February 20, 2022

How to clean baby ears?

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Baby ears are tiny and adorable, and just like most parts of your newborn, sometimes it feels like they're made of porcelain. However, it turns out that cleaning your baby's ears is a parenting task that's actually super easy to do. 

Baby ears tend to produce more earwax. But why is this so? Often, babies' ear canals are still somewhat narrow. This means that earwax, which drains easily in older children or even adults, clogs the ear canal in babies.

Parents should regularly check the ears during baby care and remove the earwax if necessary. This is best done after bathing because if some water has run into the ear, the secretion in the ear canals liquefies and can be removed much easier. This is done particularly gently with a simple dry paper handkerchief. This removes all secretion residues gently.

Tip of the day

Most parents use the Oogiebear's special rubber scoop and loop, because it is gentle enough for sensitive little noses and ears, but firm enough to clean quickly and effectively. It also has a patented Bear Head design that ensures it never goes up too far and damages the ear drums.


How to clean baby ears?

Most doctors recommend using a washcloth or cotton balls and some warm water to clean your baby's ears. But make sure to damp the cloth/cotton ball with warm water and rinse it out completely, before placing it near your baby's ear. The last thing you want is excess water dripping into your little one's head.

Wipe the outside of your baby's ear to prevent wax from forming. Do not push the washcloth into the baby's ear like a cotton swab. Also, do not use your finger. Babies have very short eardrums, and you can damage them easily. If your child expresses pain or discomfort related to their ear, book a doctor's appointment as soon as possible, as ear infections are common in young children.


Do I need to clean my baby's ears?

Yes, but not in the way you might think. Make sure you clean them behind the ears and dry them well after each bath. If water gets into their ear, gently move their head from side to side to help with drainage. If earwax is outside your baby's ear canal, you can gently clean it with a towel or tissue.

Here is an instruction video on how to do it correctly:


Do not use standard ear swabs!

Even though this hygiene item is often recommended, in this case, you should never use it for cleaning the ears of your infants. The problem lies in the risk of injury to the baby because they often make uncontrolled movements, leading to accidents, even ear injuries. 

You don't want to remove it because it has antibacterial and lubricating functions that are important to the health of your little one's ears.

Earwax should never be removed from the child with a cotton swab because the swab pushes the secretion further into the ear canals rather than removing it. This means that the wax will eventually harden in the ear canal and can only be removed by a doctor. Furthermore, with hardened secretion in the ear canal, the risk of ear infection increases. On the other hand, slightly liquid earwax does not cause ear infections - even if it is very strongly formed by the ear. Earwax also naturally migrates out of the ear as part of its cleaning process, so you don't need to remove it. The ears are already doing a pretty efficient job of it.

Therefore, safety cotton swabs with a thickened end are not suitable for cleaning ears.


What if the ear wax has already hardened slightly?

If the ear secretion has already hardened slightly, it can help if parents put a few drops of saline solution in the ear to liquefy the wax. Saline solution can be used from birth without any risk. 

If the ear wax has then softened after applying the saline solution, it will be transported by the fine hairs in the ear to the outside, and then it can be removed with a cloth.


What to do if the ear wax does not dissolve despite dripping?

If over-the-counter ear drops or saline solutions have not succeeded, the parents can take no further measures. If the ear wax does not dissolve even after several days, the baby or the small child should rather be taken to the doctor. 


What to do in case of a baby ear infection?

The only time you should worry about your baby's ears beyond the basic care mentioned above is if there is an ear infection. Signs that your baby may have an ear infection include:

  • Sudden hearing problems.

  • Fluid leaking from the ears.

  • The baby clutched his ears in pain.

Other symptoms of an ear infection may include restlessness, fever, and trouble sleeping.

An ear infection occurs behind your baby's eardrum in the middle of the ear. Many symptoms can cause one, like a cold or the flu. If the fluid doesn't drain properly or the nasal passage swells, it can increase your baby's risk of infection.

Call your pediatrician if you suspect your baby has an ear infection (usually caused by bacteria). That way, they can give your baby the medicine they need as soon as possible.


How do I clean baby's ears after piercing?

Speaking of ear cleaning: Are you thinking about giving your baby a piercing? Before you poke a tiny hole through their tiny earlobes, it's important to know what the aftercare and cleaning will be like.

After your nugget gets a piercing, avoid touching it unless you clean it.

Always wash your hands with soap and water before cleaning the piercing.

Clean the front and back of the piercing two to three times a day with a cotton swab and a piercing aftercare product. Rotate the earrings in your child's ear after each cleaning.

Keep your baby away from swimming pools, hot tubs, and other public water during the healing process.

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