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my newborn has an earache- how can I help her?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
She's 6 weeks old and has been suffering with an earache for a couple weeks now. Mild fever at times, lots of crying, pulling at both ears, not sleeping well, refusing to nurse in certain positions...but no drainage coming from her ears, thankfully.

What can I do??? I'd like to avoid antibiotics unless absolutely needed. I have olive leaf...GSE....garlic...ibuprofin. What's the best route to go with a babe this small?

Please, mamas, tell me what YOU would do.
post #2 of 19
The infection has been around for a couple of weeks??

In that case, I would go see the ped or another healthcare provider (we see an ND). If it had been a few days Id say wait it out, but a couple of weeks??

I would also be putting garlic/muellin drops directly in the ears.

I would also be doing homeopathics. I would NOT give GSE or OLE to a baby that young. Garlic, maybe, a few drops. I would also be doing Vit d, probiotics and sodium ascorbate
post #3 of 19
At that age abx she could have permanent hearing damage allowing an infection to linger so long.
post #4 of 19
If it's been WEEKS, she needs antibiotics. I have hearing damage because of ear infections as a small infant (and my mom did try and treat them, but I was allergic to all the medicines they gave at that time.) Without treatment, you're child might have life long consequences.
post #5 of 19
I would absolutely get that checked out ASAP. Like a previous poster said, an untreated infection can cause permanent hearing loss. Not all ear infections need to be treated with antibiotics. Most probably don't. But if it's been more than two weeks, it needs to be seen. Just because there is no drainage now doesn't mean there won't be, and once you see drainage you're probably looking at a ruptured eardrum. I've had ear problems my whole life, and quite a bit of hearing loss due to the infections I had as a baby, and I can tell you that a ruptured eardrum is one of the most painful things I've ever experienced. In addition to antibiotics, there are numbing ear drops that can help with the pain.

Please get it looked at.
post #6 of 19
doctor asap!
post #7 of 19
I agree with all the PPs. Needs to be seen by a HCP. Weeks with an ear infection is too long at any age. But with a child so young, you have to worry about permanent hearing damage.

post #8 of 19
Have you eliminated dairy from your diet completely and added whole food probiotics?

post #9 of 19
I would take my baby to the Dr. Two weeks is too long to "wait and see" particularly in such a young infant.

I sometimes get ear infections so bad I cannot even sit upright the pain is so bad, I cannot imagine a little baby in that condition.

Usually garlic oil clears things up for me but not always, I have had to take antibiotics a few times and that is really too long to just wait IMO. If my nine year old had an ear infection she would be able to communicate how badly it hurt. If my baby had an ear infection he wouldn't be able to tell me how much it hurt.

Oh and not eating dairy has zero effect on my ear infections. I am allergic to dairy and went off it for years.
post #10 of 19
I would definately go to the doctor at this point. We also try to avoid antibiotics but you are talking about a 1/3 of her life spent trying to fight this. I think its time for a visit to the doctor--- you don't want it to turn into something worse or cause additional long term issues!
post #11 of 19
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
Have you eliminated dairy from your diet completely and added whole food probiotics?

I hope not. Don't wait for an elimination diet when you could lessen the pain with infant Motrin and an Rx. I don't know if the OP has ever had a bad ear infection, but when the ear drum bulges I feel like driving a bolt through the side of my head to release the pressure. There is no way I could wait it out for 2 weeks, or to experiment with food and supplements. I take pain meds and get a script for antibiotics ASAP. It's painful!
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks, ladies. Honestly, I don't know for sure if it's really been an "infection" the entire time. She's only started to get really fussy and has felt a little warm the past two days. Up until then, her temp has been perfectly normal and she's been sleeping/ nursing great. Although, she has been pulling at her ears on and off for a couple weeks...so... I don't know. I bought some mullein/garlic drops today and have started treating her with that. I just checked her temperature rectally and it's 98.5. Hoping she's just been feeling warm to the touch b/c the weather is hotter? Will definately kep a close eye on it and go to the ped if needed. Thanks!
post #13 of 19
Listen, ear infections are painful.. and if you think there is a CHANCE your child has one and has been pulling at her ears for WEEKS you need to take her to the doctor. It can cause hearing issues later on, and why have the child be uncomfortable for so long? It's not fair to the baby. Older children sometimes you can treat with motrin,etc and watch them.. this is an infant we are talking about here.
post #14 of 19
Ear pulling can be a teething symptom though or just "Hey what are these flappy things?!!!?!?!? Fun!!!!" most Drs will tell you that. Ear pulling alone isn't an indication of an ear infection.


ear infection symptoms

1. Cold symptoms – keep in mind that ear infections are almost always preceded by a cold. Often a clear runny nose will turn yellow or green before an ear infection sets in.
2. Fussiness during the day or night
3. Complaining of ear pain or hearing loss
4. Night-waking more frequently
5. Unwillingness to lie flat
6. Fever – usually low grade (101º - 102º); may not have a fever.
7. Sudden increase in fussiness during a cold
8. Ear drainage – if you see blood or pus draining out of the ear, then it is probably an infection with a ruptured eardrum. DON'T WORRY! These almost always heal just fine, and once the eardrum ruptures the pain subsides.
There is also a bit about ear pulling but I don't want to violate copyright
post #15 of 19
I'm not sure your babe has an ear infection at all. Ear pulling is not indicative and babies this age get increasingly fussy. It doesn't sound like she's had much fever at all? (How high, how long). I probably wouldn't wait out an ear infection in a very young infant as they don't have the proper immune defenses and are more likely to develop complications. In no child would I wait it out two weeks (knowing what I know now w/a child who developed one of those complications). But waiting 48 to 72 hours in an older child is reasonable. I wouldn't in an infant. Still, I'm not sure she's really infected but I'd go ahead and have someone take a look to figure out if she is.
post #16 of 19
Poor baby I can't imagine looking at my infant that's in pain and thinking "oh, I'll just wait a while and see if it gets worse" Would it really be so awful just to have a ped check her out?
post #17 of 19
I would take her in. They don't always treat ear infections with antibiotics anymore (if you have a good ped)...so it's always nice to have your ped peek at her ears. My son has had ear infections and my pediatrician takes a look and tells me what to watch for...but she never prescribed antibiotics. I usually ask "is there any way that you think she could fight this off on her own?" The answer was always yes WITH close observation. Once we made two follow up visits in one week JUST for ear checks, but I was ok with taking him back to the ped's office vs giving him "preventative" antibiotics. My son ended up looking ok on the 2nd visit, but still needed a 3rd check before the weekend which showed he was almost over it. I would put a couple of drops of fresh, warm breast milk in his ear at the first sign of infection. I'm not really sure if it helped or not, but in my case...it didn't hurt. You have to do what makes you feel most comfortable though. Don't delay proper care and risk rupture or spread of infection into the bloodstream.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice, ladies. Much appreciated.
post #19 of 19
I agree - what you describe to me doesn't sound like an actual ear infection. It can't hurt to get it checked out though.
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