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Cleaning a baby's ears is an important step in their care routine along with baby massage, top and tailing and bathing. But many new parents wonder how to clean their tiny tot's ears safely, and how often they need to clean them.
To help you out, let's run through how much earwax babies have and cover some dos and don'ts to follow when cleaning a baby's ears.
Earwax is nature's way of keeping our ears clean and it's normal for babies to have earwax.
Just like adults, some babies naturally produce more earwax than others, but most little ones usually have very efficient self-cleaning ears. Their earwax gradually builds up over time, dries out and then naturally moves to the outer ear where it falls out.
A baby's earwax can be brown, yellow, or black in color. The texture of it may be sticky and moist or dry and flaky, but it shouldn't smell bad.
It coats the outer third of the ear canal and repels water and traps dust and germs to stop them from reaching the eardrum.
You should gently wipe the outer part of your baby's ear - as well as their nose and the eye area - with a warm, damp flannel. You can do this during their regular bathtime routine to clean away any wax as it naturally makes its way out of their ear. If they seem happy and comfortable, though, there's usually no need to clean inside of their ears or remove earwax.
Occasionally, earwax can build up in a baby's ear and cause discomfort. If you notice wax building up in your baby's ear or see them frequently pulling at and tugging their ears, it's best to seek medical advice from a pharmacist or doctor. They will be able to check their ears for a potential ear infection or underlying issue.
You should never insert anything into a baby's ear. Doing so could potentially push wax further into their ear canal and cause damage to their delicate skin and eardrum.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean a baby's ears safely:
If your little one has been prescribed ear drops by your doctor to help clean their ears and soften wax build-up, you should follow these steps:
Always follow your pharmacist or doctor's instructions to know how many drops to administer and how often to administer them. If the wax in your baby's ears is very solid and ear drops don't seem to help, you might be referred to an ear, nose, and throat specialist for advice on the best treatment options.
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