The first few years: auditory development

This article discusses the development of your baby’s sense of hearing  – a sub-domain of the Physical developmental area!

Your baby was born with an excellent sense of hearing – almost as good as an adult’s. He has actually been eavesdropping on your conversations since his 20th week in the womb! So by the time he is born, not only can your baby hear your voice clearly, but he can differentiate between several tones you use, even if he can’t quite understand what you are saying yet. All that practice listening to your conversations has paid off!

Hearing will be important in the development of linguistic, social, and cognitive skills, so checking your baby’s before leaving the hospital is recommended. If you don’t get the chance, look for the Moro reflex by startling him with a loud or unexpected noise before the two-month mark, when the reflex disappears.

One of the earliest auditory skills developed by your baby will be localization – or the ability to pinpoint a sound’s source. During his first year, listening skills will be refined – which you will be able to notice by observing your baby’s attention shifting to the phone ringing, pots clanging, a door slamming – or just someone talking.

You can work on your baby’s audition by playing or making music together, reading to him, and talking to him on a day-to-day basis. Phase out the baby talk gradually, and start providing more opportunities for him to babble, and later speak his first words. Between age one and two, his vocabulary will be growing at an incredible pace, tripling every six months. And by the time he starts school, your now-preschooler will understand nearly everything that is said!

Every child develops at his or her own pace. However, there are things you can do to help his development along. Here’s a Kinedu activity that works to strengthen audition!

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