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Health and Nutrition

Can Newborn Babies Hear?

During pregnancy, many mothers find that their baby responds to loud noises by kicking about and remain quiet with soft, soothing music. Hearing is fully developed in newborns and they can hear a variety of sounds. Babies with normal hearing get startled in response to loud sounds, pay attention to their mother’s voice and briefly pause movement when conversation begins. Babies are extremely sensitive to the sound of human speech. Not only do they hear you when you speak, they can also turn their head and eyes in the direction of your voice.


How can you stimulate your baby:

  • Talk to your baby often, more so when bathing him, changing his diaper, and during feeding. Even though you think he cannot understand, your voice will help him fine-tune his senses to recognize language.
  • Babies prefer high-pitched voices to low-pitched ones. So try to speak in a high pitched voice to make him listen to you.
  • Hang a wind chime where your baby can watch it move and listen to the sound.
  • Play soft music and dance with your baby. He will enjoy the familiar rocking movements he felt for so long in the womb.
  • Babies can differentiate a variety of rhythms and sounds. Play different kinds of music to stimulate his auditory development.
  • Pretend that your baby is telling you something when he gurgles and makes sounds. Respond to your baby’s vocalizations.
  • Shake a rattle on both sides of your baby’s face. He will start searching for the source when he realizes that the sounds are coming from somewhere outside himself. If the rattle is too loud and is distressing your baby, get one with softer sounds.
  • Most babies can shut out the world quite effectively. So you don’t need to maintain pin drop silence when he is sleeping.
  • Remember to pay attention to your baby’s cues. If he looks away when you are talking to him, he probably needs a break.


If you are concerned that your baby is not responding to sounds, talk to your doctor about it.

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