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What’s the right way to clean my baby’s ears?

It's best to use a washcloth during bath time and leave the "heavy" cleaning to your doctor!

If you are concerned that your baby’s ears are dirty, you can use a wet washcloth to gently clean the outer ear at bath time when you’re already washing your baby’s body. Despite how tempting it can be, never stick a Q-tip in your infant’s ears! This could cause harm to the inner ear or middle ear, and it also pushes the wax further in, which makes it harder for pediatricians to see a potential ear infection.

If your child’s ear is chronically impacted with wax, your pediatrician may recommend a medication to loosen the wax so it can be removed easier.

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019

Comments

  1. Thank you! I have been doing this with my youngest and also with my 4 year old. He’s had many issues with his ears and I was told by his E.N.T doctor to get rid of Q-tips. Which makes me wonder why we were not told about this earlier. They even sell the special Q-tips for babies without letting you know that you might harm their ears when you are just trying to clean them.

    Reply
    1. By the way, we took my 4 year old to his ENT appointment yesterday, just for a surgery follow up, and his ear drum is still looking good and he has perfect hearing 🙂

      Reply
      1. That’s great to hear! (No pun intended.) 🙂

        Reply

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