Keep Your Child’s Hearing Technology on While Traveling
How much time do you and your baby spend in the car, on the bus, or riding the train? If every second counts toward developing listening and spoken language skills, how do you make the most out of learning language on the move?
Regardless of your mode of transportation, it’s likely going to be a noisy trip and you may wonder how to keep your baby's hearing technology on to ensure the best possible listening experience.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to set the expectation early that the car, bus, or train are like any other listening place and that your child's hearing technology must always be on to hear all there is to learn while on the move. Remember, every second of hearing matters and your baby's early brain development depends on it!
Here are some tips to think about for your baby's hearing technology across all the ages and stages of their development.
- Get in the habit ASAP! The habits you establish now to keep your baby's hearing technology on during all waking hours will benefit and support your baby in all their future listening environments.
- Share the adventure! Whenever possible, bring a sibling, family member or friend along who can help your baby keep their hearing devices on, while helping maximize language interactions with your baby.
- Ear gear on! Keep hearing technology in your baby's ears and safe from little hands by using accessories. Bonnets and cord clips are two great ideas that can make a big difference. See the links below for recommended ideas to help you keep your baby's hearing devices on!
- Set expectations for your child and their hearing devices during travel time.
- Talk through putting/keeping devices on. Use words as you put the hearing technology on your child and talk about keeping the devices on.
- Make up and sing a song like “hearing aids stay on your ears, on your ears.” Songs are a fun way to get and keep your child’s attention as you go through the routine of putting their hearing technology on AND can be a cheerful reminder to keep technology where it belongs—on those ears!
- Encourage your child to let you know if their devices are off or not working. Practice using language to describe when there is no sound, so your child can learn to tell you when the sound is off.
- Keep calm and carry on. If your child removes their hearing devices during travel times, stop when you can and calmly put them back on. Your child will learn quickly that taking their hearing technology off their ears can be a great way to get your attention. You want to matter-of-factly maintain the expectation that the hearing devices should always be on without reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors.
- Keep busy hands busy with age-appropriate books and toys. If your child is actively engaged in exploring and learning, they will be less likely to remove their hearing technology.
2-3 Years +
- Celebrate wear time! Positive reinforcement goes a long way. “I love how you’re listening!” or “You kept your hearing aids on all the way to school!”
- Bypass the Noise! Talk to your audiologist about using an FM or remote microphone system that enables your child to hear your voice directly in their hearing aids.
More from the Web
Here are some recommended resources to help you keep your child’s hearing technology on while traveling and during all waking hours.
Blog post originally appeared on the Hearing First blog, Travel Talk #2: Keeping Hearing Technology.