Ear Infections: What You Need to Know

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As many of you may or may not have read on our facebook page our little miss caught an ear infection in each ear while on vacation in South Carolina. Let me tell you, it is not pretty!

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According to the Mayo Clinic here is the definition of an ear infection,

An ear infection (acute otitis media) is most often a bacterial or viral infection that affects the middle ear, the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections.

Here is what I have learned about ear infections and infants thus far!

  • When you child is abnormally fussy and spikes a fever do not hesitate to take them to their doctor or urgent care as soon as humanly possible. 

Stella woke us up at 3am and was howling and completely congested and miserable. When I took her temp it was only 100.6. By the time 9am rolled around she was more lethargic and her temp spiked up to above 103. She never touched her ears and we had no clue it was an ear infection until the doctor looked in her ears! Again when a rising fever is involved go directly to the doctor’s office or urgent care.

  • After the first 24 hours of antibiotics you wee one should be doing much better but keep taking the antibiotics as prescribed.

Even if your wee one is no longer symptomatic still give their antibiotic. There is a risk the symptoms can come back or the child may develop an immunity to the antibiotics if stopped early.

  • Any hope of normal sleep will go out the window

Do not expect your little bundle of misery to sleep through the night for the next 7-10 days. The middle ear sucks at life and will cause your child great discomfort when they are horizontal for long periods of time, and especially at night. Your child will most likely wake up more frequently from pain and is looking for comfort.

Ear infections frequently are painful because of inflammation and buildup of fluids in the middle ear. – Mayo Clinic

  • Our doctor recommended putting the baby to sleep in the car seat in her crib.

We haven’t tried that option yet, but the theory is that it keeps her upright. This causes her nose to drain instead of building up pressure while she lays flat.

  • Get a humidifier for the baby’s room

A humidifier will keep the nasal passages moist to prevent mucus from drying, compacting, and thus causing pain

  • A warm compress on the ear to lessen pain

Try a warm wash cloth over the baby’s ears to help ease their pain and discomfort

  • Try non-medicated plain saline drops in the the infant’s nose

Again this is a measure to be used to keep the mucus following. Go go snot rockets!

Most episodes will resolve within 3 months, but 30 – 40% of children may have recurrent episodes. Only 5 – 10% of episodes last longer than 1 year. – NY Time Health

  • If you go the antibiotic route please be prepared for a yeast infection. If you are nursing start taking probiotics immediately. Whether you are nursing or not start putting virgin expeller pressed coconut oil on the diaper area (if you are nursing also put some on your nipples a couple of time throughout the day)
  • Chocolate cake will solve everything

While your child is healing it will take a toll on your sanity. When in doubt chocolate cake and gummy bears makes all of the fussiness and crying better!

We would love to hear your ear infection survival stories!

-Rachel


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