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Baby's ears underwater when bathed??

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

As we were bathing our LO tonight, a thought popped into my head! Is it okay if her ears go underwater when we bathe her?

She can sit on her own so we usually have fun with her like that, but on occasion we put her on her back and help her float in the water...her ears are submerged most of the time (for very short periods).  She seems to enjoy it but I thought back to my high school days when I would have water "stuck" in my ears for quite sometime after a long swim.  And I thought it would be a horrible feeling for my LO to experience that. So we immediately stopped putting her ears under.

 

Any thoughts?? After all, she did live in my womb surrounded by water for almost 10months! lol

post #2 of 23

I'm curious about this too.  I have a friend who bathes her babies by laying them down in the tub, on their back, in a few inches of water. (before they can roll over)  It didn't seem like a good idea to me, because water is getting in their ears the whole time.  ...but I'm curious what others think, I mean, I know people that take their babies to swimming pool regularly.

post #3 of 23

If your worried about water in the ears, then maybe after a bath take some tissue or a bit of the towel and dry out the ears (not sticking things right in there to swab, but just far enough to absorb any water). Other then that I have nothing to add but a slight feeling of jealousy. DS hates it when water comes near his ears. No head dunking and getting a wet washcloth there to clean them is a battle.

post #4 of 23

It's fine.  Mine both have been on their backs in the tub (float with me holding them) and go swimming in the summer and year round once they're a year.

 

No worries!

 

-Angela

post #5 of 23

It's not only fine, it's recommended especially for newborns who won't feel totally comfortable in a bath unless their ears are submerged. We got this info from the midwife who attended us after birth in the clinic.

post #6 of 23

I disagree and say it's not fine. If i get one drop in my ear from a shower I get an ear infection which lasts weeks if not months. It's horribly uncomfortable and there's nothing to do about it. I do everything in my power to NOT get water in my infant's ears. I hold my hand over her ear when rinsing soap out of her hair. I'm not saying it doesn't gt in there but I TRY. My daughter has never in her life had an ear infection. Most babies I know have had tubes in at some point in their babyhood or at least a few ear infections.

post #7 of 23

My little one had her first bath at a day old and was happiest when she was submerged up to her chin as well as her ears.  She calmed down and went to sleep like that, whereas she was fussy with her ears out.

 

I have never worried about water in my children's ears, though as they've gotten older they don't always like the sensation of water in there.  As infants, though, we've had no problems whatsoever.

 

Remember that the vast majority of "ear infections" are middle ear infections, which are not at all related to water in the outer ear canal.  For some people, it can be problematic but that mostly has to do with their particular anatomy.  Generally a few drops of alcohol or "swim ear" type product will help get any excess water out of ears.  That's not typically warranted for baths but may be for certain people.

post #8 of 23

Ear infections are a genetic thing - so if you or the daddy is prone to them then maybe I would avoid it.  Otherwise - go with your instincts!  I never did this with DS1 because I know I hate the feeling of water in my ears and he is a highly sensitive boy.  He hate the water he hates the pool.  DS2 on the other hand is not and LOVES the water and the pool and doesn't seem fussed by water in his ears!     

post #9 of 23

I lie DD down in the bath because a) i don't have any sort of seat for her and b) she won't stop standing in the tummy tub (and is tall).  She likes to have a good thrash about on her back.  I have had one ear infection in my life, when i was about 4, which developed after a sinus infection (i've had millions of those!).  Neither of my kids, both of whom go swimming and have baths and showers where they get water in their ears) have ever had an ear infection and in 30 years i have met one child who had to have grommets, and apparently the dr said it was his anatomy as his dad was partially deaf and he and his 2 sisters ALL had to have them.  So i think it's fine.

post #10 of 23

never thought twice about it! i submerge my own head in the tub quite often and swim underwater all the time and never felt like the water was trapped except when i was a kid spending upwards of 6 hours in the pool at a time and doing all sorts of dives and jumps and underwater gymnastics. if you're not prone to ear infections, and your dd is breastfed (formula feeding and genetics are both factors in ear infections) then i'm sure she's fine.

post #11 of 23

We dont have a bathtub, so my DD takes showers with me. However, we go to an indoor swimming pool at least once a week, and Ive never hesitated to lie her on her back to float or to let her go under. We have a little tincture bottle that has a 50/50 alcohol to water mix that I put in her ears when we are finished, just to dry the water up. Shes never seemed uncomfortable or had an ear infection.

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by babygirlie View Post

I disagree and say it's not fine. If i get one drop in my ear from a shower I get an ear infection which lasts weeks if not months. It's horribly uncomfortable and there's nothing to do about it. I do everything in my power to NOT get water in my infant's ears. I hold my hand over her ear when rinsing soap out of her hair. I'm not saying it doesn't gt in there but I TRY. My daughter has never in her life had an ear infection. Most babies I know have had tubes in at some point in their babyhood or at least a few ear infections.



My babies who regularly have wet ears have never had an ear infection.  Ear infections are usually MIDDLE ear infections- and the water can't get in there from a bath.

 

-Angela

post #13 of 23

Babies ears are shaped differently than adult. With babies you have to pull down on the earlobe to see inside the canal, with adults (or ppl >1y) you pull up on the upper aspect of the cartilage to view the canal. This may be one of the reasons we, as adults, get more water in our ears.

 

My DD doesn't mind being in water that gets in her ears. She loves the water.

post #14 of 23
Ear infections are caused by bacteria, right? Forgive me if I'm being dense, but I don't see how water in the ear can cause an infection.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies! We don't suffer from chronic ear infections here (I believe I had one when I was a toddler) and she is breastfed.  So...perhaps I will stop worrying about it.  Interesting though...

 

post #16 of 23

 

water can't get in there from a bath.

-Angela



welp, I'm proof it can. :)

post #17 of 23

I keep water out of my DD's ears. She loves baths, so she has them regularly, but I never submerge past her ears.

I'm just not comfortable with it. I hate the feeling of water in my ear, so I keep it out of hers. I'm not sure if it's harmful or not, but no water here.

Other than the bit that get's in while washing hair, etc.

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by babygirlie View Post

 

water can't get in there from a bath.

-Angela



welp, I'm proof it can. :)


 

No- water can't get in the middle ear from a bath.  You may have had an infection in the ear canal, like swimmer's ear, but that's a different creature than a middle ear infection.

 

-Angela

post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post

Ear infections are caused by bacteria, right? Forgive me if I'm being dense, but I don't see how water in the ear can cause an infection.


Water stuck in the ear canal can be a wonderful place to live if you're bacteria. It's wet and it's dark. But like PPs above mentioned, it causes an infection in the ear canal, not the inner ear.

post #20 of 23
http://www.drgreene.com/qa/causes-ear-infections

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000638.htm

http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/guides/om/index.htm

I've been poking around looking at the information available about this. My little brother had recurrent middle ear infections, and my mom is a HUGE believer in them being caused by water in the ear, probably because after my brother's multiple surgeries, she was always advised to keep water out of his ears. Anyway, the info seems to agree with what others have said here-- there can be external outer ear infections (swimmer's ear) caused by water in the ear, especially polluted water, but the middle ear infections that are so common among children are NOT caused by water in the ear.
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