Hearing Detection for Newborns

Information and resources for parents regarding newborn hearing testing

In New Hampshire, all hospitals with birth facilities offer newborn hearing screening before babies go home. Babies who do not pass their hearing screening are referred for hearing testing by qualified audiologists. Hearing screening is quick, easy, and does not hurt. Many infants sleep through the screening.


What is newborn hearing screening and why is newborn hearing screening important?

Newborn Hearing Screening is a quick procedure that checks a baby’s hearing and identifies those babies who need further testing. Babies use their hearing to learn to talk, so it’s important to identify hearing loss early. It is helpful to know how a baby hears as soon as possible.

When should newborn hearing screenings be performed?

Babies should be screened before they are 1 month old.

Is newborn hearing screening required?

There is no state law requiring newborn hearing screening. However, a national recommendation by the Joint Committee on Hearing Screening is that all babies be screened before they are 1 month old. Parents may refuse newborn hearing screening.

Where can I get hearing screening for my baby?

Currently, hearing screening is available at all NH birth hospitals with birth units and all NH freestanding birth centers. Contact the NH Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program at 1-800- 852-3345, ext. 1037 (in-state) or direct at 603-271-1037 for the location of the birth center nearest to you.