Read This Later - Click Here

Ear infections are a common, but no less heartbreaking condition your baby may develop in their early years of life. While they aren’t always easy to avoid, treating them has gotten much easier over the years. In order to better detect an ear infection in your child and get your baby the relief they need quickly, it’s best to know the basics.

What Causes an Ear Infection?
Babies are most susceptible to ear infections, also known as otitis media, — which impact approximately 80 percent of babies — between the ages of six months and two years. An ear infection is caused by a blockage in the eustachian tube, which is the tube that connects your baby’s middle ear to their throat. Most often, fluid gets trapped in this passageway and then it becomes infected. An infection can be the result of a cold or allergies, which can mean the presence of bacteria or a virus and/or inflammation.

The symptoms of an ear infection are as follows:

  • Irritability (more than usual)
  • Discomfort lying down
  • A fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit/38.9 degrees Celsius or higher
  • Low appetite
  • Digestive distress (vomiting or diarrhea)
  • Crying when their ear is touched or avoiding having it touched
  • Fluid coming from the ear(s)

Treating an Ear Infection
If your baby is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, it’s time to get them to a doctor for a proper examination and to determine if an ear infection is present in one or both ears.

Antibiotics remain the most common treatment for an ear infection in young babies, since they can be in greater danger if the symptoms persist. As they get older, depending on their symptoms, they may be able to wait it out. Your doctor will often recommend a child’s pain reliever as well to reduce discomfort and break a fever. It’s important to keep them hydrated, fed and getting plenty of rest. While they’ll most likely avoid it, be sure to keep them from touching their ear(s). Some naturopathic remedies include herbal, homeopathic ear drops as well as a warm compress placed over the ear.

If your baby suffers from multiple ear infections, your doctor may recommend putting tubes in their ears to prevent fluid from building up and leading to infections.

Tips for Preventing Ear Infections
While there is no guaranteed way to ensure your baby will never get an ear infection, research has shown breastfeeding can help reduce this risk. Whenever they’re feeding and whether they breastfeed or use a bottle, make sure their head is properly elevated. Having your baby vaccinated, keeping them away from secondhand smoke can also help as well as limiting their use of a pacifier [see our previous blog post] can also reduce their risk for ear infections. And finally, taking your baby to a childcare center when they’re less than a year old will also expose them to more germs that can lead to ear infections.

No parent likes to see their baby in pain, but try not to be hard on yourself if your child develops this very common condition. Paying attention to how they behave and acting quickly can make them feel better even faster.

Read This Later - Click Here