My son was born with a mild hearing loss and with that hearing loss comes a need for him to wear hearing aids. Putting hearing aids on an infant is challenging, getting them to keep them in is even more challenging.
After countless days, hours, and minutes of him ripping them out and not wanting to keep them in his ears and after discussing this with the Death and Hard of Hearing Specialist we are working with we decided to implement a hearing aid routine. At first thoughts, I thought this sounded crazy and thought, “how will he know? And he won’t understand what we are even trying to tell him.” I was very negative and the initial thought and thought he was too little to understand such a complex thing but after a day of frustration I thought, “I have nothing to loose lets just see.”
I shared with my husband what I was thinking and what I wanted to do to ensure that we were on the same page and that we were going to be consistent with our son. He was immediately on board and we began our routine.
Implementing a hearing aid routine has been a GAME CHANGER! So I thought I would share it with you all in the hopes that if you have a kid with a hearing loss it could help you to be less stressed and also help your child actually leave in their hearing aids and hear the sounds they need to grow and develop.
The key with this routine and any routine with kids is to be consistent make sure that you and your partner are on the same page before getting started! Our son was around 9 months when we implemented the routine. If you call the hearing aids anything special make sure that you use the term that you use to keep it easy for baby! We call our sons hearing aids, “his ears.”
Here is an example of a routine for putting in hearing aids:
- Sit you baby down in the same location every time, we typically use the high chair
- Grab the hearing aid (its best if it off) and hold it in your hand
- Look at your baby and say “I’m going to put your (insert whatever name you use) in
- See your babies reaction
- Show your baby the hearing aid, point to your ear and say “I’m going to put your (name) in
- See your babies reaction
- Close the latch to turn on and put it in. If you put in the hearing aid while its going through the start up mode it works best because there is no feedback and the baby is less likely to flinch
- And the repeat for the other ear
Do this routine the same way, every time and I bet you will see a noticeable difference, it really helped us and it has helped us to keep our sanity with the hearing aids.
The final tip that I have is for when your baby is trying to pull out their hearing aids after they are in. When that is happening, what we have found that works is saying “no only mommy and daddy an take those out.” At this same time we gently pull his hand away from his ears. Most of the time he will shake his head, “no” which to us shows that he understands that he cannot take out his hearing aids.
The important thing is to not be upset, mad or frustrated with your baby when they are ripping their hearing aids out. You don’t want them thinking badly of themselves or the fact that they have to wear hearing aids.
Having a child with a mild hearing loss is challenging and there is so much to learn! I hope that this information on a hearing aid routine will be useful to you and something that you have great success with just like we did!