Your baby's future starts here.

Hearing helps your baby's brain develop so they can learn, grow, and go, go, go to their full potential.

Happy Baby

Hearing helps your baby's brain grow from Day One.

Here are three reasons why it's so important to test your baby's hearing health - and take steps to address any issues - immediately after they're born.

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Hearing makes connections

Along with the other senses, hearing builds connections called neural pathways that create brain development.

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Hearing is a foundation of learning

When you talk, sing, read, and interact with your baby, you are helping to grow and strengthen these pathways for a lifetime of learning.

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Hearing drives language development

While children learn and grow throughout life, their brain develops most of these critical pathways for listening, speaking, and reading by the age of three.

Growing your baby's hearing brain.

A timeline to prepare them to listen, talk, and read.


Hearing begins before birth at about 20 weeks.

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Brain Development

From Day One, your baby's brain is ready to learn.

After Birth

Your baby gets the Newborn Hearing Screening (NHS) before you leave the hospital (or in the first few weeks if born elsewhere).

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Brain Development

Hearing allows your baby to know your voice and gather meaningful sounds and words that helps their brain make connections.

1 Month

If your baby does not pass the newborn hearing screening, schedule another hearing test.

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Brain Development

Hearing spoken language prepares them for learning to listen, talk, and read.

3 Months

Diagnose hearing loss quickly because your baby may need hearing technology to hear your voice and the sounds around them.

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Brain Development

As you talk to your baby, take turns making sounds, using new words, and talking about their surroundings to help them learn and grow.

6 Months

If your baby has hearing loss, act quickly to enroll in early intervention. This will include fitting them with hearing aids or cochlear implants along with teaching you ways to communicate with your baby - and to help your baby learn to listen and talk.

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Brain Development

Most children who are deaf or hard of hearing can learn to listen, talk, read, and go to school with hearing friends. The first three years are critical so it's urgent that you get the right hearing devices and intervention for them.

The magic of everyday moments.

From birth to age three, your baby is forming 700 new brain connections per second! So all those loving conversations you have with them can work wonders in helping them learn and grow.

Did you know?

Babies start to hear and learn in the womb. Talk about getting an early start!



of pregnancy

The cells inside the embryo start forming the tissues that will eventually be your baby's brain, face, eyes, nose, and, yes, ears!



of pregnancy

Your baby's ears start as small indents on the sides of their neck. They gradually move up to their head as they develop.



of pregnancy

Your baby may start to detect sounds such as the gurgle of your stomach and the air moving through your lungs.



of pregnancy

Your baby hears more of the outside world. At this stage, they may even turn their heads in response to voices and noises!

Conception to



Your baby's ears develop throughout the first and second trimester. The inner ear connects with the part of the brain that processes sounds and the middle ear forms the tiny bones that sense sound vibrations.



to birth

Of course, the voice your baby can hear the clearest is mom's! So talk, sing, and read to your baby and get a head start on sharing a lifetime of love and learning.

pro mom tip

Hearing the sound of mom's voice in the womb can actually make baby's heart beat faster! So talk to your little one and let them know you're just as excited to meet them too!

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Your baby's hearing needs to be tested.

Because hearing is so essential to your baby's brain development, a NHS is required in most states. Hearing loss is more common than you might think and it's critical to address it right away. So learn what to expect - and how to follow up if your baby fails their screening.

Learn how hearing screening works

Tips to start building your baby's brain.

Created in partnership with BabyCenter, this toolkit includes helpful tips and suggestions to give your baby a great start.

Explore the Toolkit

Hearing First

This site is brought to you by Hearing First. We want all children born in the United States to benefit from the availability of newborn hearing screening and for parents to learn the status of their baby's hearing first. Parents will be empowered to know the results of the NHS and to follow-up quickly when needed so their children can reach their full potential.

hearing first mobile app