Starting the Hearing Aid Process
Finding the correct hearing aid for a baby with hearing loss is an important step in promoting their overall development. Speech and language learning begin within the first months of a baby’s life, so it is best pediatric practice that all infants with hearing loss be fit with the appropriate hearing aids and/or receive early intervention services by age 6 months – and it is desirable to do so even sooner. It is never too soon for a baby to begin wearing hearing aids or utilize strategies to enhance communication.
If hearing aids are recommended for your baby, you will most likely have many questions about their appearance, function, and cost. Selecting the right devices requires the assistance of an experienced pediatric audiologist. Please refer to the Hearing Aids for Children section of our website for detailed information regarding hearing aid consultations, how hearing aids work, hearing aid verification, hearing aid accessories, and paying for hearing aids.
Important Considerations for Infants and Amplification
Only licensed audiologists in the State of California can assess and fit infants with hearing aids. Our pediatric audiologists are all Doctors of Audiology and our lead pediatric audiologist holds a Diagnostics and Amplification for Infants and Toddlers certification, an extensive training program put on by the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program and the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management. Even if the Center is out-of-network with your insurance provider, talk to us about how we might still be able to bill your insurance under pediatric specialty clauses.
While most of the information presented in our section for children is applicable to infants, there are several other considerations for fitting infants with hearing aids:
- Behind-the-ear hearing aids, not in-the-ear, are the most appropriate style for infants.
- It is important to have regular check-ups with your audiologist to monitor the function of the hearing aids for your infant.
- Ear-molds, the part of the hearing aid that is custom made for you baby’s ears, will need to be re-made every 2-3 three months as your baby’s ears will be out-growing them.
- Once a baby gets to the point where they are able to control their fine motor skills, a hearing aid will be the first thing they want to take off of their ears. Retention cords and other accessories can help you and your baby to not lose/damage the hearing aids.