How to clean baby’s ears safely

how to clean baby’s ears

by Midwife Pip, MSc BSc |
Published on

Knowing how to clean baby’s ears in a safe way is essential when bathing or top and tailing your baby. As the ears are such a delicate part of the body, many parents are unsure how to clean them and whether or not you even should clean them.

To make sure you’re looking after your baby’s ears safely and cleaning them in a way that won’t cause any harm to your tot, we’ve got all the expert advice you’ll need on how to clean your baby’s ears from Midwife Pip.

Should you ever clean earwax from baby's ears?

Firstly, it’s normal for your baby to produce earwax, as it’s our bodies way of keeping our ears clean. It helps keep water out of the ears and stop germs and dustmites from reaching the delicate eardrums.

Like anything, some babies will produce more than others and it can vary in colour from yellow to brown and also varies in texture. Sometimes it can be sticky and moist but sometimes it can be drying and flaky.

Ear wax will usually come out on it’s own, If you see some on the outer ear you can wipe it when cleaning but avoid putting anything into the ear and don’t use any ear wax remedies on baby’s ears.

How to clean baby's ears step-by-step

  1. Start by dampening a cotton wool ball or pad or a soft flannel (ringed out well) with clean warm water without soap.
  1. Wipe behind and around your baby's ear gently.
  1. Once clean, gently pat their ears dry with a clean towel.
Cleaning baby's ears

Do you need to clean a baby's ears?

During their bedtime bath time or in the morning when you’re giving them a wash, there’s a safe way to clean their ears according to Pip.

You should wipe the outside of your baby’s ears with warm water and cotton wool or a soft flannel but avoid putting anything into your baby’s ears as this can increase the likelihood of an ear infection in babies and damage to the ear drum.

Why do we need to be so careful when cleaning ears?

While it's a good idea to know how to clean baby’s ears, it's also best to avoid cleaning them where possible as it can be a risk.

If you remove the protective wax layer of the ear, push wax deeper into the ear canal, scratch or damage the ear canal it can increase the chance of developing ear infections and damaging the ear drum.

Do we need to dry baby's ears after baths or swimming?

Dry the outside of the ears with a clean baby bath towel or cotton wool but do not put anything into the ear in an attempt to dry the inside of the ear.

Midwife Pip is a truly passionate midwife and advocate for the profession, bursting with knowledge. Pip is an experienced, practising Midwifery Sister, MSc graduate, founder of Midwife Pip Podcast, Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Educator, co-author of published research and importantly a mum.

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