These are a few of the decisions you will probably be asked to make before leaving the hospital, birthing center, or at your child’s first pediatric visit (in the event of a home birth).  

Things to consider are: 

  • why you might want this?
  • what other options are available and reasonable?

Please note: We do our best to offer the most recent and accurate information possible, but encourage you to do your own independent research before making any decisions. The decisions are yours to make for your baby.


For most babies, a hearing test is the first test they’ll ever have. And most pass! Every state requires that hospitals give parents the option of newborn screening, and most have a universal screening policy.

Why choose this?

Hearing loss is a common birth defect, affecting 3 of every 1000 babies. 

Screenings are non-invasive and inexpensive (approx. $10-$50), and if hearing loss is caught and treated early, long-term consequences such as language delays can be minimized.

Why opt out?

For some it is a simple matter of parental preference. You may want to simply observe your child for hearing loss on your own. 

Sometimes newborns may be given a mild sedative prior to the test to which you may object.

Some parents may be responsible for paying for the test and find the cost prohibitive.

Your options

Should you elect to do the test, request it be done after the 2-hour “sensitive window” when your baby is more sleepy and unlikely to need a sedative– perhaps right after a good feeding. 

If your child has no risk factors for hearing loss, opt out of the test and be especially vigilant for any signs of hearing deficiencies.

HEARING TEST