Can a baby be more or less sound-sensitive? And why is this? The baby in this Q&A is scared of many types of noises and sounds.


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Mom’s Question:

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My Little Sweetheart

My baby is seven months old and has always been so sensitive to loud noise.

When we go to church, clapping scares him to death, or even someone coughing, laughing, or sneezing makes him jump out of his skin.

When we go to Walmart, the buggies’ rattling also scares him and makes him cry…

Is this normal, or do I have a sound-sensitive baby??? And what can I do about it?

Kayla Spears


Baby Sensitive to Loud Sounds – Reasons And Remedies

I have to agree; I do think your baby is sensitive to sound.

In my experience, the babies I have come across that seem to be sound sensitive are also very alert, notice absolutely everything around them, learn things quickly, and have an incredible memory for things you won’t even realize they have picked up. (I don’t have scientific proof for this, though!)

When you think about it, everything is vibration; even our bodies are billions of tiny atoms vibrating incredibly fast, and our eardrums are designed as sensitive receivers. What the average person hears normally can be painful for those who are more sensitive to loud sounds. Babies can become overloaded with stimulation, and tiredness can make sound sensitivity more problematic.

You didn’t say if your little boy is on solids yet. There is a link between a lack of magnesium and sound sensitivity. There is also a link between D vitamin deficiency and magnesium deficiency, so make sure your baby eats enough D vitamins and spends a lot of time outdoors in the fresh air.

I would doubt you are giving him artificial sweeteners or highly processed foods, but some babies have had a lot of medicines or vitamins that contain aspartame to sweeten, and that can also affect hearing.

If you are feeding solids to your baby, try high-magnesium foods such as beans and vegetables, and use organic food when possible. Read the labels of processed foods and avoid additives.

The AIT Institute has a good summary of medical reasons for sound hypersensitivity here. (Opens in new window)

Just remember that babies (and adults) can be sensitive to sounds without anything being wrong at all! Also, at seven months, many babies find the whole world quite frightening, and all they want and need is to be close to mom and dad.

It is impossible to avoid loud noises, but if you try to make a game of bang-bang, crash-crash type noises, then you might be able to switch his attentions to fun instead of fright.

Good luck with your little boy; he is such a cutie! By all means, visit your doctor for other recommendations.

More On 7-Month-Old Babies’ Development

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Priya

    Did this get better? Did you do anything to help? Curious as similar here

  2. Nina

    My baby is highly sensitive to loud noise. Whenever one of us laughs loudly (not even that loud), he starts crying as if something terrible happened! In the church, if a baby cries, he will also start crying in an even louder noise, as if he is terrified.

    Otherwise, he is such a clever boy. Intelligent, I should say. Is intelligence the reason for this getting scared so easily? My husband says so.

    But I would like to rule out that there is no other problem. It should not be autism (autistic kids can show sensitivity to sound), as he is very able and skilled in everything . He calls us names, dances to favorite videos and is actually cleverer than my other kids.

  3. Kayla

    Thank you so much! Yes, he is very alert and always into things.. He’s been on solid foods for a while now and I haven’t noticed any difference in him being sensitive to loud noises…

    He’s getting better though.. I now can run a vacuum cleaner in front of him w/out him jumping and screaming. I hope he gets better as he gets older!