Newborn Hearing: Your Baby's First Sounds in Malaysia


Hearing your newborn's first gurgle, cry, or coo is a moment of pure magic. These precious little sounds are the gateway of communication between parents and their newborn. Just as it is important for parents to hear their newborn, it is extremely important for babies to hear the magical sound surrounding them to help with their language development, and building a connection with the world around them. But, for some babies, the journey to hearing their first sounds can be slightly different.

In Malaysia, thanks to initiatives like the Listening Lab, early detection and intervention for hearing loss in newborns are becoming increasingly accessible.

The Importance of Newborn Hearing Screening

Imagine a world where your baby might miss out on the rhythm of lullabies, the excitement of their first birthday song, or the simple joy of hearing your voice call their name. Untreated hearing loss in newborns can significantly impact their speech development, academic progress, and social interactions. That's why newborn hearing screening is crucial.

High-risk neonatal hearing screening (HRNHS) and universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) programs are available in Malaysia.

  • HRNHS: Recommended for babies born with certain known risk factors of developing hearing loss like prematurity, low birth weight, or congenital infections, this test ensures early detection of hearing loss for a targeted group.
  • UNHS: Ideal for all newborns, regardless of risk factors, UNHS aims to identify hearing loss in babies who might otherwise go undetected.

Listening Lab's Role in Early Intervention

Listening Lab Malaysia is recognized for its comprehensive, compassionate approach to newborn hearing care. Their services include:

  • Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) testing: These painless, non-invasive tests measure your baby's ear function and detect potential hearing loss.
  • Diagnostic audiological assessment: If concerns arise during the initial screening, Listening Lab offers in-depth assessments such as Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and other behavioural audiometry tests to pinpoint the type and severity of hearing loss.
  • Hearing aid fitting and rehabilitation: Trained audiologists guide families through choosing the right hearing aids and provide ongoing support for optimal development.
  • Counselling and support: The emotional journey of raising a child with hearing loss can be challenging. Listening Lab's team offers individual and group counselling to empower families with knowledge, resources, and emotional support.

Supporting Families with Hearing-Impaired Babies

Receiving a diagnosis of hearing loss can be overwhelming for parents. Here are some ways you can support families in your local community:

  • Offer practical assistance: Help with childcare, transportation, or household chores can alleviate some of the burden.
  • Share resources: Inform families about organizations like the Malaysian Deaf Association or the Early Intervention Program for Hearing Impaired Children (EIPIIC).
  • Promote inclusivity: Raise awareness about hearing loss and how to interact with deaf and hard-of-hearing children in your community.

Remember, early detection and intervention can make a difference for children with hearing loss. By prioritizing newborn hearing screening and supporting families like Listening Lab, we can ensure that every child in Malaysia can hear the beautiful symphony of life unfolding around them and ensure that their speech and language development is not compromised.

Visit Listening Lab Malaysia to learn more about their services and how you can support families with deaf and hard-of-hearing babies. Together, we can create a world where every child's first sounds are a celebration of life and potential.

Additional Resources:

Ministry of Health Malaysia - Guideline for Neonatal Hearing Screening