64 answers

Ear Infection...No Antibiotics

Hello Moms - My 9 month old daughter has an ear infection and we have decided to fight it without antibiotics. Has anyone had a positive or negative experience doing this?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow, I really appreciate most of the feedback that I received from you wise moms. We just got back from the Dr. this morning for a final check-up and the ear infection did in fact clear up on it's own. The pediatrician reminded me that 80% of ear infections will clear up without antibiotics, and that if you see positive results in the first 24-48 hours then that is a good sign the bodies immune system is fighting it off. If we didn't see progress, we would have resulted to the antibiotics. Just so you worried mommies know, my daughter wasn't in any pain. She was on Tylenol and had medicated ear drops to relieve the pain. Antibiotics do not relieve pain, they heal bacterial infections. And as a side note, not all ear infections are bacterial and your pediatrician won't know which one it is from just looking in the ear. Thank you for sharing your stories and further educating me.

Featured Answers

Cod liver oil orally works wonders. My daughter when she was that age like the orange imulsified kind. They had talked about putting tubes in her ears. When in 2 weeks of being on Cod live oil her infection was gone and she has not had one since. She is now 13 years old. When ever she starts getting sick I put her on it for a few days. It helps bust her immune system.

2 moms found this helpful

They don't need antibiotics. I stopped giving my son antibiotics since he had a bad reaction and had hives all over his body. I used hydrogen peroxide in the ear and give him homeopathic medicine. It works every time and it's not as harmful.

1 mom found this helpful

My first daughter had an ear infection every month or two. The kind that is agony and keeps them up crying all night. We tried antibiotics every time until I noticed that she didn't really get any relief of pain until the antibiotics were almost gone. That's when we opted to not treat with antibiotics. It took the same amount of time to heal with or without. What I found that helped for the really painful nights was alternating with tylenol and ibuprofen. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Hi R.,

I have used eardrops that I buy from Henry's. It is in a small, brown, glass bottle and it is a garlic/olive oil blend. I don't recall the name of it right now, but if you go into the vitamin area, there should be an area where you can ask for help in finding it. It feels a bit wierd going in, but it works so well. The olive oil helps soothe and the garlic is a natural germ fighter. I also use Vicks on the chest to help decongest and a humidifier so the congestion will work it's way out.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

Please think of the pain your daughter will be in! I try to keep it all natural, organic and holistic with my son as well. However, ear infections must be taken seriously. He had one that went untreated (b/c we didn't know he had it) and his ear drum ruptured from the pressure. I can't tell you how much pain he was in, I cried to see him hurting so much. As I said, I prefer holistic treatments when feasible but am grateful to live in a time and place where antibiotics are available.

Another note: I know moms have given their children Hyland's earache tablets for ear infections, but the literature that comes with the tablets makes it clear that they're only intended to be used right before or in addition to antibiotics. So please don't consider them a substitute!



3 moms found this helpful

No, no, no! The ear is very close to the brain. NEVER take a chance with an ear infection. Take your child to a doctor and follow his/her advise.

You risk your child's lost of hearing AND DEATH.

I am a mother of 3, one an M.D. and a grandmother of 3. I've also been married close to 40 years, been there and done that.

PLEASE do not risk your child's health.

3 moms found this helpful

Ear infections can be incredibly painful! If you see your daughter rolling around her crib and not sleeping well, its because she's in pain. Please get her the antibiotics so that she won't suffer. Ear infections at this age can also slow down speech development.

Our son had chronic ear infections and we ended up getting tubes for him; he's had 2 ear infections since the tubes, but with the antibiotic ear drops (you won't be able to use those for your daughter) they clear up quickly. I had an ear infection just before our recent vacation that included a plane flight; I'm grateful it was me and not him because it was horribly painful!

If the ear infection goes longer than 3-4 days, please see your ped. and get your daughter medicine so she can get better.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't want to alarm you because it's true that most ear infections go away on their own, but I just wanted to share my story so you can be aware & so it doesn't happen to you, too.

When my daughter was 15 months old, she had an extended ear infection. We didn't know she had it because she never complained of any pain. We found out when all of the sudden there was a huge purple lump behind her ear. I took her to the pediatrician who sent me directly to a pediatric ENT who sent me directly to the hospital. The mastoid bone behind her ear had become infected, the area around it filled with pus and she needed immediate surgery to remove the infected bone and drain the pus before it pushed into her brain cavity and caused brain damage.

I'm happy to report that my daughter is a healthy 4 year old now, but she will always have a hollow behind her ear where the bone was removed.

The chances of this happening to your daughter are slim, but I wanted you to be on the lookout just in case the ear infection turns into something more serious.

Best of luck to you and your precious girl!!

2 moms found this helpful

Dear R.:

I am sorry to hear that your baby is sick. My children got very few ear infections (my daughter only had one and my son only had two or three) so I don't have TONS of experience with these.

I must say that if you're committed to combating this infection naturally, the first line of defense is breastfeeding and breastfeeding a LOT. Your milk is the best tool for your child's body to build up immunity. To restrict dairy now (your child's ONLY food!) would not make much sense to me. I think that extended nursing on demand is what kept my children so healthy.

I also agree with many of the posters, in particular: Letizia H, Heather and Megan B. I've always been a big believer in allowing fevers to do their work and I love colloidal silver. You must make the determination when the child needs the last resort of antibiotics.

Once that moment comes, (and in my kids, it only happened once) you must use antibiotics according to prescription. I DO have a niece who's deaf in one ear because of an ear infection that went too far (but she was not breastfed at all). I will pray for your child's quick recovery!

Best wishes,


2 moms found this helpful


My son had several ear infections from the time he was around 9 months old until just recently. Our Pedi is not a fan of prescribing antibiotics for every infection, but he did recommend the 3-day rule for everything. If they brunt of the symptoms last past 3 days then, it's best to get something. A fever and chronic symptoms, like runny nose or congestion can be signs of a serious infection. Also, not treating an ear infection can lead to serious damage to a child's hearing.

I've always used Hyland's Ear Drops, per my son's Pedi's okaky and this helps ease the pain. You can also rotate Tylenol and Motrin. Every six hours give Motrin, and then, every four hours the Tylenol. Ear infections can be extremely painful.

Julia's advice about the propping up your baby was right on the money, this will help keep the passages that are not draining clear of fluids and ease pain.

Make sure you little one stays hydrated and BF on demand...this is crucial to healing!!

Good Luck.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi R.:
Sorry to hear your daughter is hurting. Ear infections can be quite painful,so be prepared for a lot of tears,and restless nights.She may appear to feel better during the day,but this is mostly due to her being more preoccupied during that time.Lifestyle habits can make a big difference in recurrent ear infections. A child should not lie down on his or her back to drink a bottle or feed. This is more likely to push fluids into the Eustachian tube and cause ear problems.For comfort, you could raise her mattress up at the head a little. To help her with the pain,Wall greens has something called (Similasan) They are Homeopathic ear drops with no known side effects,and no drug interactions.They will help ease her pain. These drops work well on children and adults.If she continues to have a fever after 3 days I'd have her checked anyway.Let Dr know how you feel about the over use of antibiotics and he can possibly prescribe some stronger drops for her. I hope your darlin daughter is feeling better soon.J. M

2 moms found this helpful

I understand your concern with over prescribing of antibiotics, however, if you aren't a Dr., for what reason would you risk your daughter's health? Damage and scar tissue created at any age are permanent. Please get some Dr.'s opinions pior to choosing to "treat" in a way other than generally accepted proven methods.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes. We have been able to fight most of the ear infections my son has gotten without antibiotics. We bought some mullein garlic ear drops from the health food store, and when I suspect that he is getting an ear infection, I start putting a few drops in twice a day or so (usually after he is in deep sleep from his nap and at bedtime). Of course, you have to make sure the ear drum hasn't ruptured or perforated before you do it. I usually take him to the doctor to confirm and see how bad it is and then don't fill the antibiotic prescription (but have it on hand if I can tell it isn't getting any better). You can also make your own drops (there are instructions on-line), but we just bought the drops to make it easy, although they are more expensive. A friend also told me that wrapping half an onion in a damp washcloth, warming it in the microwave, and then holding it over the ear does wonders. She said the heat and the onion help with any discomfort. I haven't had to try that yet, though. I have personally tried the mullein garlic drops when I was sure I had an ear infection myself and my doctor couldn't get me in, and it cleared up on its own. :) It smells pretty garlicky, but they work pretty quickly! Let them sit for a few moments (or as long as you can) and then hold a tissue or cloth over the ear and turn it over to empty it and do the other one. Also, as to everyone who is saying antibiotics are an absolute necessity, new research has shown that "80% of uncomplicated ear infections will resolve within 4 to 7 days without antibiotics. Parents who choose not to use antibiotics can treat the pain and fever with Auralgan anesthetic ear drops and ibuprofen or acetominophen." If it gets worse or she is in a lot of pain, of course take her in. I hope that helps!

2 moms found this helpful

did the doctor prescribed antibiotics? my 4mo old had one just last week. we were told to watch the fevers. a prescription for antibiotics was given but we were told not to fill it unless the fever lasted more than 72 hours. it didn't and we didn't need the antibiotics. that has happened with one of our older children too.

but look at your child. how uncomfortable is she? do you think her immune system is mature enough? are you still breastfeeding? how many hours of the day are you within arms reach of each other?

if you're breastfeeding, being in the same environment means that you're exposed to the same thing she is and therefore will create antibodies that will help her fight the infection. so carry her around wherever you go. it will also be comforting to her to know that you're there for her when she needs you. that will create less stress for her which also helps her immune system.

if you feel that she's suffering, then there is more you can do for her. some ear infections can progress to things much much worse (including hospitalization). but trust your instincts and look at the signs she gives you.

2 moms found this helpful

After a long fight with ear infections-nothing could work with our daughter who was allergic to all the medicines. Finally, our pediatrician suggested chiropractic help if we didn't want to go the surgery route. When we saw the ear nose throat specialist, I just got a bad vibe from him. He barely examined her before pushing surgery. Surgery is recommended only as a last resort b/c it can cause hearing loss. When I expressed that I wanted my daughter to have her hearing checked to see if the infection warranted it, he told me it would be a waste of my time and money. THe hearing specialist found no significant hearing loss. We saw a chiropractor instead, Dr. Brian Haas in Montrose. He was so gentle that I actually doubted that it would help. That day, after her nap, she awoke with so much mucous coming out of her nose. Some short time after her nap, she was completely better. When we saw the pediatrician again that week-her ears were clear! Hope this helps. Ask a lot of questions from whomever you see. There are so many concerns with surgery, tubes and antibiotics. Even breastmilk in the ear can help-just a few drops.

2 moms found this helpful

My youngest son has had several ear infections. He has gotten over most of them without antibiotics. I watch him carefully (for signs of pain or discomfort) and get the doctor's advice. I never tried any of the homeopathic treatments, but I may try that if he gets one again. He has usually been able to fight them off naturally without any help. The doctor has told me that it depends on the severity of the infection. Twice I felt that it was serious enough for antibiotics, but all of the other times he was able to get over it without the antibiotics and I am glad I gave him the chance to fight it off on his own and not give him all those meds.

Hopefully your doctor told you the severity of the infection (but even if not, you can tell a lot by her level of discomfort), and I hope letting her fight it off naturally works!!

2 moms found this helpful

Cod liver oil orally works wonders. My daughter when she was that age like the orange imulsified kind. They had talked about putting tubes in her ears. When in 2 weeks of being on Cod live oil her infection was gone and she has not had one since. She is now 13 years old. When ever she starts getting sick I put her on it for a few days. It helps bust her immune system.

2 moms found this helpful

I was using natural medicine by the time my second child came along, and though she had several ear infections over the years we were able to treat with all without antibiotics and keep them from getting bad. Ear infections are sometimes painful but often they're not, and they usually clear up on their own. And yes, I've even had several pediatricians say that they've stopped giving antibiotics in most mild cases of ear infection because they are unneccessary and only serve to damage the immune system and create superbugs.

I haven't read the other responses so forgive me if I'm repeating...First defense is Colloidial Silver. It's a natural antibacterial that works great, and boosts the body's own immune system. It's very gentle, I've even given it to my cat. Just about a teaspoon or so once a day for a few days should knock it out, but use your own discretion. Just mix it with some water or juice, it has no flavor at all. You can get it at Henry's or Mothers, and any brand is fine, but try to get the 30ppm mixture. You will see 10ppm often, which you have to take a lot of, and you'll see as high as like 500ppm, that's overkill! If you can't find 30 then get 10 and give her a little more.

Also keeping a humidifier going where she sleeps seems to help, and you can also find homeopathic remedies for ear infections at Henrys as well. Boiron or Hylands are excellent.

Just keep an eye an her carefully and watch for any signs that it's getting worse, antibiotics are a last resort and rarely but sometimes necessary. If she runs a low fever, don't bring it down, it's killing the infection so let it work. Obviously if it gets too high you would bring it down for her, that goes without saying right? :) I hope your little one is feeling better soon! And if you have any more questions feel free to contact me. My close friend is an alternative health practitioner and has taught me well, my kids and I haven't really been sick in years! :)

2 moms found this helpful

Good for you, R., and good for your little one, as well!

I utilized Sunrider's Fruit and Vegetable Rinse for this purpose and achieved excellent, rapid and safe results. (Let me know if you need help obtaining this, it is not in the health food stores yet. This product has many quite surprising uses.)

A few drops of pure olive oil with a clove of fresh pressed garlic works very well, too.

My best,


2 moms found this helpful

thats going to be an up hill battle. also cant not treating an ear infection cause long term damage? i hope your ready for some sleepless nights with a baby that refuses to be laid down because it hurts.... good luck i hope shes better fast.

1 mom found this helpful

My son happened to get really cranky right around his one year check up. Turned out it was an ear infection. Our ped told us he would rather not give a young one antibiotics unless it was really necessary. We opted not to use them. He said if the pain caused him to cry all night or it lasted over several days, all we had to do was call his office and they would fax over the prescription. Well, all I did was clean his ears and he has been fine. No tears, no pain, no antibiotics. He is almost 15 months now.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm sorry, I have to agree with Tanya. Please, be careful, ear infections are very serious, as they can damage your baby's hearing. My son also used to get severe ear infections, they were very painful for him. He begin getting them at 3 months old and every time he got a cold, he got an ear infection, leaving fluid would sitting behind his eardrums. By the time he was 5 yrs. old, he had developed an immunity to the antibiotic, Amoxicillin, so we decided not to use any more antibiotics. He started having problems in school, his teacher said he was not following instructions or completing his work, when we questioned him, he said he could not hear her. We took him to the doctor, his hearing was so bad, we were referred to a specialist. The specialist concluded that he had so much fluid behind his eardrums that his hearing was equivalent to someone sticking both their fingers in their ears and trying to hear someone talk. I cannot explain the quilt we felt or the fear waiting to find out if his hearing had been damaged. By this time, antibiotics could not correct the situation, he had to have surgery and tubes were placed in his ears, which eliminated the ear infections. But, most importantly, his hearing was restored 100%.

1 mom found this helpful

My son hasn't had any but I do take him to my chiropractor. He has said that ear infections, especially chronic ones, can be prevented and treated with chiropractic adjustments. You've had a lot of advice...this is just something you may want to try along with it. Good luck and good for you! :)

1 mom found this helpful

Hey R.,

If you contracted the swine flu, would you wait it out or take the medication?
My girlfriend is deaf in one ear from sever ear infections and parents who were too poor to get medical treatment for her. Atleast she has another ear. I just talk to her on her good side.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi R.. I have two daughters, Ages 11 and almost 5. Niether of them had chronic ear infections as babies but of course they did have them. In my experience, they were rarely bad enough for antibiotics. A few times of course they kids have had antibiotics for when there like double ear infections. But other times I just treat the pain with motrin or tylenol. And the ear infection just goes away on it's own. My littlest one has maybe been on antibiotics twice or three times in all her 5 years. And it's not because I oppose them or anything like that, because if she needs them, then she needs them. But her ear infections haven't been bad enough to require them. The pain isn't too bad for her and once I give her a pain reliever, she fights it on her own. I don't like giving them medicine if they don't really need it. So I think your fine, if that's your choice and your daughter is not in too much pain. Between you and your doctor I'm sure you guys are making the right choices for your daughter. I was told by a doctor that by the time the antibiotics start working a day or two out, the ear infection would have started healing itself by then anyway. And you still treat the pain the same way you would with an antibiotic as you do without. I think you know what's good for your baby and don't worry about what other people say. I know that if the Dr. says this isn't going to go away without medicine, then you would give the baby medicine. But it if will and she's not in any agonizing pain, then I say why stuff her with medicine she doesn't need. :) Good luck and I hope she gets better soon! (she will)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi R...

I would say it really depends on how far gone it is and how much distress she is in. My daughter has had ear infections several times. Many times we treated her successfully with homeopathic medicine which worked wonders - especially when you catch it early. Finding the right pill (they are tiny and melt under the tongue so are fine for little ones)can be tricky so speaking to a homeopath is a good idea but you can do that at a homeopathic pharmacy like the one in Santa Monica (Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy on Broadway and 7th) or places like Pharmaca who have in store homeopaths.)

There have been two occasions though where we had to give our daughter antibiotics because we were flying and that is when you need to know they will be safe. In this instance giving lots of probiotics (opening the capsules and sprinkling on fruit or yoghurt -anything cold works a treat because they taste sugary and the kids ask for "sprinkles") is a great way to re-inoculate the gut and lessen the negative effects of the antibiotics.

I don't know if was the case for your daughter but mine always seems to get ear infections after lots of swimming when water can get trapped in the ear. We have now learned to avoid them by putting a few drops of "Swimmers Ear" in her ears after she has spent time in the water and ear infections are a thing of the past!

Best of luck.


1 mom found this helpful

What kind of medal are they giving to parents these days who pass up antibiotics for their 9 month old baby? I hate to be so sarcastic, but really, in the end, what is in it for you?

I agree with Michelle E. You are going to forsake your daughter's comfort and possibly sacrifice her hearing because you feel your 9 month old's immune system is that strong to fight off the infection alone?

An antibiotic kills bacteria. An infection means that there is an overabundance of bacteria. Her body needs the antibiotic to help eliminate the bacteria. Tylenol is only a pain receptor- it does not have antibacterial properties. Trust your pediatrician.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi! I put two or three drops of garlic-mullein oil in both ears whenmy kids get ear infections. I also give them extra vitamin C, homemade chicken soup, lots of oranges, tons of rest -just like with a cold. I make them wear beenies outdoors during and at least two weeks afterwards. With my first we gave him antibiotics every time he got an ear infection and they just kept coming more frequent and getting worse until I decided to let him fight it off without antibiotics, which I'm happy to report worked very well. I believe antibiotics are an awesome discovery and that they have their place, but I think that when they are over-prescribed it is detrimental to health. My second son is three now and has never been given antibiotics for ear infections or anything and he's very healthy. The kids usually get over ear infections in two or three days. OH! Another biggie- avoid feeding her sweets and dairy during an ear infection or cold- this helps immensely. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

They don't need antibiotics. I stopped giving my son antibiotics since he had a bad reaction and had hives all over his body. I used hydrogen peroxide in the ear and give him homeopathic medicine. It works every time and it's not as harmful.

1 mom found this helpful

The mother of my step children did not take her kids in for treatment when they had ear infections. They both have hearing loss. A child is in severe pain when experiencing an ear infection, antibiotics are needed. I would never allow my children to go through such pain knowing that there is a cure for them. Please think twice about this. My boys had many ear infections growing up. They finally had their tonsils out and that solved the problem. They are both adults now and the antibiotics didn't hurt them at all. Please rethink your stance on this subject.

1 mom found this helpful


Have you ever had an ear infection? They hurt like heck. My kids(4)have had just a few in the past. And I have always given them antibiotics and/or ear drops and pain reliever under the Md's advice of course and the infection went away. They dont have any resistance to antibiotics and do not get chronic ear infections. If you dont want to give antibiotics at least give the little dear something for pain. Good luck I hope your baby feels better soon

1 mom found this helpful

My daughters boyfriend is deaf in one ear due to complications from and ear infection.

1 mom found this helpful

My first daughter had an ear infection every month or two. The kind that is agony and keeps them up crying all night. We tried antibiotics every time until I noticed that she didn't really get any relief of pain until the antibiotics were almost gone. That's when we opted to not treat with antibiotics. It took the same amount of time to heal with or without. What I found that helped for the really painful nights was alternating with tylenol and ibuprofen. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

well it is good to hear your trying other methods ofhealing however with ear infections is not treated properly the can lead to further infection into the brain ultimately causing death, and also if let go can lead deafness. I wouldnt takeinfection in the head are to lightly. I actually know someone thatis now 85% deaf in both ears related to untreated ear infection. She was been toldthat in 2-3 years will be 100% deaf in both ears. All from what we take lightly as an infection. I would seeif it was a cold but not the head area.

1 mom found this helpful


I just took my 4 year-old son to the pediatrician this morning because of an ear infection. Since about 80% of ear infections resolve on their own, we decided to try without antibiotics. The Dr. did write a prescription just in case it should get worse in the next couple of days---at least we would have it and would not have to go back to the office or make a trip to the ER or urgent care. Motrin helps with the pain, and that is how we are treating it at this point.

Interestingly, when my son was a baby, he had numerous ear infections and was always given antibiotics. The few that he has had as a toddler, we usually treated without Rx, and he seems to do fine and has fewer infections.

Although it is good to try without antibiotics, because she is so young and this is her first ear infection, you should call the pediatrician at least and have her checked. Monitor her temperature, and comfort level, and if you do give motrin, make sure it is the infant kind and give exact dosage carefully and watch the time frames for repeat dosages.

Good luck and hope she is well soon.


1 mom found this helpful

You go Mom, build up the immune system instead of wearing it to a nub.

If you breastfeed, take a better vitamin and immune support, if not get the baby some.

1 mom found this helpful

Good for you. This is the latest teaching in family medicine -that antibiotics are not required for ear infections unless there are particular risk factors. ABs do not make a big difference to the healing time, and do not change the pain level. If she is in pain consider giving her paediatric pain relief eg baby tylenol etc. (and obviously if things get worse go back to yr dr).
Antibiotics are prescribed way too frequently and as a result our resistance to them is increasing, and they are becoming less effective. If people used them only for the things then this would be less of an issue. Plus antibiotics have their own risks and side effects, so you are not exposing your daughter to them unnecessarily.
Once again good on you!

1 mom found this helpful

You should only do this if your baby does not seem to be in any pain from it. If you have to treat her with a pain reliever then she should got to the doctor. There is no point in avoiding one medication and then giving another. There are bad side effects to giving too much pain killers like asthma and that will be with her forever. My little girl got over one without any medication and one with.

1 mom found this helpful

doctors seem to like waiting these days for the ear infection to go away. i think this is good instead of rushing into using antibiotics which will just create worse bugs. but if the pain is bad and really goes on for a long time, you might want to use antibiotics. my son was 1 last year and had one for about 2 months. it finally went away. he wasn't suffering very much so we let it go. good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

homeopathy works well for ear infections. if combo/mix sold in the store does not have the remedy she needs, professional homeopath can help. even MD, DO or chiro who do homeopathy "on the side" can be good in using homeopathy for ear infections. just keep track of the combo active ingredients if you decide to go that route.
Good Luck

She's awfully young but just in case you are giving her any kind of dairy, remove from her diet immediately. I've seen children with chronic ear infections clear up within a couple of days just by removing dairy. But do keep an eye on her temperature.. hope she feels better soon.

Hello, I have never tried not giving a child antibiotics for ear infections. Two things I would be concerned about are the pain she might have if left untreated and possible hearing loss. I don't know of any other treatment for the infection.
Good luck with your precious child.
K. K.

Please just be very careful. My son gets such severe ear infections that within a day or so of getting one it will rupture and puncture his eardrum. We have learned to watch for the signs (he doesn't complain of pain) and get antibiotics QUICK. If he didn't have antibiotics his hearing and eardrum would be damaged by now. Please keep a close eye on it.

Noni juice-one or two drops in the ear.All natural.

I understand and support your decision to minimize antibiotic use. Having said that I had an ear infection last year and it was excrutiating. You say "we decided not to use antibiotics" Is that you and your husband, or you and your doctor? If it were me, and my doctor prescribed them I would listen. After all, he did go to medical school.

If your attempts at a cure don't work, please be open to changing your mind. It's worth the exposure to stop that sort of pain. Good luck.

Poor baby. Ear infections HURT very bad. I pray she gets better fast.

A lot of ear infections are viral, meaning the antibiotics can't do anything anyway. They prescribe an antibiotic without checking to verify whether it is viral or bacterial. This has always bothered me. Also, left untreated, most bacterial ear infections clear up within 10 days, which is exactly how long they are on antibiotics! If it doesn't lessen the time period of the infection, why do it? Obviously there is a pain issue, and you don't want your child to be in pain. There are many ways to treat pain using over-the-counter things that will not mess with your child's immune system. I would say let it run it's course UNLESS the fever gets very high. If it is a very high fever, it is an indication that it is indeed bacterial in nature, and a visit to the doctor is prudent. Although a fever is the body's natural defense for killing bacteria, you also don't want to risk permanent ear damage. Getting off all dairy is also important, as dairy causes a lot of pain with mucous buildup in the ear passages you are trying to clear. Good luck. I know it is hard to decide what is best for your child, especially with so much conflicting advice out there.

You are wise to do this. Most ear infections clear up by the third day if treated with Tylenol. The overuse of antibiotics results in the kids becoming immune and having to up the dose/level each time.

Obviously, as a mother you will take your child to the doctor if it is a sever ear infection. That is silly for others to think that you wouldn't. But for minor ear infections, Tylenol works. I have three kids and they have very rarely been treated with antibiotics. When my oldest was under 2, he had recurring infections and I was at the doctor's every two weeks. They wanted to put tubes in his ears and I just could not afford it. I waited and it was the very last ear infection he ever had.

Go with your instincts.

I did not know that you could fight ear infection with out antibiotics. 2 of my grandsons had alot of ear infections the 1 was so painful that the dr. told us it was a good think he had a pacifer because it helped keep his ear open alittle because the pressure is very painful. I would be afraid of not treating it with antibotics for fear the ear drum would burst. My other grandson had tubes put in his ears.

Yes! There is a wonderful book by Smith, Schmitd and one other guy (all MD's) called "50 or so Ways to Boost Immunity and Avoid Antibiotics". It should be available at your local Health Food store. I bought it years ago at Sprouts by the Temecula Mall. If they don't have it on hand they would probably order it for you, or I am sure Barnes and Noble would. But the people at Sprouts are familiar with it and can tell you more about the book. I can never remember the name of that third Dr. They have another book out too. I am pretty sure the first one is Dr. Lendon Smith.

R. P

It has been my experience that ear infections can cause hearing loss. Take your daughter to the pediatrician and find out if the infection is inner ear or outer ear. When fluid collections in the inner ear and causes infection this will cause your daughter to lose her hearing and need a hearing aid for the rest of her life. The outer ear I was prescribed cortisone ear drops, this cleared up the infection rather quickly. For the inner ear infections doctors usually give the child or adult penicillin for the infection. Take your daughter to her pediatrician. The sooner they determine the type of infection the better for your daughter.

I don't like sounding like an alarmist, however ear infections can cause hearing loss.

Just so your update. Glad it worked for you.

I have three kids and they all had ear infections at one time I DO NOT give them antibiotics they will clear on there own. I do how ever get the prescription ear drops that take away the pain or give Motrin if no drops. A heating pad works well too. If you don't have drops you can use a drop of warm olive oil it helps a lot with the pain. I actually have an ear infection right now and I won't be taking any antibiotics but do use the above mentioned ways to take away the pain. You are doing the right thing don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Congratulations on doing what's best for your child in the long run instead of a quick "bandage" now. By the way all of my kids had way fewer ear infections then their friends who repeatedly used antibiotics and or got tubes. The body is wonderfully made and can heal it self.

Hey R.!

I have not had to deal with any ear infections with my son so I'm not sure about not using antibiotics for them. Howver, many parents are now opting to wait it out. You can do this and it is successful for many. It does require a watchful eye though. If you would like you can make your own ear drops... soak several smashed (take the flat side of your knife and simply press down on the clove till it breaks open and remove the peel) overnight in some olive oil. garlic has been shown to have antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties. If it were me I would use about 3-4 drops in the affected year 3 times a day. (I'm not prescribing simply telling you what I would do for my own son)


First of all, DON'T LISTEN to those telling you that you should do better by your baby. You are her mom and obviously you have her best interest at heart and if her symtoms got worse, of course you would seek out the best treatment. You're doing a fine job and I know your concerns about antibiotics. I have to agree with Deanna Leigh M - if the symptoms go passed 3 days, you should seek out a more effective method of treatment. The only thing I can tell you is that if your daughter is experiencing an ear infection at such a young age, more than likely you are going to be seeing a lot of them in your future. So start researching methods of treatment now so that you can pick the one that you feel comfortable with. Hyland makes fabulous products and i know they have drops to help soothe the pain of ear infections. Garlic oil is supposed to work wonders as well. Either of those combined with Tylenol or Motrin and propping your baby for naps or bedtime should bring her some relief. After 3 days or if the symptoms get worse, you may have to give in and fight it with something stronger (ie the antibiotics). Working in communicative disorders, I've studied a lot about hearing loss in children and, unfortuantely, cronic ear infections are a big culprit - your daughter is no where near having that problem at this point as this is her FIRST infection. However, it is very rare that a child only gets one or two ear infections during their childhood - once they experience one its usually a sign that they are prone to getting them - usually each time they get any sickness that effects their sinus passages (stuffy noses or coughs). Untreated ear infections can cause damage to the child's hearing, but if you stick to the "3 day rule" and look for worsening symptoms or if it seems that she is not getting better in that time, then you should be doing really well to avoid any damage to her hearing. Most often it's the child that has many back to back infections to where the ear doesn't have time to fully heal - even though the child is no longer in pain - there still may be swelling or fluid in the ear that never really subsides before the child experiences another infection. These are usually the kids that suffer from hearing loss or damage to the inner ear. If you keep a watchful eye and take her to the doctor to have her ears checked over her next few colds you will know if she is one of these kids and what action to take. I wish you all the best and hope that you don't listen to those heartless people claiming you are causing your daughter pain. You are making the best choices for your daughter - you obviously care and adore her. Take care and stay strong.

If it's bacterial I think you will need the antibiotics. I have never heard of getting rid of one without them but there may be some tried and true remedies...what did the doctor say? My son has had an ongoing problem with ear infections since December. He has been on several courses of antibiotics and he's having tubes in his ears next month because they are so recurrent (probably because he's going to preschool a few mornings a week now). I can tell you this....the pain subsides a lot more when he is on the antibiotics than when he's off of them.

Mullein oil with garlic. Warm the bottle under tap water a little. Put some drops in her bad ear, put cotton in it before sleep. The cotton will look brown when you take it out, try to keep it there for about 12 hours.

Yes, I treated it like any other "owie" (keeping ears/area clean) and it healed by itself thereby increasing immunity. Good like, A.

Hi! I'm sure this doesn't happen to most kids...but my son had several ear infections before age 18 months and WAS prescribed antibiotics for them...he ended up building an allergy to the antibiotics! He was hospitilized and everything. It was really scary. Like anything else, you have to be exposed to it a few times before the allergy gets worse and worse. Maybe keeping clear of them isn't a bad ides. Now he can't have ANY antibiotics without risk.

Ear infections are so painful.....My little ones got them all the time. I never tried to fight them without antibiotics.

Good Luck.....if there is a natural remedy i would love to know about it.


Please give her antibiotics while you search for other alternatives. ear infections hurt!!!!!~

u should google "serrapeptase" it's natural and there are ear drops u can buy at Wholefoods. I would be careful though ..i've heard that ignoring it could possibly affect hearing.

Is she complaining/crying/pullking on her ears? Because then she is in pain. I have gone both ways on ear infections. If they are up at night screaming, I do antibiotics. if the infection is found because we just happen to be at the doc's office and it's discovered. then I do nothing. But, keep in mind, infections anywhere on the head can go to the brain. and that is not good.

When I was little, I had ear infections all the time, and never once was given antibiotics and they all cleared up of course. Looking back though, it probably would have been a good idea to have had tubes in my ears since I had so MANY infections. My parents should at least have taken me to the doctor to get it looked at.

But an infection does not always necessitate antibiotics, and I cringed a little bit at the people who answered before me implying that the ONLY way is to have your daughter take antibiotics lest you risk damaging her ears for life. There are too many doctors out there who are way too prescription happy and do more harm than good because they prescribe when it's not necessary. Just because they are a doctor doesn't mean they are perfect in all wisdom and judgment, even though they are trained to diagnose and treat symptoms.
God gave our bodies the ability to heal themselves, and in many ear infections, if you just wait it out a few days it goes away on it's own. Just give her some pain medication to make it easier for her. Similisan ear drops are also helpful as long as there is no pus/drainage coming out from the ear (perforated ear drum). Antibiotics and medicine can help you heal faster in many instances, but are not always the best idea. In fact, when you do take antibiotics, you should take probiotics for a few weeks too, so all the good bacteria in your digestive system that has been destroyed, gets regenerated faster too. You can even buy baby probiotics at Whole Foods, powder form called Baby Jarro-dophilus.

Anyway, if this was my baby, this is what I would do.
Take her to the doctor. Have the doctor look and see how bad the infection is. See if the doctor will let you hold off on antibiotics for a few days. Take the baby back in a few days and see how things are progressing, and see if you are still good without antibiotics.
Our pediatrician is very good about not prescribing antibiotics unless absolutely necessary and is more than happy for us to go this route. If yours is not, you might want to find another pediatrician who is more conservative with treatments.

We had a VERY negative experience but my son had some unique issues. His ear canals are shaped funny making him more prone to infection and harder to fight. I know many people get awesome results with the chiropractor. My only caution is that if the infections go on too long at such an important time in speech development. We had a lot of catch up work to get his speech on track. Being sick for a prolonged time also slowed him down with food too. At 12 months he quit eating solids all together. I wish I had listened to my mommy instinct instead of our doctor. Listen to your gut!

That is cruel. It is really painful and can get worse if you do not treat it.

We don't use antibiotics unless really necessary. Ear infections go away on their own. As long as they aren't uncomfortable, in which case you can give them something for pain, I'd let it go.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.