Keeping your baby’s ears clean is as important as keeping their mouth clean. Hard earwax on babies are rare. By cleaning the outer ear and the skin around it while you bathe your baby will less the dirt to come inside their ears. All you’ll need is a washcloth or cotton ball and some warm water.
Using cotton swabs or sticks inside your baby’s ears is not advisable and unsafe. If you notice earwax inside the ear, you don’t need to remove it.
Earwax is healthy for your baby because it’s protecting, lubricating, and has antibacterial properties. In rare cases removing it can cause potentially harmful damage.
Important Jobs of Earwax
- Acts as a waterproof lining of the ear canal, protecting it and the eardrum from germs that can cause infection
- Traps dirt, dust, and other particles, keeping them from injuring or irritating the eardrum
How to Properly Clean Your Baby’s Ears
To clean baby’s ear, you’ll need a cotton ball that’s been soaked with warm water. You can also use a gentle washcloth with some luke warm (not hot) water.
To clean baby’s ears:
- Wet the washcloth or cotton ball with warm water.
- Ring out the washcloth well, if using.
- Gently wipe behind baby’s ears and around the outside of each ear.
Never stick the washcloth or cotton ball inside your baby’s ear. This can cause damage to the ear canal.
If your baby’s doctor has prescribed an eardrop for your baby and you want to use them to remove wax buildup, follow these steps.
- Lie your baby on their side with the affected ear facing up.
- Gently pull the lower lobe down and back to open the canal.
- Place 5 drops in the ear (or the amount your pediatrician recommended).
- Keep the drops in your baby’s ear by keeping baby in a lying position for up to 10 minutes, then roll them over so the side with the drops is facing down.
- Let the ear drops run out of your baby’s ear onto a tissue.
Always use drops according to your pediatrician’s recommendation. Follow their instructions for how many drops you should put in and how often to give them to your baby.
Tips on Removing Hard Earwax on Babies
- Soften the hardened wax. Use prescribed eardrops or apply a few drops of baby oil, mineral oil, glycerin or diluted hydrogen peroxide in your baby’s ear canal. Babies should not use ear drops if they have an ear infection unless it’s recommended by a doctor.
- Use warm water. After a day or two, when the wax is softened, use a rubber-bulb syringe to gently squirt warm water into baby’s ear canal. Tilt head and pull outer ear up and back to straighten baby’s ear canal. When finished irrigating, tip their head to the side to let the water drain out.
- Dry your baby’s ear canal. When finished, gently dry your baby’s outer ear with a towel or hand-held dryer.
It is still best to consult a professional before proceeding on any of these procedure at home.