Tips & Tricks

Resource for Developing Children’s Communication Skills Before Cochlear Implantation

Following a diagnosis of hearing loss in a child, it is common for families to seek information and advice about how to communicate with their child and support their child’s development. Although some families that choose a cochlear implant for their child may have to wait a while before implantation, their child’s development doesn’t have to wait.

Baby with hearing loss

Even prior to cochlear implantation, they can help their child develop communication skills. Here are some tips and a useful resource that will help you make the most out of the time before your child’s CI surgery and activation.

1. Prepare With Hearing Aids

If your baby is fitted with hearing aids, try to put their hearing aids in as often as possible. Although you and your child’s audiologist may not yet be sure what your baby can hear with hearing aids, they may help your child. Any amount of sound they have access to will be beneficial to them.

Stimulating their auditory nerve and their auditory cortex will help prepare them for their CI. This stimulation could help them to adjust to their cochlear implant more quickly after implantation and activation.

baby with hearing loss

2. Adjust the Hearing Environment

Listening and understanding spoken language is much more difficult when there is background noise. The effect of background noise is compounded for children with hearing loss who are learning to listen and speak.

So take note of your child’s listening environment, and try to make it as quiet as possible. Make changes to ensure the background noise (any sound other than your voice) is much quieter than your voice. For example, close windows to reduce the impact of traffic noise, turn off the TV and background music, add carpet or soft furnishings to your home to reduce echo, and move to a quieter room for reading, playing, and singing time.

Use these strategies to provide your baby with the best possible acoustic information.

3. Talk to Your Child

The most important thing in this early stage is talking to and playing with your baby up close. Talking to your baby has significant benefits, even if they can’t hear you well yet. Newborn babies learn a lot about communication from the rhythm of speech, facial expressions, and actions. Your baby may pick up cues from the rhythm and pitch of your speech. These elements of speech are important for later language and literacy development.

Talk about what you are doing, seeing, hearing, and thinking in an interesting, sing-song voice—also known as parentese. Speak about what your baby is looking at, doing, or possibly thinking about.

Download Our New Resource

For more helpful tips, download our new resource, Ready, Steady, Go for Families. It contains detailed information about strategies for talking and playing with your baby, tips and tricks for communication in daily routines, and step-by-step activities to do with your baby to support early communication development during this waiting time.

And for further ideas, take a look at this blog post about babies waiting for cochlear implants.


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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.


1 Comment

Iêda Bezerra de Almeida

November 09, 2023

a boa noite queria saber se tem algum app para baixar no celular iPhone XR meu implante e rando2


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November 10, 2023

Hi there, thank you for reaching out. We recommend checking out this page for connectivity options with RONDO 2: Kind regards, Gordana


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