Can Your Baby Hear You? Your Baby Needs Another Screening

A brochure is available in Portable Document Format (PDF) in several translations:

Why Does My Baby Need Another Screening?

Your baby's hearing was screened using either Otoacoustic Emissions(OAE), Auditory Brainstem Responses (ABR), or both. (A screening is a quick check to see if your baby hears).

It was not possible to get a good first screen for one or both of your baby's ears. Many babies need to be screened again. Your baby's movements, noise in the room, or fluid in the ear after birth may have led to false results. Your baby may not have a hearing loss, but we need to check to be sure.

It is best to have your baby's hearing screened again between one week and one month of age. A staff person at the hospital will help you pick a date to return and have this done. Or, you will be told where to have your baby's hearing re-screened closer to your home.

Hearing Re-screening

Baby's Name: _____________________________________________________________

Your baby's hearing needs to be re-screened in:

  • Both ears
  • Right ear
  • Left ear

Screening method:

  • OAE
  • ABR

Your Baby's Re-screening Visit

Time and Date: _____________________________________________________________

Place: _____________________________________________________________

Contact Number: _____________________________________________________________

It Is Important to Keep the Re-screen Visit

The re-screen is one way to keep track of how well your baby hears. Hearing is very important. Your baby needs to hear sounds to learn how to talk and learn about the world. Hearing is very important in the early months to prevent possible problems with language or schoolwork later on. That's why, in New York State, all babies are checked for possible hearing loss.

If you miss your re-screen visit, you may be called by the hospital, your baby's doctor or clinic, and/or the Early Intervention Program in your county.

Prepare Your Baby

It will help if your baby is asleep during the screening.

  1. Try not to let your baby nap before the visit.
  2. Feed your baby just before the screening. This may make him or her sleepy.
  3. Bring a blanket, extra diapers, a change of clothes, and extra formula, if used.

What Will Happen After My Visit?

You, your baby's doctor or clinic, and the hospital where your baby was born will be given the results. Most of the time, babies pass the re-screen. However, a few babies will need a more complete hearing check. If this is needed, the person who did the re-screening will tell you how to have this done.

Check Your Child's Hearing and Speech

Even if your baby "passes" the screening, it is still important to check your baby's hearing. The list below* will help you keep track of your baby's hearing as he or she grows. Good hearing helps babies do the things on this checklist. If you have any concerns about your child's hearing, at any age, call your baby's doctor or clinic.

Good Hearing Checklist*

Birth to 3 Months

  • Becomes quiet when around everyday voices or sounds
  • Reacts to loud sounds: baby startles, blinks, stops sucking, cries, or wakes up
  • Makes soft sounds when awake: baby gurgles

3 to 6 Months

  • Turns eyes or head toward sounds: voices, toys that make noise, a barking dog
  • Starts to make speech-like sounds: "ga," "ooh," "ba," and p, b, m sounds
  • Reacts to a change in your tone of voice

6 to 9 Months

  • Responds to soft sounds, especially talking
  • Responds to own name and looks when called
  • Understands simple words: "no," "bye-bye," "juice"
  • Babbles: "da da da," "ma ma ma," "ba ba ba"

9 to 12 Months

  • Consistently responds to both soft and loud sounds
  • Repeats single words and copies animal sounds
  • Points to favorite toys or foods when asked

12 to 18 Months

  • Uses 10 or more words
  • Follows simple spoken directions: "get the ball"
  • Points to people, body parts or toys when asked
  • "Bounces" to music

18 to 24 Months

  • Uses 20 or more words
  • Combines two or more words: "more juice," "what's that?"
  • Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words: b, g, m
  • Listens to simple stories and songs

2 to 3 Years

  • Uses sentences with two or three words
  • At 2 years, the child's speech is understood some of the time (25%-50%)
  • At 3 years, the child's speech is understood most of the time (50%-75%)
  • Follows two-step instructions: "get the ball and put it in the box"

Your child's hearing can and should be checked at any age.

  • * Adapted from the California Department of Health Services' checklist.

More Help For Your Baby

If your baby has a hearing loss, or may have a hearing loss, you might need more help. Infants, toddlers with special needs, and their families may get help from the New York state Health Department's Early Intervention Program (EIP). EIP offers hearing screening and testing, and support for you, your baby, and your family. To learn more, call your doctor, clinic, or the EIP in your county or borough.

To learn more about newborn hearing screening or EIP, please call (518) 473-7016.

Or, visit the Early Intervention Program Web site at Click on Information for Consumers. Then, choose Early Intervention from the list of topics.

To reach your local EIP, call:

  • Growing Up Healthy
    24-Hour Hotline
    TTY: 1-800-655-1789

In New York City, call: 311