Parenting comes with being there for your babies at every point, especially in circumstances where they can’t be there for themselves. Part of raising a child is ensuring your child’s healthiness and good hygiene. You may know how to bathe a baby, change the diapers, rock them to sleep, feed them, and do other baby-centric activities.
But how knowledgeable are you in cleaning your baby’s ears? Are there dos and don’ts to follow? Do you have a part to play, or should you let your pediatrician handle it all?
Keep reading for the ultimate guide on how to clean babies’ ears.
Tips on how to clean babies’ ears
As a parent, your primary concern and priority are your kids. Hello, parenting 101! When they are healthy, you are happy. Caring for their overall health includes caring for their ears. Follow these tips on how to keep your baby’s ears dry, clean, and healthy at all times.
- pay attention to the outer parts of the ears
Sometimes we worry so much about the insides of the ear and forget that dirt, sweat, and dead skin cells can also gather on the outer ear.
To clean the outer corners of your baby’s ears, use a soft washcloth or cotton wool balls soaked in warm water and gently go over the entire ear, including the back of the ear. Avoid using soap or going into the ear with the cotton balls or washcloth.
- Do not insert anything into your baby’s ears
Inserting objects in your baby’s ear will only do more harm than good. It will cause bruises to soft tissues, push ear wax further into the ears, injure the skin around the ear canal, perforate the eardrums, and others.
Cotton swabs, fingers, and other objects should not be inserted into the ear. Limit your cleaning to the outer parts of the ears and leave the insides for a professional or use only a professionally directed cleaning method.
- Earwax is healthy until it is not
Ear wax (cerumen) is a regular occurrence in both kiddies and adults. It is the yellowish or dark-brownish waxy substance released in the ear canals to protect it against bacteria and provide lubrication and cleaning functions.
Contrary to popular beliefs, ear wax is not ear dirt and shouldn’t be removed with a cotton swab. It only becomes a problem if there is a buildup, which usually causes hearing loss, pain, unusual ear discharge, and whatnot. In such a case, see a pediatrician to remove excess ear wax.
- Use eardrops
When you notice your child pulling or tugging at their ears, it may mean there is a problem, and you may have to handle the cause of the irritation. Sometimes it may be a blockage from excess ear wax and whatnot.
There are ear drops and other liquid solutions to treat infected ears or clean ear canals, like irrigating and syringing. Consult your pediatrician on how to use cerumenolytic solutions to clean the insides of your baby’s ears or processes that you shouldn’t do by yourself.
- Pro tip: to use ear drops, lay your baby on the side and ensure the affected ear is the visible ear. Gently pull the ear down by the lower lobe to open the ear canal. Put the prescribed amount of drops in the ear and keep your child lying face up or down to trap the drops in.
After about 10 minutes, roll your child to their side with the affected ear facing down for the ear drops to run out with all the impurities causing discomfort. Be sure to put tissue paper to catch the drops when they run out.
The ear, like some parts of the body, is designed to self lubricate and self-cleansing. However, the secretion of the helpful waxy substance may become a problem if it is excess and causes a buildup.
Other than in such situations, you should let the insides of your baby’s ears alone and focus on the outer parts that you can see. This is to avoid any temporary or permanent damage that may arise from carelessness or unskillfulness in cleaning the ear.
Now you can effectively clean your baby’s ear and ensure the perfect baby hygiene. You are welcome!