How your child hearing improves

I've talked to you about your baby's hearing today. And their hearing is developed pretty well when they are inside the womb. In fact, from around about 36 weeks of pregnancy, your babies can hear and recognize mom's voice so while they are in there, they really getting to know you, before they actually get to meet you.

From birth. Obviously, their hearing improves slightly, and you'll find that babies from about a month of age will actually turn their heads if they hear a loud noise and to try to find out where that noises coming from. The hearing continually improves and from around about three months of age, babies are beginning to distinguish different pitches of sound. However, they still show a marked preference to higher pitch voices, particularly their mothers. When she is engaging in what's called baby talk or parent tease as some people describe it. This is when you kind of look at your baby and go, Ah, how are you doing? Oh, you're gonna give me a smile.

So all of those higher-pitched notes that we use when we tend to talk to babies and small children is because we instinctively know that they can hear them better and that that's what they prefer. And of course, singing incorporates all of that. Sing things to your children, it does not matter if you're slightly out of tune, but they can't get enough of listening to your voice, particularly in a higher-pitched tone. So obviously, as they get older, their hearing continues to improve. And around about four months, they are starting to kind of really get interested in music and they really start coordinating their hands and their legs, you know, moving to a musical beat. Science has shown that it is really beneficial for their cognitive brain development, but also for their coordination as well. And babies do tend to smile more when they are able to move their hands and legs in time to a beat. So lots of instrument work, lots of songs, all of that sort of thing can really, really help that development in your child.

As they get towards sort of 12 months old, their hearing obviously continues to improve. However, it's still not as good as an adult. So they still may struggle to try to hear human voice if there's a lot of background noise to it. So again, maybe keeping the TV off in the background or the radio from the background, whilst you're singing and talking to your child will help them connect to your voice a lot better, they find it easier. And actually a child hearing continues to improve and doesn't actually finish developing until they're in their late adolescence or in their late teenage years. So there's a lot of work to do, and just talking and singing to your child as a baby can really, really help.

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