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Home » Natural Remedies, Raising Home Grown Kids

My Poor Baby’s Ear Infection *UPDATE*

Submitted by on October 21, 2009 – 12:08 pm 26 Comments
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xia baby (Medium)

I’m afraid baby Xia has her first ear infection. I don’t know definitely, but I’m pretty sure. My other two got ear infections quite often, so I’m experienced enough to recognize the signs.

It started yesterday when I noticed that she wasn’t nursing well. I thought maybe she just wasn’t hungry. But then this morning, at like 5am she woke up screaming and crying. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. She has had a little cold for the past week, so I thought maybe her sinuses or her throat were hurting her.

I rocked her in the rocking chair for an hour and a half. She finally dozed off and slept for a long time. But throughout the rest of the day today she hasn’t nursed much at all. Every time I’d try to feed her, she’d start to nurse, then pull off. Start again, then pull off. Again I thought maybe she just wasn’t hungry. I’d keep trying to get her to nurse, but then she would start screaming and crying again. I just couldn’t figure it out.

When my husband came home tonight he heard baby girl screaming again. He asked me what was wrong with her. I started telling him what she’d been doing… not eating, crying when I try to feed her or lay her down, not sleeping well… and as I listed her symptoms all of a sudden I realized, I bet she has an ear infection!

I really needed to know if she does have an ear infection, but I HATE going to the pediatrician’s office. They always give me the hardest time about the choices that I make regarding my children, I feel like they’re gonna call Social Services on me! Plus, with everything that’s going around right now, I really don’t want to take my kids to the doctor’s office, where all of the sick kids are and where my babies could pick up more germs. Not if I don’t have to!

So, I decided to call my midwife neighbor. I wasn’t sure if she would even know how to check for ear infections, or even have the ear checking device thingy, but she’s super smart about stuff, her Mother was a nurse and taught her a lot, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Fortunately for me, she was home, and not busy. I told her that I thought baby Xia had an ear infection, and listed her symptoms. I asked her if she would be able to look in Xia’s ears. She said she could, and told me I was welcome to come over right then, or tomorrow, whenever was good for me. It was almost 8pm! I was like, “Really? Oh my goodness, that is so nice! I’ll be there in just a couple of minutes.”

Poor Xia. She was crying inconsolably when I arrived. Amy said, “Oh yeah, that’s a painful crying.” It was hard to get Xia to be still enough for Amy to look into her ears. The first ear looked okay. She tried to check out the other ear, which happened to be the one that I thought was the hurting one, but I guess there was a lot of wax in the way. She said that Xia had really small ear canals. She couldn’t see that ear well. But she told me that if she does have an ear infection, it would be in that ear.

Because Xia has so many symptoms of an ear infection, she told me to go ahead and treat her for it. Here is what she suggested:

1.) Apply Garlic Oil ear drops.

I crushed (with the side of a butcher knife) three garlic cloves, poured about 5 Tbsp of Olive oil over it, and heated it up in a saucepan over low heat and let it sit for about 15 min. (cause I was in a hurry to get it in her ear). What I didn’t use right away sat for an hour before I removed the cloves.

I’m to put 2 drops of oil in her ear 2-3 times a day for 3 days. I’m going to do this, plus follow Melissa D’s remedy as well, and rub it all over and around the ear with a Q-tip.

2.) Give her some baby Chamomilla tablets. I had some Homeopathic Teething Tablets that she said would work just as well.

3.) Run a humidifier.

4.) After applying the oil in one ear, lay her down with that ear up and put a heated rice pad under the other ear. I just put rice in a clean sock and heated it up. (My problem was finding a sock without a hole in it!) Don’t heat for very long though. I put it in the microwave for like 2 min. and it was steaming for a long time! I let her lay like this for like 15 min. on my lap, so the oil could work it’s way into her ear.

5.) Have her sleep upright. She’s in her bouncy seat next to my bed in her nursery.

If she isn’t better in a couple of days, or seems to get worse, I should take her to the doctor. Amy suggested that I ask them for numbing ear drops. I forget what the name is. I doubt my doctor would give them to me though. They are all about antibiotics and tubes in the ears.

I am PRAYING that she gets over this quickly!! I’ll post my thoughts on this home remedy when Xia is better.

**UPDATE:

I’m happy to say that Xia is back to her normal sweet self! Actually, after the very first application of the garlic oil in her ear about 2 hours later she seemed to be feeling much better, and even nursed better than she had in a day and a half. She slept through that night with no problems.

I continued the drops twice a day for two more days. She never cried in pain again after that first application. She did occasionally pull off while nursing, but not as often. I think she’s fine now.

Thank you for all of your suggestions! I’m happy to say that this remedy worked very well for us, and I will definitely do it again the next time I suspect an ear infection is coming on!


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26 Comments »

  • Heather says:

    My go-to for ear infections was breastmilk. But of course, that’s only possible if you are fortunate enough to still be breastfeeding. I once had to beg some breastmilk off of a neighbor because I was dry. That was embarrassing, but it helped.

  • Darlene says:

    I have 7 grandchildren and 4 of the 7 have had ear infections that were treated with garlic oil, I keep a jar made up on hand at all times, not just for ears…The best book ever for parents is Dr Robert Mendohlson “How to raise a healthy child in spite of your dr”….he was a pediatric dr who went natural….love it….Also, please know that there have been numerous cases where doctors have reported parents for making natural choices….if you feel your dr is one of those, FIND ANOTHER DR!!!! Dr’s are not God and when they feel like they can make better decisions for your child than you can, he has the god like complex…fire him or you will eventually be talking to child services….also, call your congressman and tell them to be fighting for parents rights to make natural care decisions for their children….laws are being made every day pulling the rights of parents and giving them to the drs and government…..SO CALL THEM!!! Your child’s safety could depend on it…Sorry so long, but sometimes a lot needs to be said. Have a blessed day!

  • Kari says:

    So glad I found this. I am at the stove at 3 in the morning my daughter has been up since 11 complaining!

  • Jaci says:

    I know this is an old post but I had to weigh in…..
    First I want to make it clear that these wonderful home treatments should never be used if your child already has tubes.
    While I’m intrigued by the idea of home remedies I’m also pro tube ..when they are needed. The “rule ” is 4infections in 6mos or 6 in a year…my oldest had tubes placed at 7 wks old without ever having an ear infection. This is because he had such thick fluid he kept failing his hearing tests…he has down syndrome and the last thing I wanted to worry about what the speech and language issues he would face if he couldn’t hear! I’m a speech therapist so I already knew how much struggle we were facing.
    My second son had tubes placed at 7-8 mos after 12 ear infections and 2 ruptured ear drums! The last infection required daily shots for a week b/c the Infection was so strong regular antibiotics couldn’t fix it.
    Now I have seen drs tube well before I thought it was necessary but a good Dr will listen to you even if they don’t agree.

  • Tasha says:

    I just came across your blog yesterday! Fantastic!! I’m so happy I ran into it 🙂

    Whenever we had ear-aches (they weren’t necessarily infections but this works for aches!) my mom would chop up green onion, not too small, and put it in our ear. Not down the ear but just on the outside where it caves in, then put a gaze over the ear with tape to keep the green onion from fall out. Yes you smelled like onions but after sleeping with it on, our aches would be gone by morning!

    **Make sure onion isn’t too small that it might fall down into the ear canal.

  • Nikki says:

    Came across your site while trying to find out how many times a day to do the garlic treatment. Just wanted to say I also dislike going to the Dr and hearing about the things I “should” be doing. Awesome blog, I’ll be checking it out!!!

  • Helen says:

    I do not alway think the Nature way is best for the child But many time people do have the money for a dr has to do thing . I can tell you for ear pain you can also us the drop/gel like stuff that you use on teething pain . Warm it and us , Any type of Oil would also work Does not have to be garlic, I used a few drop of baby oil many times, Becarful with Q tip s!!JUST be sure and read any thing you think is all nature and find out if it really is and the side effects !

  • Felice says:

    I just wanted to say I am glad your little one is doing better, but more importantly, say thanks…my little one (now 19 mon)..had horrible ear infections last winter and spring, like one ever 3-4 weeks. After our 5th one and near the dr saying tubes, i read your other post about the garlic oil, and a week later we started the signs of an ear infection, so we did the oil. That was on a Saturday, still a little fussy on Monday, and a over anxious mom i was, i took him in on Mon. The dr just looked at me and said his ears look good, and thought he must have gotten over it on his own. We have since used the oil 3 times and have had fabulous results. So thanks for sharing your stories and info, it has been wonderful help to us.

  • Siska says:

    Hi Kendra! 🙂

    Glad your baby is feeling better. I’m sorry I didn’t get to your site sooner. I have lots of experience with ears mainly because I grew up hearing impaired.

    Your midwife told you exactly what I would have told you shy of one more step if need be.
    Sometimes ears hurt so bad because the tube that drains the wax from the ear to the throat (ever get a sick nasty taste in your throat with a burning sensation? Yeah that’s wax draining from your ears to your throat and down to your stomach. gross huh?) gets blocked because of infection in the tubes. Often theres so much wax that the garlic oil doesn’t do enough to penetrate. So I found something else;

    Dr.Christopher’s X-Ceptic tincture is the LAW on ear infections. For me, when all else fails, this works wonders for the ear. It does have cayenne in it so it will sting for the first little while. Which is why I would recommend this as a last resort besides antibiotics. Even if the drum could be ruptured this tincture seals shut any wounds that could be present. After using the x-ceptic to penetrate the wax, seal wounds, and fight off any bacterias, then it is that much more effective to use the garlic oil trick.

    Hope that helps for the next time. 🙂

    Siska

  • Sheila says:

    Thank you for updating. I’ve been wondering about her. I’m so glad she is better! I hate so much for my kids to be sick. I do hope you look for another pediatrician, though. You should never have to feel uncomfortable to take your kids in.

    • Thanks to everyone who was thinking of little Xia. Yes, I do need to find a better Pediatrician. There is a lady who practices nearby who has been highly recommended. Unfortunately, her practice does not currently accept our insurance. I’m hoping they’ll be changing that soon! In the meantime, I do need to keep looking around. My doc’s are so rude sometimes, especially the nurses. They gave me an awful time about having a home birth, and acted like I was completely irresponsible! I totally felt like Soc. Services was gonna arrive on my doorstep any day. It shouldn’t be that way.

  • Orit says:

    Yes ear infections can be very painful and when you see your little one crying like that it hurts in your heart and there’s nothing you wouldn’t do help her/ him.

    I personally am also about natural solutions, antibiotics are really the very very last resort. The infections usually go away by itself in a few days. And most doctors know that prescribing antibiotics for ear infections does not speed the healing process up, only in the more extreme cases they will prescribe it.

    There is one thing I want to mention about applying ear drops in the ear when your little one has an infection, you have to make 200% sure that the eardrum is not punctured or ruptured. Because if it is, the drops would do more harm than good. This is especially true with raw garlic juice, I would advise not to put it straight in the ear since it is powerful stuff that can hurt the little one as well.

    I prefer the remedies on the outside of the ear first, like putting crushed garlic or chopped onion in a sock or washcloth and warming it up. I put the warm cloth or onion sock against the affected ear and fasten it with a hat or scarf which is made of natural materials like cotton, wool, silk or flax and leave it for 30 min or as long as “the patient” can stand it. I repeat this 2 to 3 times a day, every time with a fresh onion or garlic cloves.

    The mother’s milk also works (also in pink eye by the way…hurray for mothers meds)and I heard good stuff about dropping warmed up drops of colloidal silver, but again only if you know the eardrum is not punctured.

    I’m a licensed homeopath and also use natural ways to treat my patients and my family. I thought to share a bit of that knowledge so I started my own site with home remedies and homemade skin care recipes. If you’d like you can visit: http://www.natural-homeremedies-for-life.com (you will land on the ear infection section.) Everything is free of course, just browse around and see what might be useful for you.

    Good luck, hopefully your little one will get better soon

  • Jennifer says:

    What can you possibly be doing that would cause a doctor to want to call Social Services on you? As long as you are raising healthy and happy kids and you know when it’s appropriate to use medicines (when natural remedies don’t work), what does it matter if you choose more natural methods of taking care of your children first? Natural remedies were used for years. Smart of you to want to stay away from the dr office, last thing baby needs when she is already sick is more germs! Hope Xia feels better soon.

  • Sarah says:

    Praying for your little one.

  • Nancy M. says:

    I hope your little one feels better real soon! I can’t blame you for not wanting to go to the doctor’s office, they are so full of germs right now. I hope the natural remedy works for her, let us know how it does.

  • Kellie says:

    Hey Kendra! I think this post is just too sad. I am also so extremely frustrated with doctors (mostly for me, though. Our ped is pretty fabulous.) It’s sad that we or our children don’t receieve the care they deserve or need because of people’s stereotypes. And when it comes to our babies – that makes me outraged. It may seem like a futile process (it sure does to me and I’ve had this ongoing process for years now), but please try to find a doc. I’ve found that regular pediatricians are more understanding than a family doc, but it might be worth it to try. Good luck with everything!

  • Sheila says:

    I’m going to second not waiting too long for antibiotics. While I absolutely agree that some kids will recover from an ear infection without an antibiotic, some kids just do not, and you are taking a risk of harming her ears permanently if you delay needed treatment too long. My younger daughter has had many, many ear issues, to the point where I cry every time she has a hearing test (which we have to do regularly) and they say she has normal hearing. I feel truly blessed by God that my daughter can hear. She is an example of a child who would not have ever gotten better without an antibiotic. She had several ear drum ruptures, etc., and ear infections are just SO painful. If she has wax buildup, even without an infection, the wax buildup isn’t going to go away on its on, and there are specific ways to treat that which do not involve antibiotics or anything like that, but which will give her relief.

    If you feel uncomfortable at your pediatricians office, it’s time to find a new one. You should never not want to take your child in because they make you (or your child!) uncomfortable. They are there to help you.

    I do want to say, too, that as mom whose child has had to battle antibiotic resistent infections, it makes me angry when antibiotics are prescribed when they aren’t needed. For a sore throat, if you don’t have strep, you don’t need an antibiotic. I know a lot of people seem to think they ‘deserve’ an antibiotic when they go to the doctor, and it simply isn’t needed always, and doctors who give them when they aren’t needed should have their licenses revoked. It’s puts all of us at risk when they do so.

    Sorry to get on a soapbox. Having spent many, many nights rocking and singing to my little one while she hurts, this is something that I just can’t seem to keep my mouth shut about. Praying for your little one!

    Just one more thing, and I really will shut up. 🙂 It is not my experience, that doctors today are quick to put tubes in. I think there was a period of time where they jumped to do that, but most doctors now are more likely to wait to see if they are truly needed. Tubes changed my daughter’s life. My daughter went from being sick so very often to being a healthy, happy girl. It is just amazing what the correct medical treatment can do for your child.

  • sandra says:

    MY SISTERS PEDIATRICIAN DOSENT ALWAYS PERSCRIBE ANTIBIOTICS, AND I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT LOTS OF DOCTORS ARE NOT PERSCRIBING THEM LIKE THEY USED TO. I AGREE WITH KARA, THOUGH. SOMETIMES MEDICINE IS THE BEST WAY TO GO. WHEN MY KIDS WERE SMALL, I ONLY TRIED A COUPLE OF NATURAL REMEDIES, AND THEY JUST DID NOT WORK FOR US. EVEN UP TO A FEW YEARS BACK WE BOUGHT SOME HOMEOPATHIC EARACHE REMEDY, A DRUGGIST ACTUALLY RECOMENDED IT, BUT IT DIDNT DO THE JOB AND WE HAD TO GET ANTIBIOTICS FOR MY DAUGHTERS EAR INFECTION.

  • LisaAlso says:

    Poor baby Xia. And poor mommy too! I hope this clears up soon for both of you.

    If you can, get an ear thingy. I got one after my oldest had her first ear infection at 3 weeks old! It continued regularly from there. The ottoscope was the best purchase I ever made, and a gave a few as baby gifts too. Mine can with a color photo chart that show how the ear looks normally and with various stages of infection. It really helps to be able to tell if something required antibiotics or was just a passing thing.

    Good luck to you all. I’m thinking of you!

  • Lerin says:

    I was just reading about this on mercola.com, which is all about natural health and is a bounty of information. He says that breastmilk is one of the best remedies, a couple of drops in the infected ear. Worth a shot!

  • Kara says:

    Are you sure she meant the numbing ear drops instead of antibiotics? Or as well as?

    I’m all for trying the natural way first, but if she’s been in pain, then in a few days it may be wise to go for the antibiotics… I’ve had ear infections – they are very painful. My dd was about 3 when she had one that we didnt’ yet know about, and her eardrum actually ruptured. It was the most excruciatingly painful thing to watch.

    I agree that you shouldn’t just rush to the antibiotics, but there does come a time when they are needed.

  • Deanna says:

    Numbing drops are called Benzocaine ear drops… they work wonders and keep forever. Check your teething tablets. I had some that the active ingredient was morphine! No joke…. I guess that is homeopathic. Keep us updated. We have lots of ear infections in this house. You might try getting an ottoscope (ear thingy) and learn how to tell if she has one. It is pretty simple. The bulbs burn out though and are hard to find. Prayers for Xia 🙁

  • Lanna says:

    I have online friends that swear by the garlic olive oil trick, so I’m betting/hoping little girl will be good as new shortly. Luckily we’ve rarely had ear infections in our house, so I’ve never had to put it to the test. Is a neat way of doing it though. 😀

  • Kristen says:

    I’ve done this remedy (the garlic oil one) with my kids before. It should also help to losen the wax that is in her ear. Sometimes having wax in your ear can be almost as painful as an actual ear infection.

    You also might want to look into finding a new doctor- we also don’t do things “by the book”, but have found that with a bit of hunting there are a few doctors out that who at least respect our decisions (even if they don’t actually agree). This way if we do HAVE to take our kids in, we know the doctor will treat the problem and not bug us about vaccines, etc.

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