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4 Tips to Stimulate a Baby with Hearing Loss

4 Tips to Stimulate a Baby with Hearing Loss

Your baby may have a hard time hearing you, but it doesn’t mean you cannot communicate with each other effectively and bond together. In fact, there are many ways to stimulate a deaf baby. Learn more about these ways here.

First things first: Stay optimistic

Learning about your baby’s hearing problems may be overwhelming. At some point, you might even imagine a future where they struggle to build relationships and do well in school.

However, keep in mind that deafness doesn’t make your child any less capable. Many kids with sensory loss grow up to have lasting friendships, meaningful careers, and fulfilling lives.

Seeing things in a more positive light helps you keep an open mind on all the strategies you can use to stimulate your little one.

Types of Deafness: Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Loss

How to stimulate a deaf baby

Before anything else, remember that working closely with your baby’s doctor is an indispensable part of supporting their growth and development. This is because there are many depths to your baby’s condition that influence the course of their care plan.

Along with your doctor’s recommendations, the following tips help stimulate a deaf child:

1. Recognize and respond to your baby’s communication

Even with their hearing loss, you and your baby can still communicate with each other using sight and touch. These two tips might help:

  • Encourage them to look at your face and make eye contact. This allows them to recognize your various facial expressions.
  • Pay attention to the way they communicate. Your baby may only cry a little, so tuning in to their other attempts in expressing themselves is crucial. Besides crying and smiling, they will also move their body, gaze, and reach out.

And, of course, don’t forget to respond to your baby’s cues. If they seem frustrated or agitated, use a consoling tone, touch them comfortingly, and have a soothing facial expression.

2. Talk to the doctor about hearing aids or cochlear implants

Do you feel like they’re too young to use hearing aids or undergo cochlear implant surgery?

Experts say babies can wear hearing aids as early as 2 to 3 months when the hearing loss is identified. On the other hand, doctors usually recommend cochlear implants for babies younger than 12 months with profound hearing loss.

Hearing aids help stimulate a deaf baby because they provide them with hearing opportunities. The idea is to make them wear it throughout their waking hours. During the day, some babies also tolerate wearing them while they nap. This allows them to be soothed to sleep or woken to sound.

Cochlear implants are different: they translate sounds into electrical signals and send them directly to the brain.

3. Have fun, and use playtime to bond with them

Experts say parents shouldn’t let their worry about hearing loss stop them from having fun playtimes with their baby. Playtime is an excellent opportunity to bond and learn.

Both babies who can hear and those with hearing problems take joy in learning from simple activities and day-to-day objects. Peek-a-boo, colorful building blocks, and spending time outdoors are just some of the things that can stimulate a deaf baby.

To compensate for the lack of sound, use bigger body movements and more facial expressions when playing with them. Also, don’t forget to talk! They might not be able to hear you well, but seeing your lips move lets them know that you are telling them something.

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4. Play some music and sing lullabies

Did you ever wonder if music can help stimulate a deaf baby? Well, experts say it can!

Babies with hearing loss may not hear music the same way we do, but it can still help build their listening abilities when they use hearing aids or cochlear implants.

So, don’t hesitate to give them toy musical instruments and play nursery rhymes or lullabies for them.

There are many ways to stimulate a deaf baby. But remember: the most critical step is to work closely with the doctor. They will determine how serious your baby’s hearing loss is, and from there, plan for strategies to stimulate them.

Learn more about Baby Care here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Hearing Loss in Children
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207837/
Accessed May 20,2021

Hearing Aids for Babies
https://www.boystownhospital.org/knowledge-center/hearing-aids-babies.
Accessed May 20,2021

My child is deaf – what can I do?
https://deafeducation.org.uk/home/family-support/my-child-is-deaf-what-can-i-do/
Accessed May 20,2021

Why and how music can be used to rehabilitate and develop speech and language skills in hearing-impaired children
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378595518301783
Accessed May 20,2021

Experiencing and Listening to Music
https://www.babyhearing.org/language-learning/experiencing-listening-and-music
Accessed May 20,2021

Cochlear Implants
https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/cochlear.html#:~:text=Doctors%20consider%20cochlear%20implants.
Accessed May 20,2021

Brain Scans Show Deaf Subjects ‘Hear’ Vibrations
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/brain-scans-show-deaf-sub/#:~:text=Deaf.
Accessed May 20,2021

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated May 25
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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