North Dakota Early Hearing Detection EHDI logoand Intervention Program


Typical Auditory Development

Wondering if your baby is auditory system is developing normally? Check out guidelines below for more information on what your baby should be able to do in each age group.

Age Things to Watch For
(0 to 4 months)
Usually reacts suddenly to loud sounds through movements such as widening the eyes, jumping or extending the arms and legs. Parents should look for signs of localization from their child. Localization is eye movement or turning the head towards the direction of the sound source.
3 to 6 months A baby of 3 to 6 months of age should turn and search out a different sound. They should also be able to respond to the sound of their name. During this particular developmental time, the baby will play with sounds by cooing and babbling. The baby should smile or stop crying when either of the parents speaks to him/her. In addition, the baby should act differently to the ways the parents talk to him/her (angry, friendly, loving).
6 to 10 months A baby of 6 to 10 months of age should be able to seek out the sound source. When his or her name is called, the baby should look towards the speaker. In addition, the baby should respond to both soft and loud sounds. Familiar sounds such as a doorbell ringing or a dog barking should get a response from the baby. The baby should also pay attention when the parents talk to him/her.
10 to 15 months A baby of 10 to 15 months will begin to increase his or her babbling and begin to more closely resemble speech. The baby plays with sounds and is able to put sounds together in different patterns.
15 to 18 months A child of 15 to 18 months is able to directly localize to most sounds. In addition, the child can understand simple phrases, identify familiar objects such as body parts and follow simple directions. A child at 18 months should have an expressive vocabulary of 20 or more words and short phrases.