June 22, 2008,
J.A. asks from Sandown, NH on June 17, 2008
How to Clean Ears with Baby Oil
I have always cleaned my baby's ears with the q-tips that are made for infants. But at my daughter's 6 month check-up the doctor mentioned that she had some wax in one of her ears and to make sure I cleaned them with warm baby oil. I said okay, and now I'm realizing that I have no idea how to do that.
Do I put warm baby oil on something and insert it? Do I use a dropper? How warm should it be? How much do I use? Please help.
D.O. answers from Providence on June 22, 2008
I have always been told not to use q tips or anything in the ears. The DR. should have taking care of that with a special tool to clean the ears. Thats what my DR. has always done
C.R. answers from Boston on June 18, 2008
I've been taught that no one should ever insert Q-tips inside ears (or rather, nothing smaller than your elbow should go in the ear :)- it pushes some wax in further and compacts it against the ear drum, making it difficult to come out on its own and causing build up over time. Usually it makes its way out on its own without help. But using a dropper to drop in a few drops of mildly warm plain olive oil or grapeseed oil is usually enough to help soften it up- let it sit for a few minutes and then lay her on her side for it to drain out, wiping up whatever comes out of the ear with a cotton ball or clean cloth. I'd buy a separate, brand new bottle of oil to use for the ears, so you're not using one that might have been contaminated with bacteria from other baby care use and introduce something that could cause infection. Once a day for a couple days should be enough, and then at most once a week if she needs ongoing maintenance. As long as she's never had a perforation in the ear drum, it is ok to use oil drops.
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L.Q. answers from Boston on June 18, 2008
I would call your pediatrician's office. The person who answers the phone may even know how to do this or can have a nurse or doctor call you back. I would say get a lotion warmer to put the baby oil in, then use a Q-tip but make sure you don't go to far into the ear canal! But all doctors will say not to use Q-tips at all for any reason so I am not sure how they'd want you to clean the ears then? I have used Debrox for myself and it worked great!
L.P. answers from Boston on June 17, 2008
i think that it means to dampen the qtip with its and rub it on the wax to loosen it. but i would call and ask the doctor.
C.D. answers from Boston on June 17, 2008
Never heard of such a thing. Call them back and ask specifically. Baby oil can be very dangerous to a child if injested or inhaled so be careful.
R.J. answers from Burlington on June 17, 2008
Our peds dr. says NEVER put anything in baby's ears - not even Q-tips! I've been told, and read, that ears are self-cleaning and if they need to be cleaned, only touch the outer most ear and wipe away any excess wax you can visibly see without going into the canal. Wax is a good thing! It's a protective coating that keeps things (i.e., infection, germs, etc.) from entering the ear. I would call around to several peds drs. & get a second opinion on this for sure. Here's something that might help: http://www.babycenter.com/404_can-i-clean-my-babys-ears-w...
B.G. answers from Barnstable on June 17, 2008
Everyone says something different. My pedi tells me all the time that my daughter has wax in her ears but that its not a big deal, that I dont have to clean them ... and they tell me to never use a Q tip - that the wax will come out on its own and I can just use a tissue to wipe it away. But they have told me to go to CVS and buy these ear wax softener drops and that will help get the excess wax out.
K.V. answers from Boston on June 17, 2008
He should have done it while you were there! She may have an abundance of wax. In this case, a bit of room temp olive oil does the job. You can drop it in there with a dropper and gently wipe wax out with dry q-tip...not way down in.
K.Q. answers from Boston on June 18, 2008
I always used baby Qtips with my son, but with my second (daughter), she got huge, gross wax buildup that my pedi had to scoop out with a plastic ear tool. Yuck. My pedi said that the Qtips just packs the wax in. She suggested either using hygrogen peroxide or Debrox (which is an over-the-counter oily ear drop). I read that you can also use olive oil, or I assume, baby oil. I think "warm" refers to body temperature; nothing too hot. I used a dropper to put a few drops in one ear at a time. Hold the baby like you were going to nurse or rock. My husband put the drops in the ear facing up, and I would dance around or nurse her (or if your baby is not a light sleeper, you could do this while she sleeps on her side). Let the stuff sit as long as she can stand it (a few minutes at least), then flip over and do the other side. I put a cloth under her ear to catch what drains out. I also find that a nice hot, humid day does wonders. Put the baby down for a nap with a cloth under her head and the hot weather usually will melt it right out. (Eww!)