How to Keep Your Baby's Hearing Aid On In Their First Year

A baby's first year of life can be difficult for parents when hearing aids are needed. Aside from getting new earmolds made regularly to keep up with the rapid growth babies go through, you'll need to make sure hearing aids actually stay on your little one throughout the whole day. A baby's language development begins before birth, so it's important that they're wearing their hearing aids full time from the earliest age. Hearing is also integral to learning, and any time spent unable to hear is time your child is missing out on developing their understanding of the world. To ensure your little one's getting the best possible start in life, here's a guide on how to keep their hearing aids on as they go through their first year.

0 to 3 Months

Experts believe that between the ages of newborn and 3 months old, babies begin to recognise their parents' voices. It's crucial that they're able to hear these voices as they can bring a great sense of comfort, security, and happiness. Generally, babies at this age will not be able to pull out their hearing aid. As a result, it should be easy to keep hearing aids on. They may, however, be able to accidentally knock them off, so make sure you always check hearing aids are on when you check up on your little one.

3 to 6 Months

Between 3 to 6 months of age, babies make rapid progress in hearing and language development. This is the age where they begin to increase the range of sounds they produce, ready for speaking later on. They also respond to aural stimuli in multiple ways, such as turning their head to find the source of a sound and responding to changes in vocal tone. Another way children develop at this age is orally -- simply put, babies like to put things in their mouths. As a result, this is the age at which you may have to start actively trying to keep their hearing aids on. One of the best ways to keeping aids on young babies is with a cap or bonnet that fastens to the head. If you live in one of the hotter parts of Australia, try to find thin, breathable caps. 

6 to 9 Months

From 6 months onwards, keeping hearing aids on becomes even more important as babies begin to actively develop their hearing and speaking abilities. At this age, your little one may begin to listen with intent and attempt to participate in conversation, respond to their own name, and begin to experiment with using the sounds they hear. Children aged 6 to 9 months may also begin to learn how to pull a bonnet off or knock out a hearing aid, so try getting their earmolds fitted more tightly to their ears to prevent the hearing aids becoming dislodged.

9 to 12 Months

9 to 12 months can be a very exciting time for parents in terms of hearing and language development. Babies at this age start understanding simple words like 'no', stringing together sounds like 'mama' and 'dada', and repeating sounds they hear. To ensure none of this crucial development is missed, you'll need to play a more active role in keeping hearing aids. Children at this age will learn how to pull hearing aids off and will often enjoy doing so. For many babies, this is a good time to start using hearing aid securing methods and devices. Many parents choose to use wig tape to secure hearing aids to the back of the ears. While this works for many babies, make sure the tape isn't painful to remove, as this could cause a child to have negative feelings towards their hearing aid. You can also use eyeglasses cord and safety pins to hook hearing aids to the back of your baby's clothing to stop them from getting lost if they're pulled out, or use one of the similar commercial options on the market.