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My child is 1.5 months old.

I have noticed that if sometimes there is a sudden and quite loud bang then she does sometimes startle.
We also shake the rattler near her sides but she never reacts to the sound by turning her head towards it.

Is this normal? At what age should I expect a child to turn to the direction of the sound?

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My little daughter began to move to the source of the noise last week, when she was exactly 6mo. – woliveirajr Sep 16 '13 at 12:57
up vote 5 down vote accepted

According to BabyCenter, in the 0-3 month range your child should be startling in response to loud noises as well as least visibly reacting. In the 4-8 month range your child should turn towards a noise he or she cannot see.

This document says that the skill should be developed in the 3-4 month range and also provides tips for encouraging this milestone if you are interested.

Remember that newborns have very little control over their bodies. You will see an astronomical increase in your baby's ability to move arms, legs, head, and torso around 3-4 months.

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I would guess that your baby considers the rattle to be background noise, whilst loud noises are said to be an innate fear. The first time we knew our daughter could hear was when my wife snapped some polystyrene pizza packaging in front of her pregnant belly and felt her flip!

If you are concerned about your baby's hearing there are hearing tests for babies (UK), which our daughter was given in the first month. They used some kind of clever hand-held device which measures the nerve response to the noise, even though she didn't react visibly to it.

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