anyone do anything about ears that stick out? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Did anyone here have a baby with ears that stick out, and try to do anything about it?

My DD’s ears stick out pretty significantly. I think this totally doesn’t matter -- she’s adorable and it’s a completely trivial issue. However, people do notice it. One relative told me she has a friend who put a headband on her baby, over the ears, while the baby was very young, and since the cartilage is so soft when they’re little it flattened the baby’s ears to the head.

I scoffed at this -- it’s TOTALLY not my value system to care about this kind of thing. But since then I’ve been coming to realize how many people agonize about their ears sticking out, are teased as children, women who won’t put their hair in a ponytail or get a short haircut because they’re so self-conscious, etc. So then I wonder if I’m being silly to be so righteous about it. If I can do something simple for a couple months now that could make my child’s life easier for a lifetime, am I foolish not to? It’s not like this is surgery or something…

One question is whether the headband technique even works -- I don’t see much evidence online that it does. There’s a product sold for babies that’s designed to flatten ears to the head, but it’s pretty expensive, and that just rubs me the wrong way -- in an ideal world, the shape of a person’s ears simply wouldn’t matter! But again, right now I’m trying to re-consider my initial opposition to taking action, so I’m open to this, too.

Has anyone out there ever tried any of these techniques (or anything else)? Or decided not to? Happy about your decision? Regrets?
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#2 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 03:57 PM
 
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My ds' ears stuck out some as a baby and toddler. I actually had one guy tell me how a plastic surgeon could fix it. I was in shock -- my baby wasn't even 6 mos old and some dude was telling me how to fix it?? Bizarre.

He's almost 8 now and his ears are fine. Here's a pic -- the left sticks out more than the right:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Carriebe...24679201522626

 upsidedown.gif  Please see my Community Profile! energy.gif blogging.jpg about Asperger's Syndrome!

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#3 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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DD's ears stick out and we think it's adorable. I wouldn't dream of doing anything to change her. FIL had his ears surgically pinned to his head as a child. It makes me ill to think about it.
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#4 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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I'm in the same boat, though I honestly hadn't given it much thought until you posted. My LO's ears are rather prominent, and I find it to be a very cute, endearing feature but wonder how she'll feel about it when she's older. I've wondered about the "headband treatment" as well but can't see myself actually doing it for the same reasons you state...makes me feel sort of vain and silly. But like you say, will she resent my NOT doing it? I actually have a couple of plastic surgeons as clients, and they do a fair number of otoplasties, the surgery to correct prominent ears, on older children and on adults, so clearly it significantly bothers some people enough to undergo surgery.

There is the possibility that she will "grow into" her ears, but it seems to be a family trait on both sides, so I'm a bit doubtful.

I'm also curious to hear from others who have been through this.

Lynn, single lesbian mama to All Mighty Iris 12/10/07
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#5 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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i think your attitude that appearances don't matter will help your dd to feel the same way. if YOU were concerned over the ears you would convey that to her.
kids will find something to tease about. if it's not the ears, it's the nose (or the lips in my case-- apparently they were too big, haha). your dd's self esteem is what matters. from your if you tell her years from know that you had to alter her ears... i don't know that doesn't seem like it would make me feel good. i know people who have issues like 'no ponytails' and some who have sticky out ears and could care less. i think a lot of it has to do with their upbringing (although some is probably due to inborn personality).

so i say leave her be, don't obsess over it and help her be proud of who she is. i'm sure a headband holding back the ears would not be comfortable for your baby anyway.
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#6 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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Um...Will Smith.

Need I say more?

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#7 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 04:35 PM
 
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DD's used to stick out as a baby. She is 2 now and they no longer stick out.
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#8 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm enjoying hearing others' experiences with this!

One thing I've been noticing is that much of the time when DD is sleeping, one of her ears is folded forward under her head. When she lays on her back and turns her head to one side, she "catches" the ear and then bends it forward. I'm beginning to suspect this is making her ears stick out more than they used to. But of course it's totally unrealistic for me to spend my time checking to see if her ear is flat or folded forward every time she turns her head (all through the night, no less)! I wonder -- do all babies do this, even ones who start out (and end up) with relatively "flat" ears?
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#9 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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The headband thing might actually help a little. I was born with big ol' sticking out ears...but it's a genetic thing, runs in my family. I hated my ears growing up; I was picked on pretty badly. It didn't really improve in adulthood - when I went to Basic Training, one of the sergeants even made fun of me. :

In 2004, I had cosmetic surgery on my ears. Part of my recovery process, once the bandages came off, was to wear a band around my head/ears for a couple of weeks while the cartiledge was still soft from being reshaped - I just got a sports sweatband and it worked ok. My ears aren't perfect by any means, but I do feel a lot better about myself now.

But alas, just my luck, DS went and inherited my ears. I think he'll be fine as he gets older, as it seems to not usually be as noticeable on guys (well, except for Will Smith! ), but I'm really hoping that DD isn't also afflicted with them!
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#10 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stace View Post
.

But alas, just my luck, DS went and inherited my ears. I think he'll be fine as he gets older, as it seems to not usually be as noticeable on guys (well, except for Will Smith! ), but I'm really hoping that DD isn't also afflicted with them!
But does anyone really care about Will Smith's ears?

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#11 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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Oh come on, Will Smith is a hottie whether his ears stick out or not.
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#12 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 04:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GooeyRN View Post
Oh come on, Will Smith is a hottie whether his ears stick out or not.
That was exactly my point. I don't think it's anything to worry about.

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#13 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by indigosky View Post
I'm enjoying hearing others' experiences with this!

One thing I've been noticing is that much of the time when DD is sleeping, one of her ears is folded forward under her head. When she lays on her back and turns her head to one side, she "catches" the ear and then bends it forward. I'm beginning to suspect this is making her ears stick out more than they used to. But of course it's totally unrealistic for me to spend my time checking to see if her ear is flat or folded forward every time she turns her head (all through the night, no less)! I wonder -- do all babies do this, even ones who start out (and end up) with relatively "flat" ears?
My babe does this too! When she moves her head straight again, it takes a full second for her to ear to unbend!

Honestly, I think the "imperfection" adds to her beauty! It adds a quirky individuality. Hopefully she'll feel the same!

At the very least, as a friend of mine pointed out, it gives her room to have more piercings than the average-eared person!

Lynn, single lesbian mama to All Mighty Iris 12/10/07
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#14 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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Dh had ears that stuck out as an infant/young child. They're fine now. DS (4 mos) has some sign that his will stick out, too.

When I was growing up, my mom was a school nurse. She use to say that the teasing about ears was so strong in her middle school that the surgery to pin them back would be one that she would consider. I don't know how she feels about it now. Her view may change when she sees her very cute grandson!

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#15 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 08:58 PM
 
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I was one of those kids with sticky outie ears and it never bothered me until maybe high school. I wouldn't wear my hair back and didn't get a short hair cut until about three months ago. Although I've been wearing my hair pulled back for years now. I'm 33 now, have three kiddos and don't care what anyone thinks of my ears. It took me a long time, though. I don't remember my parents ever saying anything negative about them, just the opposite, really, when I'd complain. My cousin had her ears surgically pinned back during her teens, supposedly because she had chances on becoming a professional ballerina.

My kids have a "hammer toe" each. It's when one of the toes sort of bends over the toe next to it. DH has it and it's never bothered him. I wondered when dd#1 was born if we should tape her toe to the other in hopes that it would straighten out. I think dh thought I was nuts. I think it just stemmed from my own insecurities as a child and hopefully that will be the last of that! My kids may never be foot models, but I love their little toes and am sort of embarrassed that I ever even considered that.
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#16 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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dd had sticky-outie ears and a large, funny looking nose as an infant and she really did look like an elephant. it helped when her hair grew in (she was a blondie/baldie and didn't have significant hair until she was two) and then she just gradually grew into her ears until it was a nonissue. click on her in my siggie for a photo montage if you're interested.
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#17 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm convinced that for some kids and adults, sticking out ears is a tough issue! What I wish I knew now is, does the handband thing work?
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#18 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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Umm.. my ears stick out big time - I actually lack most of the cartilage in them which makes them very flexible... I was actually told at about 9 or 10 (still remember it clearly) that my ears are/were "defective", though I don't remember ever being teased about it. I think the concept is silly. If you don't make it a big deal neither will anyone else!
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#19 of 19 Old 03-02-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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I absolutely do something - I tell him every day he's the most beautiful creature to have existed.

It helps that my brother is really rather handsome, and has the exact same ears.
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