Ear Care

Can Your Child Hear?

Hearing is important for the development of human functions such as talking, understanding and being understood. Hearing is also important as it enables us to listen to the world around us. Parents/caregivers/whanau are most likely to be the first to notice signs of a hearing problem in children.

This “age and stage” check list is a good way to check if your child is hearing clearly. If you answer “no” to more questions than you answer “yes” to, your child may have a hearing problem.

The sooner a hearing problem is discovered, the sooner something can be done to help your child hear. When children can hear clearly, everything is easier for them.

If you are concerned about your child – our TOLBECS Ear Nurse Therapists can help! Phone today.


When there is a sudden loud noise, does your baby:

  • jump or blink
  • stir in his or her sleep
  • stop sucking for a moment
  • look up from sucking
  • cry

When you talk, does your baby:

  • seem to be aware of your voice
  • stop sucking or crying


Does your baby:

  • blink or cry when there is a sudden noise
  • stop crying or sucking when you talk
  • wake or stir to loud sounds
  • coo or smile when you talk
  • seem to like a musical toy
  • stop moving when there is a new sound
  • seem to know your voice


Does your baby:

  • turn towards a sound or someone speaking
  • smile when you talk
  • cry when there is a sudden noise
  • stop moving when there is a new sound
  • like music
  • make lots of different babbling sounds


Does your baby:

  • respond to his or her own name
  • look around to find new sounds, even quiet sounds
  • understand “no” and “ta-ta”
  • listen when people talk
  • like copying sounds
  • use babbling that sounds like real speech
  • try to talk back when you talk


Does your baby:

  • point to things and people he or she knows when asked to
  • copy or repeat simple words or sounds
  • try to talk
  • understand things like “come here”
  • use his or her own voice to get attention
  • say 2 or 3 words
  • listen when people talk


  • do one thing when asked, like “get your shoes”
  • say sentences with 2 words in the like “me drink”
  • know a few parts of the body
  • ask for things by pointing and trying to say the word
  • understand things like “give me that” and “don’t touch”


  • do 2 things when asked, like “get the ball and bring it here”
  • repeat what you say
  • know lots of words
  • enjoy “story time”
  • point to a picture when asked, like “show me the baby”
  • user the names of people and things they know
  • have a name for him/herself
  • show enjoyment with music
  • say simple sentences like “milk all gone”


  • know a few nursery rhymes or songs
  • understand most words
  • find you when you call from another room
  • sometimes use whole sentences
  • use words like “go, me, in, big”
  • tell a story
  • say how he/she feels
  • remember and tell things that have happened
  • count to 3
  • speak clearly so that everyone can understand
  • ask lots of “why” and “what” questions


  • tell a long, clear story about what he/she has done
  • speak well with only a few sounds wrong like “r, s, th, l”
  • know what things are for like hat, apple, plate
  • like books and being read to
  • understand most of what you say

This information is based on a 1995 Public Health Commission Pamphlet.