Your baby 0-1 year

Should we protect baby from noise?


Your toddler does not seem troubled in his nap if you vacuum. Do not assume that the noise does not bother him! At birth, hearing is one of the most powerful senses of your child, even if it will not reach maturity until around 2 years old.

Toddler, he already hears beautiful

  • Observation shows that your baby is very sensitive to noise As soon as he detects the presence of sound objects, he turns his head and eyes in their direction. If you wave a sound toy in the dark, he points to him. He is very sensitive to rhythms and melodies. In case of a sudden noise, he blinks, cries and suspends his breathing.
  • Your toddler is also naturally a music lover. According to American psychologists, all babies would even have "the absolute ear". They would be able to distinguish a la from a ground, but also the semitones, the sharp and the flat of a note. This faculty would allow them to successfully learn language. Unfortunately, for the most part, this gift disappears as it grows: only one adult in fifteen thousand holds "the absolute ear".
  • Noise pollution affects your toddler's ears, generating an acceleration of heartbeat and stress. It is therefore important for his good development to preserve his ears.

No strident noises!

  • Your baby, for sure, does not like, like you, the strident noises, continuous, aggressive, and far from you the idea of ​​taking him to a techno concert. To give you an idea, you need to spare him the sounds over a long time that are close to 80 decibels (dB).
  • Know that whispers are 20 to 40 dB, audible speech 50 to 60 dB, a washing machine 60 dB, the restaurant 70 dB, an intense car traffic 90 dB, firecrackers 100 dB, a 110 dB jackhammer and a 120 dB aircraft engine. That does not mean that you have to turn your home into a monastery! Everything is a question of dosage, of harmony.

Stay tuned for your baby

  • Your baby is a communicator, he needs to evolve in a living sound environment. But it is important to also know that its threshold of fatigue is much lower than yours! Do not forget to reserve real beaches of calm during the day.
  • Do not deprive him of "everyday" noises. Conversations interest him, stimulate him. He also loves being talked to. Conversely, the continuous hubbub exhausts him. So between the television, the stereo and the game console of the elder, we will have to choose ...
  • The restaurant will not be a problem either, but preferably choose a quiet place where the noises of cooking and the customers are discreet. In a calm atmosphere, your baby will stay so too!
  • Respect his rhythms. Your toddler did not wake up at the sound of the vacuum near his room ... Do not worry, he's far from deaf. Up to 6 months, many newborns have a very deep sleep. Nevertheless, your child needs calm in the household to find his sleep pattern.
  • Plug it in music. You can rock music during the day. Besides, it's better to have a CD of songs to put him to sleep than the melodies that are not always right from a night light. You can even take him to a soft music concert one afternoon if you feel like it. At home and away, keep it away from the speakers and avoid music with saturated sounds.

Does he hear well?

Hearing tests are performed from birth. In-depth screening can be done if your baby is at risk: a low birth weight or a bacterial or fetal infection such as toxoplasmosis or cytomegalovirus.
At 4 months, the hearing of your toddler will be controlled again : The doctor submits objects that emit different sounds and notes his reactions. He checks, among other things, that your child closes his eyes when he hears a loud noise. This is called the cochleo-palpebral reflex.
A third exam will be done at 9 months.

Chrystelle Gabory with Dr. Martine François, ENT at Robert Debré Hospital in Paris.