problems we treat
Hearing Milestones

Hearing Milestones: A parent's checklist

child holding ear

The following are some age-related guidelines that may help to decide if your child may be having hearing problems. It is important to remember that children reach milestones at different ages: every child is different. Consult your child's physician if you are concerned that your child is not hearing appropriately. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association lists the following age-appropriate hearing milestones.


  • listens to speech
  • startles or cries at noises
  • awakens at loud sounds

0-3 months

  • turns to you when you speak
  • smiles when spoken to
  • recognizes your voice and quiets down when crying

4-6 months

  • responds to "no" and changes in your tone of voice
  • looks around for sources of noise (doorbell, vacuum, etc.)
  • notices toys that make sound

7 months - 1 yr

  • listens when spoken to
  • turns or looks up when his/her name is called
  • enjoys games like pat-a-cake or peek-a-boo
  • responds to simple requests ("come here", "want more?")
  • recognizes words for common items ("cup, "shoe", "juice")

1-2 yrs

  • listens to simple stories, rhymes, or songs
  • follows simple commands and understands simple questions ("roll the ball", "kiss the baby")
  • can point to a few body parts when asked
  • points to pictures in books when they are named

2-3 yrs

  • can follow two requests ("get the ball and put it on the table")
  • continues to notice sounds (phone ringing, television, etc.)
  • understands difference in meaning (go/stop, big/little, up/down)

3-4 yrs

  • can answer simple "who", "what", "where", "why" questions
  • can hear radio and TV at the same loudness as others
  • can hear you when you call from another room

4-5 yrs

  • pays attention to simple stories and can answer questions about it
  • people who know your child think he/she hears well
  • hears and understands most of what is said at home and in school

This information is provided as a service to our patients. The information is for educational and informational purposes only and should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of your child's physician.