Do Babies Need Hearing Protection?

Do Babies Need Hearing Protection

Hearing loss is a common condition that affects people of all ages. But it can be particularly devastating for babies who are still in the process of developing their hearing.

Babies need to be protected from loud noises because they don’t have the ability to block out sounds like we do. This is why it’s important to always use hearing protection when there are loud noises around them.

Hearing protection for babies can be achieved with earmuffs or ear plugs. These devices will protect their ears from any loud noise and help them develop a healthy hearing range as they grow up.

Can I use earplugs on my baby?

Earplugs are specially designed for delicate ears and can be used on children at a young age. They block sound just as well as earmuffs, but they’re more comfortable and cause no pressure against your child’s head.

What is the best hearing protection for babies under 12 months?

Small babies tend to pull off ear muffs quickly, so it is best to opt for ear plugs or passive noise-canceling headphones, which you can slip over their little heads without them even noticing.

Passive noise-canceling headphones funnel outside sounds through microphones inside the headphones that record sound waves and create inverted sound waves to negate those frequencies before sending them into your baby’s ears.

This makes it seem like there isn’t any noise at all, although you will still be able to hear your baby cooing and aching.

What if my child is 6 months old?

It’s important to get your baby used to wearing ear protection at a young age. The earlier they get accustomed to noise-canceling headphones or earplugs, the less likely they will remove them later in life.

If you wait until your child is older than 6 months, it can be challenging for them to get used to the feeling of having something in their ears, and consequently, they may not want anything to do with hearing protection.

What is the best hearing protection for kids?

The best thing children can wear when attending a loud event or simply going about their daily routines at school, in the car, etc., are earplugs suitable for their age and size.

The ER-20 ETY Plugs from Etymotic Research not only offer high noise reduction (20 decibels), but importantly, they also maintain sound quality. In fact, music and speech remain clear while potentially harmful noises are significantly reduced.

Do baby ear defenders work?

At this age, they’re unlikely to be bothered by the sound of a passing car. For example, they are less mobile and won’t try to wriggle away. On the other hand, ear defenders for babies can be bulky and may even interfere with cuddling up on your lap.

You might not realize it, but hearing damage is unintentional yet incredibly prevalent. It is estimated that around 1 in 300 people have some form of sensitive ears: that’s as many as 10 million children and adults in the UK alone.

Another study suggests that 1.3% of all US youths aged 12-19 years old have unusually loud hearing, which is strong evidence for just how early we need to start protecting our kids’ senses.

Can yelling damage a baby’s hearing?

Excessive noise exposure causes irreversible hearing damage, resulting in tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and hyperacusis (a decreased tolerance to everyday sounds). It’s also important to point out that this type of damage is cumulative.

Can babies go deaf from loud noises?

Loud noises can cause permanent hearing loss and deafness. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has set 85 decibels as the maximum safe noise exposure level in an 8-hour workplace.

Still, nearly half of Americans regularly work in conditions that exceed this limit and expose their ears to dangerous sound levels. Even more surprising is that 15% of people spend their day exposed to 100 decibels or more.

How can I protect my baby’s ears while sleeping?

The optimum noise level in a baby’s bedroom is around 30 decibels, the same as that of a snowfall. To put this in perspective, cars and motorcycles produce 80 decibels of sound, so you don’t want to be sleeping right beside them.

The problem with kids’ products such as cot mobiles and play gyms is that they can easily produce up to 90 decibels, and it’s just not worth taking the risk!

Can we put cotton in baby ears while sleeping?

One way to reduce the noise and prevent it from waking your baby is by putting cotton balls in their ear. Make sure you choose pure cotton as they will be soft enough not to irritate their skin and remove them when they wake up, as leftovers can cause complications with swallowing.

Notice that I am not a doctor, and I suggest you advise on this treatment with your paediatrician before trying it.

Can TV be too loud for a newborn?

TVs, computer speakers, and music systems can all be too loud for babies. However, this is something you’re unlikely to notice since your baby won’t be able to communicate how it feels about the volume.

Instead, if possible, place your TV well out of reach of the crib, move the computer speaker away from where your baby sleeps or switch off the music system before putting your baby to bed.

Can you vacuum around a newborn?

Hoovers and other such appliances will expose your baby to up to 85 decibels of noise. They could be irritating for older kids at this volume, but newborns tend to love it since they find high-pitched sounds soothing.

Needless to say, you should avoid vacuuming and using all that noisy equipment as much as possible (especially within the crib area) and opt for battery-operated devices instead.


Hearing protection for babies might not be the most convenient solution to loud noises, but it’s certainly the safest.

Luckily, there are plenty of baby ear defenders on the market that will allow you to protect your little one’s ears without compromising their comfort or sleep. Most options are adjustable and even suitable for newborns.

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