Hearing is fully developed at birth. Babies use their ears to figure out the world around them. Different sounds help them learn language.
How your baby responds to noise can depend upon their temperament and also what your baby heard in the womb. If baby often heard lots of hustle and bustle, familiar sounds won’t faze them. A more sensitive baby, however, may jump at every sound.
It’s never too soon to talk, sing or read to your baby. Try using different pitches, funny accents and silly words. Tell baby what you are doing during the day. While loading the dishwasher, describe items and their uses. “This is my favourite coffee cup. I use it every morning.” Comment on different sounds. “Our neighbor is mowing the lawn” or “Can you hear that pitter patter on the roof? It’s raining.” The more you talk and read to baby, the more sounds they will learn as they get ready to talk.
Keep in mind that your baby’s hearing is sensitive. Baby will pay close attention to voices, especially familiar ones, like mom and dad. Parents are often the first to notice if something doesn’t seem right. Tell your doctor if baby doesn’t respond to your voice at all or doesn’t startle at loud noises. Providing hearing assistance before 6 months can significantly impact speech and language development.