Did you know that your baby can hear from the womb? In fact, a child’s sense of hearing is nearly fully formed by the time they are born. But that doesn’t mean children don’t need lots of auditory stimulation! Here are a few auditory stimulation exercises for babies to try at home.

1. Use noisy objects

In the womb, babies can hear their mother’s heartbeat, digestive system, etc. But once they are born, everything in the outside world sounds much clearer and louder. It’s easy for babies to become overwhelmed and have a tough time distinguishing the noises around them. That’s why it’s essential that during the first months of life parents talk, lull, or sing to their baby so that they learn to identify their parents’ voices and become familiar with their environment.

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Noisy toys or musical instruments can also help your baby learn to distinguish sounds. There’s a strong neural connection between sounds and space and playing certain sounds in different rooms and in different scenarios will help your baby make these connections. For example, your baby can associate the music on the mobile with their room, tranquility, and rest.

2. Tactile and auditory stimulation for babies

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, starting at around six to seven months, babies can begin to imitate sounds. They can spend hours babbling and repeating the same sound because their association ability has improved.

Take advantage of parent-child moments, such as breastfeeding or bottle feeding, to try activities that combine auditory stimulation and touch. For example, sing softly to your child while gently massaging their feet. This will build your special bond while promoting both auditory stimulation and physical contact, which is essential for brain development.

3. Teach your baby to locate the origin of a sound

Locating the source of sound is another way to support your baby’s hearing development. Here are a few auditory stimulation exercises to try with your little one.

  • Call your baby from a place where they can’t see you. Use soft language with a cheerful tone that encourages them to want to find you. Say things like “Here I am!” or “You found me!” and celebrate as soon as they find you. You can repeat this exercise from different locations.
  • You can also do this activity using noisy objects instead of your voice. For example, a rattle. Make the sound somewhere in the room and ask your baby where the sound is coming from.

Building a strong association between sound, space, and body will help support your child’s auditory development.

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