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How can I tell if my baby can distinguish sounds?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Put a finger in your baby's mouth and let her suck on it while you make eye contact and say "babababababababa" over and over. At first, your baby will suck a bit harder when you start saying "ba" repeatedly, but eventually her sucking will slow down. Now do the same thing, but at some point, say "pa" instead of "ba." You should notice the amount of sucking pick up when you switch from saying "bababababa" to saying "papapapapa." That change is a signal that your baby notices the difference between these sounds. Now, don't worry if your baby doesn't show a noticeable difference. It could mean that your finger is not properly calibrated to detect subtle changes in sucking interest. There are lots of things that affect what your baby does while you do this test. Babies have a hard time paying attention to anything, so it might just be that she needs to nap.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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