Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Can you hear me now?

I've got this new worry that perhaps Finn has impaired hearing. It's Michael's fault for mentioning to me the other day something along the lines of "Do you think he can hear okay?" And ever since then I've been worried.

Here's the thing: he doesn't always turn towards sounds (but I honestly can't remember if my other babies did at this age either). Sometimes he does, but not always. Also, the kid sleeps - like a log. I put him to sleep in a bassinet in our room and he pretty much sleeps through the night, from about 7:30 pm until 6ish a.m. Which is good! Don't get me wrong. I'm happy that he's such a good sleeper. But he sleeps through some major noise. Every evening, an hour or two after I've put him down in the bassinet in our room, Michael and I will get into bed in the same room and carry on normal conversation and turn the TV on at a normal volume. And Finn sleeps through it all. The other night, just as a test, I went over to his bassinet while he was sleeping and clapped my hands over his head. Loud. He didn't stir. It freaked me out.

On the other hand:

~ He passed his newborn hearing test in both ears when he was in the NICU. Now, really, I have no idea how reliable that is or if it's any indication of future hearing issues. I just don't know.

~ Sometimes he does react to sounds. Like yesterday he was napping in his bouncy seat in our room and when I opened the door and the door made its usual loud creaking sound, Finn woke up. I assume it was the sound that woke him . . . ???

~ He almost always smiles when I talk to him. I've tried just miming to him, pretending I'm talking without actually making any sound (yes, just picture that; I am not above making a fool out of myself for my kids) to see if it makes a difference. He seems to smile more when I actually use my voice . . . I think.

~ He coos and almost babbles quite a bit. The fact that he's so "verbal" would indicate that he hears . . . wouldn't it?

I don't know. It's like I'm not happy unless I have some new thing to worry over. It's nuts. In any event, our ped mentioned that at 6 months he should have a formal hearing test, so I guess we'll see what happens with that.


JaybirdNWA said...


John passed his newborn hearing screen also but continues to 'ignore' some sounds by not turning to them. Whether or not he hears them or is just too focused on what he is doing at the moment, I'm not sure. We will just have him tested again at 6 months and try not to worry until then. The majority of things he hears fine.

Jodi said...

Jason has completely normal hearing and he sleeps soundly through Disneyland, Chuck E. Cheese, and a not-so-quiet older sister. I'm often shocked at what fails to wake him. I think it's just early onset "male selective hearing" :)

Chrystal said...

I must say, you are doing a fantastic job of documenting my first year with Malea. It's especially helpful since I didn't do it. ;-)

I had the EXACT same worries. Malea continues to sleep very hard, but also exhibits the ability to hear a hummingbird cough. Seriously, this girl's hearing is almost a superpower. It took me time to realize that though. I used to freak out because she didn't stir at a car alarm echoing off every surface in a parking garage.

Now when I go to the Audiologist with her, I don't even care what they say. I'm so sure about what I know.

I'm rambling, but I hope you get my point.

Carla said...

I'm sure he has just become accustomed to so much noise in the house. Tess sleeps through lots of noise too, and will sometimes ignore us when we try to get her attention. Like earlier, I whistled and clapped to get her attention, but she was too focused on her feet to care. Must be a developmental milestone in there somewhere. Like, learning to ignore your parents, check.

heather said...

There's always something to worry about. :) I'd feel pretty good about the hearing if he passed the newborn screening. Morgan didn't pass the newborn test and we had to do the BAER test which was stil a little inconclusive because she wasn't in a deep enough sleep. But she does hear us even when we whisper. I'm not sure why he wouldn't startle with the loud clap above his head. I know Rachel from Signing Time didn't learn that her baby was deaf until she was 15 mos. old because she smiled and cooed when spoken to. Her mom had her come over one day and turned the music on full blast and when Leah didn't react Rachel knew something was going on. Anyway...I don't think that is your story. Another blessing that we experienced with MOrgan was that she was a good, deep sleeper. Not sure if that was because of her heart defect or Ds though. I know it is so much easier said than done--but try not to worry about it until you've had his hearing test at 6 months. Then you'll have all the answers. Oh I can be so long-winded, but I want to just repeat that the fact that he passed the newborn hearing test (usually not done with Down syndrome because of their small ear canals) is a VERY reassuring sign! Hugs!

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

Hi again,
We really do need to talk sometime :). Joaquin passed on one ear in the hospital and was inconclusive in the other ear. We had two separate ABR (sp?) tests done by a very thorough Audiologist. She also did a tympanogram (sp?) and another extensive test which showed very mild hearing loss. She felt this was enough to pursue futher treatment to give Joaquin the best possible hearing and help with speech later on. He definitely could hear us especially when we would talk in his face but the audiologist explained that background noises and such would sound muffled and "underwater". Again, I don't think any of this would have been caught if we didn't have a very aggressive audiologist that wants all children to have the best possible hearing. Joaquin babbled, cooed, said mama after me at 6 mos, etc but he didn't startle ever and he rarely if ever cried. He too would sleep through anything and was just a very easy going little guy. We JUST had tubes placed last week and the reason for the hearing loss was fluid in his ears....lots of it, lots of thick fluid that was trapped and was building up over time. Since the tubes were placed and the fluid was suctioned out, he startles at everything, cries a lot more and wakes up more easily. So......we definately feel good about pursuing the hearing thing. I would just keep your radar out and go for the extended hearing test at 6 mos for sure. I hope it's nothing but it's always best to check it out. Mommy's instinct is always so important.

Karly said...

Kailey failed her NB hearing exam. She had some fluid on her ears for awhile, but passed subsequent tests with no issues. She always has slept like the dead. And yeah, we did all the crazy things to test her hearing at first too. No worries.

T-rex said...

Lilah ignores a lot of noises, too, but she also passed her hearing test. DH and I have laughed loudly in bed while she is asleep there and she won't stir, but she'll wake if the phone goes off in another room.

She hasn't given any indication of fluid in her ears so I just chalk it up to babyness. Her sister ignored some noises too.

Tricia said...

Georgia passed her newborn test and still continues to ignore a lot of stuff. She has since "failed" several hearing tests but not completely. If that makes ANY sense. Essentially she has TEENY ear canals and lots of wax build-up so occasionally she hears less in one ear...we see the audiologist and/or ENT every 6 months just to keep on top of it. You may have heard that tubes are common in kids with DS. G does not have them at this point. Not sure if she'll need them. She's never had an ear infection (touch wood). Maybe see if Ca has a free audiology program? We had one in VT and now one in MD. It's painless (of course, dragging kids to the doctor's is never fun though).

Tricia said...

Not for nothing, Rainer sleeps through Georgia's howling.

Anonymous said...

"It's like I'm not happy unless I have some new thing to worry over."

You're a Morguess. People accuse me of the same thing. Ahem... ;>)