Get Your Baby Screened
To request a hearing screening for your baby, talk to your pediatrician or call the University of New Mexico Hospital's newborn hearing screening office at 505-272-9613.
No matter where your baby is born, screen him or her for hearing loss at University of New Mexico Hospital – the state's only hospital where a designated in-house team of audiology technicians tests every newborn.
Why Screen for Hearing Loss?
Babies need to hear well to develop speech and language skills. When you identify hearing loss early, you can take advantage of innovations that help your child learn how to communicate effectively.
Your baby may receive an automated auditory brainstem response test, which places small, painless electrodes on his or her head to measure how the hearing nerve responds to soft clicking sounds. You'll get results quickly. Sometimes, the audiology technician may recommend further testing to get a fuller picture of your baby's hearing ability.
Risk Factors for Hearing Loss
Children may need a follow-up evaluation at age 1 if you're concerned about a developmental delay or they have:
- Family history of childhood hearing loss.
- Neonatal intensive care stay of more than five days.
- In-utero infections such as herpes, CMV, rubella or syphilis.
- Craniofacial abnormalities, especially those affecting the ear.
- Head trauma.
- Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Hunter syndrome.
While every child develops at his or her own pace, most babies demonstrate certain hearing and communication abilities at the following ages:
Birth to 3 Months
- Blinks, jumps or startles at loud sounds.
- Quiets or smiles when spoken to.
- Increases or decreases sucking in response to sound.
- Coos and gurgles.
4 to 6 Months
- Moves eyes toward the source of sounds.
- Starts babbling in a speech-like way.
- Notices when toys make noise.
7 Months to 1 Year
- Turns head in response to sounds.
- Understands words for common items.
- Responds to simple, spoken requests.