I remember when teaching Aiden's older siblings to talk, wave bye-bye, dance, etc., we would show them time and time again and before you knew it, they were saying "da-da" or "ba-ba" or bopping their head like we did to the music. All of this happened before they were a year old, or shortly after, and as all parents, it melted our hearts. We expected this to happen and it did.
With a deaf or hard of hearing baby it takes much, much, much more work and consistent repetition of EVERYTHING you do. Consistent repetition just hoping, praying, waiting for the day that they imitate you and associate the sound you make over and over and over again with the experience. EVERY moment becomes a teachable one and repetition is key.
For example, everytime I pick Aiden up, I say to him, "Up, up, up" pitching my voice a little higher with each "up". Everytime I feed Aiden, I use the sounds mmmmm, and ahhhhh, and yum, yum, yum. When I hear daddy call "Aaaaiden", I point to my ear and say, "I hear daddy." and when I am about to talk to Aiden about a sound or event, I point to my ear and say, "Aiden, listen".
We have to teach him to listen. We have to teach him what sound is, what each sound means. With his hearing aids and a lot of hard work, Aiden has done an amazing job at learning to listen. This does not mean his hearing is getting "better", it means he is becoming aware of sound and starting to develop sound-object awareness. He is still a cochlear implant candidate and we are still working hard to get there. This shows us though, that as I've said over and over again, Aiden loves to listen.
A part of our day that is consistent, and that Aiden's daddy and I have turned into a teachable moment, is when Aiden's daddy comes home for lunch and home from work. We do the same thing, everyday. So as I hear his daddy unlocking the door, I prepare Aiden to listen.
And here is Aiden hearing his daddy. ( Make sure you turn off the music on the right first ).