Is your baby sensitive to noise?
When they encounter unexpectedly loud sounds, most small children will be startled and may even cry. This is especially typical with sounds that are louder than usual or unexpected. However, you may have noticed that your infant is anxious and reacts to everyday sounds.
Infants and toddlers are especially prone to noise sensitivity. Noises that are loud and irregular are frequently the root cause of the problem. Crying, clasping hands over ears, dread of noise or noisy things, and aversion to noisy or loud activities are all common indicators of noise sensitivity. Children’s tolerance for loud noise increases as they get older.
Development of baby’s hearing
The hearing of an unborn baby starts to develop early. A baby’s hearing is totally functional at birth. Babies’ ears absorb a vast amount of information about the world around them. Hearing also helps with language acquisition and promotes brain growth.
At different phases of growth and development, children react differently to sound and noise.
It’s critical to realize that no two children are the same. At various ages, children reach milestones. Here are the age-appropriate hearing milestones for babies and toddlers.
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From birth to 3 months
- Has a startle reflex when exposed to loud noises.
- Is calmed and soothed by soothing sounds.
- When you speak, he turns his head to face you.
- Is startled awake by loud voices and sounds.
- When addressed, smiles in reaction to particular voices.
- Seems to recognize your voice and, if you’re sobbing, will quiet down.
4 to 6 months
- Turns or looks in the direction of a new sound
- Changes tone of voice in response to “no”
- He or she imitates their own voice
- Enjoys rattles and other sound-making toys
- Starts repeating sounds such as “ooh,” “aah,” and “ba-ba”
- Is frightened by a loud voice or noise.
7 to 12 months
- Even when not loud, responds to his or her own name, phone ringing, or someone’s voice.
- Understands words like “cup” and “shoe,” as well as phrases like “bye-bye.”
- Even when alone, makes babbling sounds
- Begins to respond to commands like “come here”
- When someone talks about something or an image, he or she looks at it.
- Likes to play games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake.
- Imitates simple words and noises; may meaningfully use a few single words
1 to 2 years
- When a gesture is shown, he or she follows one-step commands.
- He or she frequently uses language that he or she has learned.
- Talks about and asks for items in 2-to-3-word sentences.
- As each month passes, he says more words.
- When questioned, he points to various bodily areas.
- Is able to answer yes or no inquiries such as “Are you hungry?”
- Recognizes simple sentences like “in the cup” and “on the table”
- Appreciates being read to
- Knows what “not now” and “no more” mean.
- Selects items based on their size, such as large or small.
- Complies with two-step instructions such as “Get your shoes and come here.”
- Recognizes a variety of action terms, such as run and leap.
At different ages, babies react to different sounds. Please consult your doctor or a child health nurse if you are concerned that your kid is not meeting certain hearing milestones. It’s possible that an audiologist will need to examine your baby’s hearing.
Baby sensitive to noise: Why some babies are more sensitive to sound
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We all know how loud the world can be for small ears, which is why all children react to certain noises. It’s not uncommon for small children to be sensitive to loud or unexpected noises.
Although sound sensitivity can affect people of all ages, including adults, it is most common in children under the age of six. Sound sensitivity is common in most youngsters up to a certain age, thus it isn’t always a symptom of a sensory processing issue or sickness.
When presented with loud noises, the ordinary child may become frightened by a sudden sound. Toddlers may try to cover their ears with their hands, while small newborns may cry or create a fuss.
They could also try to firmly bury their faces in an adult’s lap to prevent the sound from reaching their ears. All of these are symptoms of sound sensitivity. Furthermore, children with sound sensitivity have normal hearing, not exceptional hearing; they’re simply taking their time to get used to the sensory overload.
Hand dryers, fireworks, bells, road noise, vacuum cleaners, children screaming, sirens, and alarms are some of the sounds that children find bothersome.
Baby sensitive to noise: Is sensitivity to loud noises a sign of autism?
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One of the concerns that parents have is that their child’s sensitivity could be an indication of autism spectrum disorders. This is accurate to some extent; nevertheless, sound sensitivity is rarely the only symptom of autism.
According to studies, 30 to 90 per cent of people with autism either ignore or overreact to sounds. This is also true of everyday sights, odours, and other experiences. According to researchers, no single form of sensory issue is reliably linked to Autism Spectrum Disorder.
If you notice your child is overly sensitive to sound, seek expert counsel from a paediatrician or an audiologist before making any assumptions.
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Helping your child with sound sensitivity
For small ears, the world is a noisy place, and it is not uncommon for children to be sensitive to sounds. While it’s true that children with specific medical disorders are more sensitive to loud noises, the normal child may also avoid or get uncomfortable when presented with them. Here are some things you can try if your baby is sensitive to noise:
1. If your child feels distressed as a result of a sound, try to move them away from the source and then calm and reassure them.
Keep in mind not to respond too strongly to their reaction. Your child might escalate their reactions to sounds in the future for the sake of getting your attention.
2. Sit with them calmly and try to explain where the sound came from, so they understand there’s nothing to be afraid of.
3. If a baby can exert some control over the sound, their panic response is usually reduced.
4. To assist them in reducing their anxiety, try repeated gentle exposure.
It will eventually deafen that sound’s auditory aspect of sensitivity. You may record the sound and have them listen to it at a reduced volume.
Then gradually raise the volume over a few days or weeks. During their play, you can make them practice listening to different sounds. This will assist in breaking the cycle of fear and sound!
5. Allowing your child to be forced to stay near something that is causing them distress is not a good idea.
This may heighten their fear, leading them to equate the scenario with a terrible experience.
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6. Stay away from the silence!
This could exacerbate their sound sensitivity. One of the coping methods you must avoid is completely protecting them.
7. Sensory integration treatment may be recommended by your paediatrician in extreme instances.
8. Finally, only wear earplugs in extreme situations or for a short period of time.
It is necessary for the brain and ear to be exposed to normal and bearable sounds to establish standard sensitivity. The sensitivity may increase if ear defenders are used for an extended period.
In most cases, sound sensitivity in babies does not require medical treatment. Usually, a child’s tolerance and patience for loud noise grows and develops as he or she grows and develops. All you have to do now is lead them through it.
This article was written by Matt Doctor and republished with permission from theAsianparent Philippines.
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.