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Tips & Tricks For Parents

Going to Sleep With a Cochlear Implant

Going to sleep can sometimes be difficult for children with a cochlear implant. For many children, taking off their audio processor—“turning off” hearing—can be an uncomfortable time. And this is especially true for children whose minds are still growing—they’re only just starting to understand that their audio processors connect them to the world of sound around them and will be there for them in the morning.

Cochlear implants and sleep

There are ways you can help your child overcome this anxiety. The foundation for a good night’s sleep is a routine. By establishing a series of activities that you and your child go through each night just before bed, you can help ease them into their sleep in a comfortable and predictable way.

Start Slow

Falling asleep usually isn’t an instantaneous process, so it’s best to work towards bedtime gradually. In the hours before your child’s bedtime, avoid over-stimulating your child. Try not to run around too much, and avoid surprises. And if you’re playing music or games, it’s best to keep them quiet and calming.

Develop a Routine

Be predictable, and do the same things each night, in the same order, and at the same time. This will help your child recognize that bedtime is approaching, and they will know what they should do to get ready.

Here’s an example routine:

  1. Start with a bath and brushing teeth. Let your child know it’s time by saying, “Now it’s nighttime, so that means bath time!” (Don’t forget to put your child’s audio processors back on after the bath.) Repeating the same phrases every day can be helpful. You could also listen to a teeth-brushing song with actions that go along with the lyrics.
  2. Put on pajamas. You can make this into a game by asking your child what they want to wear and then having them fetch each piece one at a time. This way you can check that they understand your questions and recognize the name of each item of clothing.
  3. Tuck your child into bed. Then sing lullabies or read a book together. You can make movements or facial expressions that go along with the lyrics of the lullaby. When reading a story, emphasize important words and point to pictures that correspond to the words you’re reading aloud.

Remove Audio Processors Before Sleeping

There are a few reasons why audio processors should be taken off at bedtime: to prevent batteries from running low, to ensure your child doesn’t pull them apart while sleeping, to give the skin around the implant a rest from the coil, and to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of sleeping on top of a processor. But it might be difficult for your young child to understand these reasons.

Younger Children

If you take off your young child’s audio processors each time they go to sleep, let them know in advance by saying something like, “Now it’s time to be quiet. We’re going to put your pajamas on, read a book, and then take your audio processors off your ears.”

And when you do take them off, you might say, “Now it’s time to take your audio processors off your ears and put them in their special drying box.” Make sure your child can see what you are doing. Put their audio processors in a designated safe spot, like on their bedside table in the drying kit. Then they can start to recognize that the audio processors are there and will still be there in the morning.

Older Children

If your child is a bit older and more independent, have them take off the audio processors themself. Then you can put the audio processor into the drying kit on the bedside table together.

Reassure both older and younger children that they’ll be able to hear once they put the processors back on—you could say that the sound is off just while they’re sleeping, and it will be there for them in the morning when the audio processors are turned back on.

Offer Comfort

Any time that your child’s audio processor is off, you can balance their anxiety by offering as much comfort as possible. Your child can go to sleep holding a special blanket, a stuffed animal, or a soft toy and know they’ll wake up with it in the morning. Nodding, smiling, or giving a gesture like a thumbs-up to indicate to your child that it’s OK can also be helpful. These gestures are comforting and can be seen and understood by your child even without hearing.

Better Sleep for Better Hearing

Sleeping well is the key to hearing well the next day. And making the day less stressful with a structured schedule can make going to bed easier. Check out these tips to create a routine that can help your child throughout the day.

Discover how SONNET 2 is made for your child.

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© MED-EL Medical Electronics. All rights reserved. The content on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Contact your doctor or hearing specialist to learn what type of hearing solution suits your specific needs. Not all products, features, or indications are approved in all countries.

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2 Comments

dinesh mourya

January 05, 2024

केबल बहुत ही जल्द खराब होती है उसके अलाबा ओर कोई विकल्प है केबल बहुत ही महंगी पड़ती है और बैटरी पैक

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MED-EL

January 05, 2024

Dinesh, thank you for your feedback regarding the cable and battery pack. We would suggest keeping the following tips in mind when handling the cable. Avoid pulling the audio processor off the ear by the cable. Gently remove it from behind the ear and then disconnect the cable manually. Your local MED-EL team is best equipped to have a look at your cable, as well as assist in providing financial options and information to you for replacements. We would recommend getting in touch with them. You can find their contact details here: https://www.medel.com/clinic-finder/ Kind regards, Alicia

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Duncan Karran

February 12, 2024

Embrace the super power that is cochlear implant wearing / life. Never loose a nights sleep to storms, wind, hail or snoring.

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