How to Help a Fussy Baby: Ear Infections
Babies fuss for several reasons. My personal favorite is ear infections. All of my children were plagued by ear infections causing fevers that kept them out of daycare when they weren’t contageious. For you working mothers, you know how frustrating this can be. My kids had ear infections for months at a time. You can’t miss work for that long and still have a job. What are the signs of an ear infection?
Signs of an Ear Infection in a Baby
1. Fussy: Enough said.
2. Colds: If your baby has water eyes and a runny nose, it might not be a “regular” cold, but an ear infection.
3. Pain: Some babies might be old enough to point to their ears or rub their ears. If they’re older, they may even be able to tell you their ears hurt. However, this is not necessarily going to happen. My sons were 3 and 4 when they finally had tubes put in and never once complained about their ears hurting.
4. Night Waking: If your baby wakes up at an unusual time.
5. Won’t Lay Flat: Laying flat puts pressure on the inside of the ear and may be uncomfortable for your baby.
6. Fever: A fever for no obvious reasons.
7. Ear Drainage: When you get the yucky, crusty stuff oozing out of the ears, it’s a given. The drainage can be yellow, brown, green, or reddish.
8. Batting Ears: Batting the ears is not a sign in babies. They are playing with their ears rather than them hurting. However in older children, this could be a sign on an ear infection. How can you prevent an ear infection?
3 Ways to Prevent an Ear Infection
1. Avoid Cigarette Smoke: If you smoke, smoke outside. Don’t expose your baby.
2. Breastfeed: Breastfeeding has that preventative immunity stuff that helps protect your baby. I’m sure it has a fancy name, but I don’t know what it is.
3. Bottle: If your baby is bottle fed, don’t let them lie flat to drink. Keep them propped up.
If your baby gets an ear infection, what can you do to help ease the pain?
Ear Infection Solutions
Antibiotics: Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help reduce the redness and infection. If your baby has chronic ear infections, they will likely switch antibiotics at each doctor’s visit to prevent resistance.
Warm Compress: Get a washrag, towel, etc., and put it under warm water. Not too hot or your baby will get burnt. Put it on your baby’s ear to sooth the pain. This is one of my favorite remedies.
Warm Oils: I never tried to put oil drops in my children’s ears, but heard it is a good source of comfort. Not too warm!
Medical Ear Drops: Your doctor may prescribe steroid ear drops to put in your baby’s ears.
Give More Fruits and Veggies: To keep your baby’s vitamin levels up, give them more fruits and veggies.
When Should Your Baby Get Ear Tubes?
In conclusion, if your baby has 3 ear infections in 6 months (likely one long, continuous ear infection), or more than 4 in 12 months, your doctor might recommend ear tube surgery. Do it. Tubes were amazing. No more fussy baby/child, better speech, no more fevers, and no more missed work. Best decision ever!
What are your favorite strategies to help your baby survive an ear ache?
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