Helpful Information

Can Your Child Hear?

Hearing loss in children

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 hearing loss in children or identify a hearing problem.

We have included a list below to check if your child is hearing clearly for their age and stage. 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.

At TOLBECS we can test the hearing of all children 4 years and above. For babies and children of all ages – we encourage you to bring your child for a comprehensive consultation with our Ear Nurse Therapists.  They will listen and find out more about your concerns, assess your child’s ears and provide education so you fully understand what is happening now and what to do next.  We will show you your child’s eardrums on a screen.

Ear trouble? Book an appointment now!


Well Child Hearing Checklist

Source: The WellChild/Tamariki Ora My Health Book HealthEd, NZ, 2010

The checklists below, which are only a guide, can alert you to potential problems with your child’s hearing.

Find the closest age for your child and run through the checks, if you answer “no” more often than “yes”, your child may have a hearing problem.

At 4-6 weeks

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

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

At 8-10 weeks

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

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

3-4 months

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?
  • turn their eyes toward voices?
  • seem to like a musical toy?
  • stop moving when there is a new sound?
  • seem to know your voice?

5-7 months

Does your baby:

  • turn toward a sound or someone speaking?
  • cry when there is a sudden noise?
  • like music?
  • make lots of different babbling sounds?
  • sometimes copy sounds you make?

9-12 months

Does your baby:

  • respond to their own name?
  • look around to find new sounds, even quiet sounds?
  • understand ‘no’ and ‘bye-bye’?
  • listen when people talk?
  • like copying sounds?
  • use babbling that sounds like real speech?
  • try to talk back when you talk?

15-18 months

Does your child:

  • point to people and things they know when asked to?
  • copy or repeat simple words or sounds?
  • understand things like ‘come here’?
  • use their voice to get attention?
  • say 2 or 3 words?
  • listen when people talk?

2-3 years

Does your child:

  • do 2 things when asked, like ‘get the ball and bring it here’?
  • repeat what you say? continually learn new words?
  • say simple sentences with 2 or more words in them?
  • use many words that non-family members can understand?
  • speak clearly so that everyone can understand?
  • ask lots of ‘what’ or ‘why’ questions?

5 years old

Does your child:

  • tell a long, clear story about things they have done?
  • speak well, with only a few sounds wrong, like ‘r’ or ‘s’?
  • know what things are for (like hat, apple or plate)?
  • like books and being read to?
  • understand most of what you say?


Having trouble hearing? Book an appointment now!