why does my baby cover his ears


Why Does My Baby Cover His Ears?

It can be concerning when your baby covers his ears with his hands—you may be worried something’s wrong. Fortunately, hearing sensitivity is typically the cause of babies covering their ears, though there are a few other possibilities.

Hearing Sensitivity

Babies and young children can be sensitive to loud noises. Especially for children, who take less time to learn to adapt to their environment, the world can seem overwhelming. As a result, babies may cover their ears in an attempt to block out the noise and find some solace.

Understanding Their Environment

Your baby may also be covering his ears as he tries to make sense of what’s around him. Babies are still getting used to the world, and covering their ears may be their way of trying to focus on a sound without being distracted by the buzz of other noises.

Going Through Growth Spurts

Growth spurts can cause babies to be more sensitive to sounds. This is especially true for 5-month-olds who are due to have a growth spurt­—their ears are growing more quickly than the rest of their body, and babies can be sensitive to their own increasing hearing capacity.

Injury or Illness

Occasionally, an underlying medical issue may be causing your baby to cover his ears, and it can be a good idea to get him checked by a doctor if he’s persistently covering his ears or showing other signs of distress.

Finding Relief

If your baby is covering his ears frequently, these tips may provide relief:

  • Reduce noise. Turn down loud music and dim the lights to create a calmer environment.
  • Focus listening. Spotlighting one sound at a time may help babies become accustomed to the audio landscape around them.
  • Introduce headphones. If your baby is particularly sensitive to noise, buy them noise cancelling headphones to provide an extra layer of protection.

Don’t worry if you’ve noticed your baby covering his ears—it’s likely because of his sensitive hearing. By understanding the source of the issue and creating a more peaceful environment, you can provide the relief your baby needs.