Babies often get earaches and when they do, it causes heartache for their caregivers. Infants may pull at their ears or just cry in pain when they have an earache. While an earache is never a good thing, there are some things you can do to help ease a baby's pain.
Call your pediatrician if your baby has a fever or if the earache lasts for more than a day. A fever accompanying an earache or prolonged ear pain may be a sign of infection. Consult with your physician about using an over-the-counter pain reliever for your baby.
Hold a warm (never hot) heating pad or completely wrung-out washcloth over the baby's ear. This can help temporarily relieve the ear pain.
Clear the baby's nose, if you believe that congestion may be causing the pain. Carefully squirt a saline (salt) solution, which you purchase at the pharmacy or make yourself, into your child's nose. Use an infant bulb to gently suction out any mucus. To make your own saline solution, add 1/4 level teaspoon of salt to an 8-ounce cup of warm water. Stir with a spoon to dissolve the salt.
Wiggle the baby's ear very gently. Use your thumb and first finger to lightly grasp the earlobe. Pull downward and out a few times. This may relieve some of the pressure that could be causing the pain.
Let baby suckle if you are breast-feeding. You can also offer a pacifier or bottle to ease ear pain. This sometimes will "pop" the inner ear and relieve the pressure.
Not all earaches need antibiotics. Your doctor will let you know if an antibiotic is needed. Never give a baby aspirin. Never use objects, such as paper clips or bobby pins, to clean out the ear. Use cotton swabs on the outside of the ear only.