Getting Ready to Listen and Learn

Step 1: Make sure the child's hearing technology (hearing aids or cochlear implants) is working!

Before your baby can make the best use of hearing devices (hearing aids or cochlear implants), you need to be sure they are working.

Check the hearing devices and put them on when the baby gets dressed in the morning. It becomes a natural part of the dressing routine.

  • Your baby may enjoy hearing the sing-song of your voice ("I love you…You are SOOO big!") as you turn on the device.
  • Watch to see if your baby appears to listen or makes sounds as the device is turned on.
  • Talk to your family-infant teacher about differences you notice when your baby has the device(s) turned on.

Step 2: Encourage your child to wear devices consistently!

If your baby uses hearing amplification, he or she will benefit from consistent device use. Ask for assistance from other parents, your baby's audiologist and your family-infant teacher if your baby has trouble keeping device(s) on.

Read our tips for helping babies adjust to wearing hearing aids for additional information.

Step 3: Ensure the Environment is Conducive to Listening

Our homes are noisy places. You will want to limit auditory distractions (e.g., TV or music on in the background, blender, noisy fans) when you are spending quality language time with your child.

  • Get close to the baby. Get down on your child's level.
  • Reducing background noise will provide a better listening environment for your baby to hear.
  • Present information: auditory first, add visual cues if needed, but try saying it again with auditory cues only.

Step 4: Prepare your baby for a cochlear implant.

If your baby is being considered for a cochlear implant, it is valuable to provide auditory stimulation with hearing aids prior to the surgery.

  • Be sure your baby wears the hearing aids in the months before the implant surgery.
  • Imitate sounds your baby makes.
  • Encourage your baby to listen to sounds you make.