Everything you need to know about cleaning a baby’s ear
Babies are adorable to the point where they can literally do no wrong, but they also have their fair share of gross moments.
I’m talking about drooling, diaper changes, and snot. But there are some things you might not know about babies that are even less attractive than the aforementioned messes.
For example, did you know that babies have dirty ears? Yes, it’s true! The ears on a baby’s head are very different from yours or mine because they’re much more sensitive to dirt and wax buildup.
It’s actually pretty easy to clean a baby’s ears at home if you just follow these few steps.
The Baby’s Ears are Different
For one thing, they’re covered in hair. As a result, their ear canals are far more prone to infections than ours.
In fact, the ears on a baby’s head are more porous, so they can absorb dirt and other foreign particles.
When this is the case, germs and allergens can easily get inside your baby’s ear, which can cause infections, ear wax buildup, and itchy, irritated skin.
To help with this, there are a few things you can do at home.
1. Take them outside. Many kids hate being confined in their homes for any length of time, especially when it’s cold outside.
For a baby’s ears, being outside in a warm environment can be the most effective way to avoid infection. The colder the environment, the more likely it is to be a haven for bacteria.
How to clean a Baby’s Ear
(Psst: It’s not as hard as it looks.)
1. Start by squeezing a thin layer of warm, soapy water on the baby’s ear before washing it out with shampoo.
Rubbing the soap in first helps to clean the baby’s ear without it becoming soapy and unclean.
2. Rinse the baby’s ear with warm water, then pour some shampoo into a small bowl. Scoop out some shampoo and rub it all over the baby’s ear.
Rinse it out and repeat until all the gunk is removed.
3. Pull the ear apart and soak it in a warm bath. Don’t soak it too long, or it’ll be very uncomfortable for the baby and keep them from sleeping well.
4. Rinse out the baby’s ear with cold water. You’ll have to hold the ear down with the right hand while the left-hand removes the water from the ear.
Why is it Important?
Dirty ears don’t necessarily mean a baby is sick or has an ear infection. In fact, ear infections aren’t even the main reason why a doctor will clean a baby’s ears.
Most cases of baby ear infections are caused by colds and fevers. But if it is indeed an ear infection that your baby has, the infection can spread to his other ear as well.
Does it Hurt? It doesn’t hurt your baby. Don’t believe the old wives’ tale that says it hurts their eardrums.
All you need to do is rinse with warm water, put a small amount of ointment on the ear canal, and then give a gentle massage.
Can I Do It At Home? Yes, you can! You can also rinse the baby’s ears with a mixture of half distilled water and half vinegar.
This is much more soothing than the vinegar option and leaves less of an odor.
When Should You Clean the Baby’s Ears?
I want to be clear about the fact that you’re not trying to clean the earwax out of a baby’s ear—just clean it up a little bit.
Baby earwax builds up over time, which is why doctors recommend keeping a baby’s ears clean for a minimum of two weeks after he or she is born.
Now, before you try to get a chunk of earwax out of an infant, let me just say that’s just plain wrong and I will not stand for it.
I am sorry if you were thinking that, but it is actually important to keep the ears clean at all times, not just a few weeks after the baby was born.
If you were thinking about it that way, you might have been born to think that way. Also, I feel like baby earwax is called baby earwax for a reason.
What are Signs that the Baby Might Need Their Ears Cleaned?
To make sure that the baby’s ears are clean enough to prevent infections, you need to look for any of the following:
The dirt inside the ears Foul-smelling discharge from the ears Earwax buildup in the ear canal Tiny (or large) wax balls in the ears When to Clean Baby’s Ear Sometime during the second or third month of life, your baby will start grabbing things and trying to put them in their mouth.
In most cases, babies are eager to try and fit as many things as possible into their mouths. This is often the case with their ears, as well.
For starters, it’s important to take care of the baby’s ears before your baby starts to shove everything they can find into their mouths.
This is especially important because newborns still have very tiny ears that are mostly filled with fluid.
It’s really just a matter of being aware of the fact that babies aren’t always clean and as long as you take precautions, you can keep your baby feeling nice and clean.
Resources: Baby’s Ear Cleaning 101 Pediatrician Dr.