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How to prepare for your baby’s first hearing evaluation

Guest Post by Dr. Michelle Hu

The first few days of your baby’s life can actually be quite overwhelming. You’re tired, you may need to recover and you also have a new someone to nurture, hold and feed! If you delivered your baby in a birthing center or hospital, nurses and staff will be in and out checking on you and your baby constantly.



One of the checks that they do in the US is the initial newborn hearing screening. This is a completely objective test that takes a look at the function of the ear. If your baby did not pass the screening or it was not completed, you will be referred for an audiological evaluation.

Here are some tips that follow-up testing:

  1. Try to schedule your appointment during a time your baby will most likely be drowsy/sleepy - early infant testing is typically completed while sleeping.

  2. Plan ahead for the appointment to last approximately 2 hours. The actual testing should only take about 30-45 minutes but time is utilized to have conversations, ask questions and allow you and your baby to settle in.

  3. Plan to leave your house early - allow extra time for traveling with baby, finding parking, finding your appointment location etc.

  4. Don't forget to think about yourself! Bring a sweatshirt, water and snacks (especially if you are nursing) in case you get chilly or need to wait in a busy clinic.

  5. Be prepared to answer questions regarding family history, pregnancy and delivery. If you do not know this information yet - it's a good idea to ask relatives on both sides of your child's family if available.

  6. If possible bring your partner, another family or friend to help with navigating this trip/appointment but also to be a second set of ears to listen in the event that a hearing loss is confirmed.

  7. Have patience. Depending on testing and who administers it, results may be discussed with you during the appointment or you may have to wait a few days to receive and discuss the results with your provider.


Tips for Preparing for your Child’s Evaluation:

Perhaps your child did not get their hearing screened at birth, you have recent concerns for their hearing or you have concerns for a possible speech and language delay. Here are some ways to prepare for this appointment:

  1. Try to schedule your appointment during a time your toddler will most likely be awake, alert (not hungry or tired). This testing is interactive with your child.

  2. Plan ahead for the appointment to last approximately 45 min. The actual test(s) should only take about 30 minutes but time is utilized to have conversations, ask questions and allow you and your child to settle in.

  3. Plan to leave your house early - allow extra time for traveling with child, trips to the potty/change of diaper, finding parking, finding your appointment location etc.

  4. Keep in mind you will be in a clinic or hospital setting - bring a sweatshirt, water and snacks etc in case you get chilly or need to wait in a busy clinic.

  5. Be prepared to answer questions regarding family history, pregnancy and delivery. If you do not know this information yet - it's a good idea to ask relatives on both sides of your child's family if available.

  6. If possible bring your partner, another family or friend to help with navigating this trip/appointment but also to be a second set of ears to listen in the event that a hearing loss is confirmed.

  7. Have patience. Depending on testing and who administers it, results may be discussed with you during the appointment or you may have to wait a few days to receive and discuss the results with your provider.

For a more comprehensive and printable guide - click here to download.

If your child has hearing loss and you need more guidance and resources - please click here for an amazing online resource and program created specifically for parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) children.





- Michelle Hu

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