You want to do everything you can to ensure your baby grows up healthy and happy. You baby-proof your house, you feed them nutritious food, and give them plenty of tummy time. But have you considered whether you’re exposing your child to too much noise? Why is hearing so important? Hearing is a very important factor in a child’s development. It is a key way that children learn to speak, it is an important part of how their brain develops between birth and age 3, and it helps parents form bonds with their children. The problem is, babies aren’t capable of telling you if a noise is too loud, so it’s very important that parents take steps to ensure their child’s hearing is protected. You’ll want to keep sounds around your baby quieter than 60 decibels. For comparison, quiet conversation at home is about 50 dB, freeway traffic is 70 dB, a workplace can be 80-85 dB, and a jet takeoff is about 100 dB. Are my baby’s toys too loud? Some toys, such as talking dolls or cars with sirens, might be too loud for a baby, especially if your infant holds the toy close to their ear. These toys can be as loud as 80-120 dB. Are white noise machines good for my baby? Some people like to play white noise machines to help their babies sleep, but other people are concerned that they could be too loud. White noise machines are fine as long as the noise is lower than 60 decibels, they aren’t placed right near the crib, and you don’t run them constantly. Some people like to place them right next to a baby’s crib and play them at top volume, since some guides encourage parents to use them to mask noises coming from outside the child’s room. This isn’t safe, though. Some of these noise machines can get up to 85 dB, and prolonged exposure can end up damaging a baby’s ear. Is my home too loud? Even everyday noises in your home or neighborhood that are fine for you are too loud for your baby. For example, a vacuum cleaner runs at 70 dB, and a city street can get up 90 dB. Make sure to keep your baby in a separate room if you have to run something loud in the house, and keep their outdoor noise exposure to a minimum. How else can I protect my baby’s hearing? If you can’t avoid taking your infant somewhere loud, you can always get them hearing protection, like headphones, CEENTA Audiologist Alli Vollmer, AuD, said. Your baby’s hearing is very important. If you are ever concerned about it, don’t hesitate to make an appointment at CEENTA for a hearing screening. This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. Dr. Vollmer sees patients in our SouthPark office. Do you need a hearing appointment? Call 704-295-3000.