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How to Know if Your Baby Has an Ear Infection

By Contributor ; Updated April 18, 2017

Nothing is worse than having a sick baby. Babies can’t tell you what is wrong with them--you must interpret their behavior. If you think your baby has an ear infection but are not completely sure, here are some signs and symptoms that babies give when they have an ear infection.

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Frequent tugging at the ear. During the event of an ear infection, you have a lot of pressure, which will cause pain in the ear. Most babies will cry, be very irritable and tug at their sore ear or ears.

Loss of appetite. Eating and drinking will affect the ears. If you try to feed your baby and she acts like she is hungry but it hurts to chew or suck, the ears are typically the reason.

Odor or drainage. Infected ears can have an unusual odor. If the eardrum ruptures, you may have to drain some fluid out of the ear. Once the pressure is relieved, the pain goes away, but this is a definite sign of an ear infection.

No response to low noise. Ear infections interfere with hearing and sound. Use a rattle to try to get his interest from a distance. Test his ears by making low sounds to try to catch his attention.

Nothing makes them happy. A fever, diarrhea, frequent spitting up or vomiting also usually accompany ear infections. Check her temperature. Babies won't be comfortable lying down to sleep with an ear infection, making them even more irritable.

Things You Will Need

  • Rattle
  • Thermometer


Some ear infections will go away on their own, but if your baby is not acting normal after three days the baby may need antibiotics to fight the infection. Teething can also cause slight ear pain.


If you are still unsure if your baby has an ear infection, consult a pediatrician.

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