All newborns in Connecticut receive a routine hearing screen to check for the possibility of a hearing loss at birth.  Sometimes a baby’s hearing screening in the hospital showed that he/she needs more testing. This is not unusual; many factors can affect hearing screening, such as a blocked ear canal from wax or debris, middle ear fluid, or a possible hearing loss. In order to make certain that your baby does not have a hearing loss, additional hearing testing is needed.

Follow-up hearing testing for your baby should be completed as soon as possible, and both ears should be tested. Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions present at birth.  Without newborn hearing screening, hearing loss is often not detected until a baby is 2 years old and not talking. Early identification and intervention helps prevent babies who have hearing loss from falling behind other children in speech and language development.

If your doctor has referred your baby to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Audiology Department for additional hearing testing, contact the Audiology Department at 860.545.9642 to confirm an exisiting appointment, schedule hearing testing, or ask any questions you may have.

What Happens During the Hearing Test

This information will help you prepare for your baby’s hearing test. The testing will take about 1-2 hours and does not cause any discomfort for your baby. Your baby needs to be asleep for the testing, so make sure your baby arrives hungry and tired but not sleeping.

As you prepare for the appointment, here are a few tips:

  • Take prepared bottles, if your baby uses these to feed
  • Pack a blanket, change of clothing, and diapers to keep your baby comfortable
  • Arrange care for siblings because the testing room needs to be very quiet

Arrive about 15 minutes early. Wait to feed your baby until you have been taken into the office. After your baby is sleeping, testing will begin. You will be with your baby during the entire test. Testing may take one or more hours depending on the state of your baby.

Testing can only be completed if your baby is asleep.  If your baby does not sleep, you will need to return for another appointment.

Tips to Keep Baby Awake
Keep your baby awake 1½ – 2 hours before the appointment. If your baby falls asleep before testing, gently wake up the baby.

Tips to keep baby awake until the test:

  • Skip your baby’s nap if it is close to the appointment time
  • Entertain your baby with toys
  • Tickle your baby
  • Wash your baby’s face
  • Dab a cool cloth on your baby’s skin
  • Lightly blow on your baby’s nose
  • Gently wiggle your baby’s arms or feet
  • Blow raspberries on your baby’s belly

When traveling a long distance, it can be hard to keep a baby awake. It may help to bring someone along to play with baby so he/she doesn’t fall asleep before the testing is ready to begin.

Testing can only be completed if your baby is asleep.  If your baby does not sleep, you will need to return for another appointment.

Don’t delay the testing; it is easiest to test newborns. If you are not able to keep baby’s appointment, please reschedule the hearing test as soon as you can by contacting Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Audiology Department at 860.545.9642.