleasurable activity for their children. Your baby would love listening to different sounds and music, so you do not have to restrict him/her to children’s songs. Share your own favorite music with him/her.
Reading to your baby, no matter how young he/she is, will also help and amuse them. Hearing you talk will help your baby’s language skills. Try varying the pitch of voice or sing as you read to them to make it more fun. The more you talk and read to him/her, the more sounds and words he/she will learn as he/she gets ready to talk.
In many cases, your newborn will be able to sleep through the telephone ringing and the dog barking. This is normal. But when awake, if you notice that your baby is not responding to or reacting to noises or loud sudden thuds, then that maybe a sign of worry.
It is rare for babies to have hearing problems, but it can happen, particularly if:
- Your baby spent time in a neonatal unit after birth
- You had rubella, toxoplasmosis, or cytomegalovirus during pregnancy
- There is a family history of hearing loss or deafness
- Your baby was born prematurely or with a low birth weight
If you see signs of your baby not responding to noises or voices, then consult a pediatrician immediately.