Q&A: 3 Month Old Not Cooing – Should Hearing be Tested?

CME WebsitesChild Development, Infants 3 - 12 Months

blockquote_bgMy daughter is 12 weeks old. She does not really coo. She makes a few noises here and there throughout the day, but doesn’t really respond when I try to get her to make more. Her doctor said he is not concerned right now, but if she isn’t cooing by her 4 month visit, we should have her hearing tested. I do not think that hearing is a concern as she startles or turns her head to noises. She seems on track with her other developmental milestones. Should I be worried? What can I do to get her to vocalize more? We already do lots of face to face time, reading stories and singing.

You didn’t mention if your daughter was full term or premature. If she was a preemie, she may just need more time. In the first 3 months many babies are just grunting or crying and not yet cooing. I would also suggest having her hearing tested to rule out any new concerns that may have arisen since birth and to give you piece of mind that her hearing has no impact on her lack of cooing. But I would go ahead and have it tested now, not wait until she us 4 months old.

The face to face time, talking, singing and reading to her are definitely what I would recommend, so you are doing all the right things. Sometimes motion gets babies to vocalize, so gentle bouncing, swaying, swinging or rocking while you talk and sing to her can help elicit some sounds. If you are still concerned, you can always ask for an early intervention evaluation since in early intervention we would rather come out and say nothing is wrong, rather than have a parent wait with the hopes that their concern goes away. This is a link for early intervention in your area.