Pregnancy and Beyond

Your baby learns many important things between birth and 4 months of age. During this time, he will learn to communicate using body language, facial expressions and verbal sounds- first to understand what people say, and then to talk. These movements and sounds evolve into language.

Your baby was born with a natural ability to make sound. Around 1 month of age, babies make cooing and gurgling sounds along with crying.

In order to develop normal speech and language patterns, your baby must be able to hear. Missouri law requires that all newborns in Missouri shall have their hearing screened while in the hospital. If your baby was not born in a hospital, check with his health care provider about the hearing screening. For more information, visit the Newborn Hearing Screening web page.

From birth to 4 months of age check to see if your baby does most of the things listed below:

  • Is startled or wakened by loud sounds.
  • Is soothed by mother's voice.
  • Coos and gurgles.
  • Looks with eyes for sounds.

If you think your baby has difficulty hearing, ask your health care provider to refer you to a licensed audiologist who has experience in testing for hearing loss in babies. Hearing can be tested any time after birth. The earlier that hearing loss is found, the better.