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During the first few years of life, babies are awake between 7-10 hours every 24-hour period. In the first year, they may only be awake for an hour or two at a time before they’re ready for another nap! As the parent of a young infant, you have a lot to focus on in the short moments when your baby is awake, alert, and ready to learn. You’re juggling new tasks – diaper changes, feedings, and dressing – and in each moment, you’re learning more and more about your baby.
For an infant diagnosed with hearing loss, there are some other very important tasks that you’ll need to add to your daily schedule:
This may be a short list, but when you’re new to parenting a child with hearing loss, it can feel a challenge to know what you need to do.
Babies with typical hearing have access to all the speech sounds. When awake, they’re always listening and that means they’re learning. It’s critical for brain development that babies hear you talking, singing, and reading aloud in the early years. This is the way they learn to listen and talk.
For a baby with hearing loss, having constant access to sound for those same listening and learning opportunities is just as important. Avoid your baby missing out on critical moments of interaction with you by being vigilant and making sure their hearing aids are on their ears and working properly whenever they are awake. Research shows hearing devices need to be worn at least 10 hours per day for the best possible outcomes.
Keeping hearing aids on little ears can be quite a challenge, but every minute counts!
Every minute counts for your baby to hear all of the sounds of speech for early brain development. Just remember, repeat, and live by this helpful motto: “Eyes Open, Ears On!”
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Remember, you’re not alone on this journey. Thousands of parents have been in your shoes. Find other parents who can share from experience, offer encouragement, and help your family reach your LSL goals.
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Outstanding Website: HearingFirst.org
Best Advocacy Website: StartsHear.org