A lot of parents have problems keeping their baby's hearing aids in place. There is not one solution that will work for everyone. Try different options to see what works best for your baby.
Many manufacturers have child sized tone hooks that help the hearing aid sit in a better position on the ear.
Toupee or wig tape can help hold the hearing aids in place behind the baby's ears. Special roll-on adhesives can also be used on the side of the hearing aid to help it stick to the skin behind the ear.
Important note: The tape needs to be changed often. Some babies may be allergic to the adhesive; parents need to look for signs of irritation from the tape. Special toupee or wig tape should be used and not simply double-sided tape as the toupee and wig tape are meant for contact with the skin and are less likely to cause any irritation to the skin.
Eyeglass or sunglass cords can be attached around the tone hook of a hearing aid. The cord can be tied closely to hold the hearing aids close to a baby's ears.
These devices hold hearing aids in place without adhesives. It uses a soft rubber ring or sleeve that the hearing aid sits in attached to a soft rubber ring that sits around the ear in order to hold them in place on the baby's ears.
Colorful clips can be used to attach hearing aids to a child's clothing.
Some hearing aid clips will help hold FM receivers in place on the hearing aid. "Ear Gear" clips can be used with or without an FM receiver in place.
Dental floss tied to a safety pin may not be as colorful as the above choices, but it can give the same security. One end of the floss or line is tied around the tone hook of the hearing aid and the other end of the floss is tied to a safety pin. The safety pin can be attached inside your child's clothing. It is important keep a short length on the floss or line.
Check the hearing aid fit and volume. It is important to find out if there are any problems with the hearing aids that might cause your baby to pull them out - including an earmold that does not fit well or hearing aid settings that are too loud or too soft. Your baby's audiologist can help by changing the ear mold or adjusting the hearing aids.
Babies spend a lot of their time exploring. That means they will explore their ears and their hearing aids.
See our tips above for securing your baby's hearing aids.
Hearing aids are expensive and many parents worry about losing such small devices. Beyond the original warranty provided by the hearing aid manufacturer, patients can be protected in the following ways:
Many problems involving the earmolds can cause feedback or whistling, including:
Water-based lubricants such as Otoease and or silicone-based creams such as Otoferm can be used to help the earmolds fit more securely and reduce feedback for some babies and children. The silicone-based creams are best for creating a seal between the earmolds and ear canal to prevent sound from leaking out past the earmold.
Some children may have a large amount of wax build-up in their ear canal. If there is enough wax to block the ear canal it can cause the hearing aid to feedback or whistle when it is in the child's ear. Contact your pediatrician or ENT physician to have the cerumen removed.
Starting a regular schedule for hearing aid use can be hard. It is best to keep trying every day and focus on times of the day when hearing is important and your child is well rested and happy.
If your child starts to pull his or her hearing aids out a lot, one suggestion is to put the hearing aids on during times when there is direct contact and communication between your baby and you. Another good time is during visits with his early intervention specialist. This might only be for short amounts of time at first.
The goal for every child is to work up to wearing the hearing aid during all hours the child is awake and make hearing aid use a part of their regular daily routine.
When toddlers start to be more independent they sometimes use their hearing aids as a power struggle with their parents.
Your Infant/Family Specialist or audiologist can give you more ideas to help with your child, so do not be afraid to share your concerns or questions with them.
Older toddlers and preschoolers may want to have colored earmolds and hearing aids. Many different earmold color choices and patterns are available and many hearing aid manufacturers offer a range of colors for the hearing aids and stickers to decorate the hearing aid case.
Several manufacturers have special books for children that provide information about hearing loss at the child's level. Special hearing aid care kits for children give parents all the tools they need to take care of their child's hearing aids. Books, stickers and toys are often included with these special kits.
As children become school age, work with your child on becoming their own advocate. Help them learn to inform an adult when the hearing aid battery needs to be changed or teach them how to change the battery themselves. Encourage them to ask their teacher or other children to speak more clearly or louder if they did not hear them the first time. Perhaps have your child share about their hearing loss and hearing aids during a classroom "Show and Tell" to help your child take ownership of their hearing loss and help other children in the classroom understand what hearing aids are.