From the time your child wakes up in the morning to the time she goes to bed at night, sounds surround her: music, children at play, traffic, birds, TV, ticking clocks, and more. The ability to focus on one sound and distringuish it from background noise is different then simply hearing--that's why listening is truly a learned skill. You can help your child develop the awareness needed for active listening when you stop and listen to the nuances of sound. Developing good listening skills is vital to helping your little one learn to follow directions, to read, even to play an instrument.
Your baby: Sit comfortably and hold your baby on your knees so that you're facing each other. Imitate her facial expressions and sounds. Allow long pauses, letting her notice that you're really listening.