Ear infections are quite common among babies. In fact, it’s the second most normal thing to happen to a baby, after catching a common cold. It is rare that an infection ever develops into something as serious as an eardrum rupture. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be lax about it, as the infection could always develop into something more severe if left untreated for prolonged periods.
Signs of an infection
Once the infection has developed, your baby might start fidgeting with their ear more frequently than usual. This should be enough to tell you that something in there is giving them some trouble. If you notice a yellow-whitish fluid around the ear, along with a foul odour, it could be signs of an infection. Ear infections may also sometimes lead to digestion problems such as diarrhea and a reduced appetite. Lying down could be quite painful as well, so you would notice that your baby might have some difficulty sleeping.
Why does it occur?
The fluid in their ear usually drains out into tubes leading to the throat and nasal cavity. In case of an allergy, a cold, or some sort of blockage, the fluid isn’t able to drain out. This is when it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and virus. If the infection is severe, it could cause inflammation near the ear which could be quite painful. While your baby’s body tries to fight this, they might also develop a slight fever. Excessive use of pacifiers is also known to lead to ear infection in babies.
What you can do about it
Usually, ear infections pass on their own. They’re painful and cause a lot of irritation, but are gone soon enough. If you notice that the ear infection is persistent or frequent, that’s when you should consult a doctor. If your baby is old enough, your doctor might even prescribe certain antibiotics for the pain. Keeping their hands and feet clean can also help prevent future infections. Keeping them vaccinated against diseases doing the rounds is also a good precautionary measure. Some doctors also believe that by breastfeeding your little one, the mother transfers antibodies to their babies which help them fight germ invasions more efficiently as compared to formula-fed babies.