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How Your Baby Grows and Changes

Read this page to learn how your baby may grow.

Each baby grows at his own pace.
Your baby will grow at his own pace. There are many books that say how your child should be growing, and what he should be doing.
But using these books may be hard if your baby has a hearing loss.

Woman holding a baby

This is because some things a hearing baby does happen at different times, or in different ways, to babies with hearing loss. This doesn't mean there's something wrong with your baby. He's just different because he doesn't hear well.

Keep track of how your baby is growing
Babies with hearing loss should grow like any other baby in most ways, except in how they communicate. But some may not grow up in the usual way in other areas. This may because they were born too early, or had other medical problems.

To see how much your baby is really growing and changing, keep a notebook of important steps in your baby's life. Every time your baby does something new, write down the date, and what your baby did, like:

  • Your baby's first smile
  • When your baby first reaches out for a toy
  • Your baby's first sounds, gestures, signs or words
  • Your baby's first steps

How your baby may be different

Your baby may pay closer attention to things that he can see.

A deaf baby will take in information about the world through his eyes.
Watch to see if your baby looks at you. If he doesn't look at you, then he isn't getting information. This could mean that your baby needs help.

Some babies have problems sitting up or walking straight.

There are parts in the ear that tell you which way is up or down.
In some babies with hearing loss, that part of the ear doesn't work right. These babies may have trouble sitting up or walking straight.

Your baby may like to copy what he sees.

All babies try to copy what they see. Because deaf babies are always watching things, your baby may get very good at it!

Things to watch out for
If you're worried that your baby isn't acting right, listen to your own "gut" feelings. Many doctors will tell parents, "Oh, that's because he's deaf."
Many things used to be explained this way. But deaf babies react much the same way as other babies to people and things.

So what should you look for? See a doctor if:

  • Your baby rocks back and forth in 1 place.
  • Your baby flaps, twirls or spins his hands, body or toys constantly.
  • Your baby bangs his head constantly.
  • Your baby tastes or smells things more than usual.

Learn more

Next: How your baby learns

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NIDCD

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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