Can Your Baby Hear You? Your Baby Passed The Hearing Screening

A brochure is available in Portable Document Format (PDF) in several translations:

Hearing Screening

Baby's Name: _____________________________________________________________

passed the Newborn Hearing screening in both ears on

Date: ___________________________________________________________________

Screening Method: __ OAE __ ABR

Your Baby Passed

Your baby has passed the hearing screening in both ears. The screening that was used was either Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) or Auditory Brainstem Responses (ABR), or both.

How Your Baby's Hearing Was Checked

A trained person checked your baby's hearing. Either:

  • Your baby had a tiny microphone placed in his or her ear (OAE), or,
  • Your baby wore special earphones and had tiny pads placed on his or her head (ABR).

Then, soft sounds were played and your baby's hearing was measured.

The screening suggests that your baby is most likely hearing now. However, this does not mean that your baby will never lose his or her hearing. A small number of babies who pass the newborn hearing screening may develop hearing loss later in life. That's why it's important to pay attention to your child's hearing.

Why Was My Baby's Hearing Checked?

Hearing is very important. Your baby needs to hear sounds to learn how to speak and learn about the world. Hearing is very important in the early months to prevent possible problems with language or What Causes Hearing Loss? sometimes we won't know what causes hearing loss. Other times it is caused by: • Deafness which runs in families • Ear infections • meningitis • Other serious infections Talk to your baby's doctor or clinic if you have any questions or concerns. schoolwork later on. That's why, in New York state, all babies have their hearing checked.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

Sometimes we won't know what causes hearing loss. Other times it is caused by:

  • Deafness which runs in families
  • Ear infections
  • Meningitis
  • Other serious infections

Talk to your baby's doctor or clinic if you have any questions or concerns.

Check Your Child's Hearing and Speech

Even if your baby passed the screening, it is still important to check your baby's hearing often. The list below* will help you keep track of your baby's hearing as he or she grows. Good hearing helps babies do the things on this checklist. If you have any concerns about your child's hearing, at any age, call your baby's doctor or clinic.

Good Hearing Checklist*

Birth to 3 Months

  • Becomes quiet when around everyday voices or sounds
  • Reacts to loud sounds: baby startles, blinks, stops sucking, cries, or wakes up
  • Makes soft sounds when awake: baby gurgles

3 to 6 Months

  • Turns eyes or head toward sounds: voices, toys that make noise, a barking dog
  • Starts to make speech-like sounds: "ga," "ooh," "ba," and p, b, m sounds
  • Reacts to a change in your tone of voice

6 to 9 Months

  • Responds to soft sounds, especially talking
  • Responds to own name and looks when called
  • Understands simple words: "no," "bye-bye," "juice"
  • Babbles: "da da da," "ma ma ma," "ba ba ba"

9 to 12 Months

  • Consistently responds to both soft and loud sounds
  • Repeats single words and copies animal sounds
  • Points to favorite toys or foods when asked

12 to 18 Months

  • Uses 10 or more words
  • Follows simple spoken directions: "get the ball"
  • Points to people, body parts or toys when asked
  • "Bounces" to music

18 to 24 Months

  • Uses 20 or more words
  • Combines two or more words: "more juice," "what's that?"
  • Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words: b, g, m
  • Listens to simple stories and songs

2 to 3 Years

  • Uses sentences with two or three words
  • At 2 years, the child's speech is understood some of the time (25%-50%)
  • At 3 years, the child's speech is understood most of the time (50%-75%)
  • Follows two-step instructions: "get the ball and put it in the box"

Your child's hearing can and should be checked at any age.

  • * Adapted from the California Department of Health Services' checklist.

More Help For Your Baby

If your baby has a hearing loss, or may have a hearing loss, you might need more help. Infants, toddlers with special needs, and their families may get help from the New York state Health Department's Early Intervention Program (EIP). EIP offers hearing screening and testing, and support for you, your baby, and your family. To learn more, call your doctor, clinic, or the EIP in your county or borough.

To learn more about newborn hearing screening or EIP, please call (518) 473-7016.

Visit the Early Intervention Program Web page at:

To reach your local EIP, call:

  • Growing Up Healthy
    24-Hour Hotline
    TTY: 1-800-655-1789

In New York City, call: 311