Hearing (Auditory)



Around 18-20 weeks of gestation, a fetuses inner ear structures responsible for hearing begin to form.

From this stage, babies can hear sounds from the outside world, including their mother’s voice, heartbeat, and external noises like music or conversations.

The amniotic fluid acts as a conductor of sound, allowing the baby to perceive vibrations and auditory stimuli.


Babies are born with a well-developed sense of hearing.

They can recognise and prefer their mother’s voice over other voices, as they have been exposed to it while in the womb.

Newborns are responsive to a wide range of sounds, including high-pitched voices, musical tones, and environmental noises.

They may startle or exhibit the Moro reflex in response to sudden loud noises.


Babies become more attentive to sounds and exhibit increased localisation abilities.

They can turn their heads or shift their gaze towards the direction of sounds, indicating a growing ability to locate the source of the sound.

They may respond to familiar sounds or voices by smiling, cooing, or vocalising.


Babies become more sensitive to variations in sounds.

Babies start to demonstrate improved sound discrimination, recognising familiar voices and differentiating between speech sounds.

Babies begin to associate certain sounds with specific objects or events, such as recognising the sound of a bottle or their favourite toy.

Babies may babble and experiment with vocalisations, imitating some of the sounds they hear.


Parentese’ or ‘Motherese’

Most of us instinctively talk to babies in a higher pitch, sing song type voice without even realising that we are doing it. This is called parentese or motherese.

Speech in parentese is often slower and more deliberate, you tend to enunciate words and phrases clearly, allowing babies to better distinguish individual sounds and learn the rhythmic patterns of language.

Parentese is believed to have several benefits for a babies language development and social-emotional bonding.

Research suggests that babies are particularly responsive to parentese, and exposure to this style of speech can enhance their language skills, vocabulary development, and overall communication abilities. Parentese serves as a bridge between the caregiver’s speech and the baby’s understanding, providing a nurturing and supportive environment for early language.

Parentese is not just limited to mothers; fathers, grandparents, and other caregivers also naturally adopt this style of speech when interacting with babies. The primary purpose is to establish meaningful communication and foster language development.

Say that again…..

By repeating words, phrases, and sounds, you will reinforce key vocabulary and aiding your babies language acquisition.

Keep it simple

Simplify your speech by using shorter sentences and basic vocabulary suitable for the baby’s developmental stage.

Facial Expressions and Gestures

Alongside vocal cues, use facial expressions, gestures, and body language to enhance your communication.

Stimulate hearing through Play

During these early months, it’s important to provide a rich auditory environment for babies.


Singing exposes babies to a variety of sounds, rhythms, and melodic patterns these can help babies discriminate between different speech sounds and enhance their ability to detect subtle changes in pitch and intonation.

Songs involve patterns and sequences of sounds this helps babies develop their auditory memory as they learn to recognise and remember specific songs and melodies. Theres always a song suck in your head!

It does not matter how good or bad you sing or what you sing – your baby will love it!


Talk to your baby about everything, tell them what you are doing, what they are doing. It can feel like you are narrating your life somedays.


Read a variety of things through out the day

Material crinkly books – Hardback picture books – Story books – magazines – newspapers – road signs – food packets.

Join the local library so you can get a good variety without spending heaps

While reading Changing the tone & pitch in your voice, be loud, whisper, deep, high, fast slow – have a play!

Click here to see our favourite books

If you read the same book every night at bed time, this book will become a sleep trigger helping your baby know its bed time


Not only do noisy toys spark a baby’s curiosity by teaching cause and effect, for example, if they press a button on a toy and it makes a sound, they will learn that their action caused the noise but toys that produce sounds can help stimulate their hearing and improve their auditory processing skills.

This lovely wooden instrument set has been a hit in my house for the past 4 years and still going strong.
Click here to get yours
Need something to listen on?
We recommend the Toniebox this little box is bump proof, travel friendly, great for little fingers to be in control of the stories, songs they listen too. – We love them!
Click here to get yours
You can’t go wrong with a set of Shaky eggs! found at all baby music classes Click Here to get yours

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