Hearing Milestones

If a child is missing one or more of these expected age outcomes, consider this a red flag:

0-3 months
  • Startles, cries or wakens to loud sounds
  • Moves head, eyes, arms and legs in response to a noise or voice
  • Smiles when spoken to, or calms down; appears to listen to sounds and talking 
4-6 months
  • Responds to changes in your voice tone
  • Looks around to determine where new sounds are coming from; responds to music
7-12 months
  • Turns or looks up when her/his name is called
  • Responds to the word “no”; listens when spoken to
  • Knows common words like “cup”, “shoe”, “mom”
  • Responds to requests such as “want more”, “come here”
12 months- 2 years
  • Turns toward you when you call their name from behind
  • Follows simple commands
  • Tries to 'talk' by pointing, reaching and making noises
  • Knows sounds like a closing door and a ringing phone
2-3 years
  • Listens to a simple story
  • Follows two requests (e.g. "get the ball and put it on the table")
3-4 years
  • Hears you when you call from another room
  • Listens to the television at the same loudness as the rest of the family
  • Answers simple questions 
4-5 years
  • Pays attention to a story and answers simple questions
  • Hears and understands most of what is said at home and school
  • Family, teachers, babysitters, and others think he or she hears fine

Problem Signs…if a child is experiencing any of the following, consider this a red flag:

  • Early babbling stops
  • Ear pulling (with fever or crankiness)
  • Does not respond when called
  • Draining ears
  • A lot of colds and ear infections
  • Loud talking

Where to Go for Help?

Hearing and Speech go together. A problem with one could mean a problem with the other. If there are concerns, or more information is needed contact your physician for a referral to an audiologist, or contact an audiologist directly. If your child is under 24 months of age and referred or missed the Infant Hearing Screening test completed at birth or you were told that your child has a risk factor for hearing loss contact the Infant Hearing Program at 519-663-5317 ext. 2224.