Your baby has not passed the hearing test. What happens next?

Your baby has had several hearing tests. They show potential hearing problems in one or both ears. So, further tests are needed. Read on to find out more.

What does this result mean?

If your baby has not passed the hearing test, it may mean that your baby was suffering from temporary hearing loss at the time - because of a cold, for example. But the hearing loss could be permanent too.

A baby needs to be able to hear well to learn how to talk. At the moment, we do not know if your baby’s hearing is good enough for this.

The referral

Your baby will now be referred to an audiology centre. This is a centre that tests hearing, speech and language. Some audiology centres form part of a hospital.

The person who carried out the most recent test on your baby at the Well-Baby Clinic will discuss the referral with you. They will also tell you which audiology centre you can take your baby to. An appointment will then be arranged for you. Your baby’s hearing test results will be forwarded to the audiology centre and your general practitioner (GP).

The tests

Staff at the audiology centre will perform a number of tests on your baby.  These tests are painless, but they may take several hours to complete. Make sure you come prepared:

  • The tests are more likely to be accurate if you can keep your baby as still as possible. Staff will often wait until your baby is asleep. Also, bring along anything you might need to feed your baby and change nappies.
  • Do not use baby oil or lotion on your baby for at least 24 hours before the tests. This will ensure that the adhesive pads used during the tests do actually stick.

It is not always possible to run all the tests on the same day. In this situation, you will be asked to come back to the centre with your baby.


The result

Staff at the audiology centre will tell you when you can expect to receive the results of the follow-up tests. The following results are possible:
•    Your baby has good hearing in both ears
•    Your baby’s hearing problems are temporary
•    Your baby has permanent hearing problems in one ear; hearing in the other ear is good
•    Your baby has permanent hearing problems in both ears

The audiology centre will give you information about the consequences of the results for you and your baby and also about the treatment options.

How much do the tests cost?

You will not be charged for the follow-up tests at the audiology centre. Your health insurer will cover the costs. The health insurance excess does not apply to children.

For more information about the hearing test and the tests at the audiology centre, see the RIVM website (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment): You can also find answers to frequently asked questions on this website. 

Also feel free to contact the person who referred your baby to an audiology centre if you have any questions. Alternatively, call the NSDSK (Dutch Foundation for Hearing Impaired Children) for more information: 020 574 5945.


Data and privacy

The Well-Baby Clinic will save your baby’s hearing test results in a dedicated information system. For more information about this system, see

The hearing test results will be added to your baby's digital file at the Well-Baby Clinic. To read more about this file, see

The youth healthcare physician at the Well-Baby Clinic will need access to the results of the audiology-centre tests to be able to properly evaluate your baby’s development. The results are also important for national quality assurance purposes. Your baby’s data will always be submitted anonymously. When you are referred to an audiology centre, your consent will be requested for both the above purposes.


You will receive this leaflet if your baby is being referred to an audiology centre. It is published by RIVM in consultation with parents and experts.

RIVM takes great care to ensure that information is up-to-date, accessible, correct and complete. However, no legal rights may be derived from the contents of this leaflet.

Published by:

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment
PO Box 1 | 3720 BA Bilthoven

December 2023

Committed to health and sustainability