Getting Ear Drops in 2 Year Olds Ears!

Updated on January 08, 2008
J.E. asks from Orlando, FL
13 answers

Does anyone have any tips/tricks on getting a 2 year old (just turned 2 in Dec)to let you put ear drops in the ears? My son has tubes (though one just fell out)and has drainage from one ear and now has antibiotic ear drops. Problem is he HATES anything messing with his ears/nose. We usually resort to holding him down while he screams and hope the drops do not roll out before he gets up. We have tried letting him give mommy/daddy/elmo ear luck...any other ideas...or maybe he'll just ahve to tough it out for a week?
Thank you!!

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all the advice!! My son's ear infection has cleared up and we are no worse for the wear. I did find that putting them in at room temperature was better for him ( I asked his doctor, those drops are not painful). Also, I found that if I bribed him with his playdough he would let me put them in. Again, thank you...all the advice was great and very helpful.

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answers from Tampa on

My little guy - 4 years old - never made a big complain about it but it was easy to put the drops while he was asleep. The Drops i had were needed 2 times a day , so once in the morning while he was not awake yet and once in the evening after he was asleep. Good Luck. A.

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answers from Panama City on

I had the same problem with my almost three year old. I mean really, who likes "stuff" dropped into their ears OR eyes (smile). I would drop them in his ear when he would nap/sleep...and he still twinged. And actually now that I've read these messages, I thought it was just me and I was the only one but just as Rita H said below, I came to find out that the drops were actually hurting his ear something terrible. He actually had a much more tremendous amout of pain from the drops then he had from his ear infection. It took me a couple of ear infections to realize that and also my husband felt the same way but thought well maybe it's our imagination. So yes, I agree with Rita H that maybe they are actually hurting his ear and that's why he's "struggling" with you. I'm sure just the mere idea of doing this doesn't sit well BUT it really could be that they are hurting his ear.



answers from Tampa on

Hi J.,

When my daughter was little, she also hated ear drops, or nose syringing, or anything that messed with her face!

I was successful in getting ear drops in her by one of two methods:

1. I would actually drop the ear drop on the edge of the ear canal, where it would warm up as it rolled in. Worked like magic - she didn't apparently like the cold feeling - who would!

2. When she defied that, I waited until she was asleep at nap time and bed time - then i would put a drop in one ear, and come back 30 minutes later, turn her and do the other ear, it worked every time.

See if either of those work for you!



answers from Tampa on

Have ya tried distracting him first, then sneaking the
drops in ? Or do it when the child is sleeping ?



answers from Tampa on

My daughter has tubes too, and has had a few infections. She was prescribed the ear drops too, for infections, and she used to scream a lot after we put them in. We found out that she was in tremendous pain from the drops, and actually had a side reaction from them. From then on end, we asked for oral antibiotics to treat her infections. The doctors didn't like doing that, but they were just as effective as the drops. The ENT said that some children (5% or so..) experience a lot of pain from the medicine entering their inner ear. So, before you continue to force the drops into your child's ear, evaluate why is he so resistant. And, perhaps if he really hates the drops, ask for oral antibiotics instead. The doctors say that the drops work quicker, but my experience was that the oral antibiotics work just as quick. Good luck!



answers from Ocala on

Have you tried doing it while he's sleeping? I have a 20 month old and I do everything like that while he's sleeping.



answers from Gainesville on

As a physician I can tell you this is a common battle. A couple of tips that might make it easier.

1. Make sure the drops are room temperature--drops that come straight out of the fridge or are too hot can make him dizzy and that may be part of it.

2. True some drops are very painful because they are vey acidic. You can ask your doctor to switch you to a different drop that is less acidic and might be less painful.

3. Distraction is key if he is uncooperative. I certainly recommend doing it when he's asleep. If that doesn't work and you have to fight him, make sure you push on the little bump in front of his ear (tragus) and that will help milk the drops down the ear canal so they will be less prone to coming out.



answers from Orlando on

I haven't had this problem with my own children yet, however, I had tubes in my ear as a young child and also hated the drops. My mom used to put the medicine in the microwave for a few seconds so they weren't so cold going in my ear and I remember that helping.



answers from Lakeland on

have you tried warming the liquid, like heat up some water in a cup and put the ear drop bottle in it for a minute or you can just rub the bottle itself in between your hands, sometimes the liquid can be cold and that will make it worse for them, I hope this helps, best of luck.



answers from Sarasota on

If he is like my son, the fact that the drops are cold might not mean much. My son hates any medicating whatsoever and we struggle every time he needs something. We have had to to the eye drops and have come up with a trick for that. My instict is to do it while he is sleeping. My son is a very deep sleeper and I really doubt it would wake him up. Warming the drops would be nice to make sure they don't wake him up, but awake I think you will continue to stuggle!



answers from Sarasota on

We had the same problem with my son. We would hold him down, put the ear drops in and then to keep him on his side, we spun him around like an airplane. As he got heavier, it became harder, but we tried to keep him on his side as long as possible so the drops stayed in. We made if fun, so he forgot about the drops being in his ears.

Good Luck



answers from Melbourne on

my son just got tubes as well, he is 2. We would rub the bottle in our hands to make it warm (the doc. told us to do that) then we would swaddle him so that he didn't move as much ( he cried but it was faster this way) rolled him on one side then put the cotton ball in then rolled him on the other saide and put the meds in and then the cotton ball. once we were done we unwrapped him and held him and told him what a big boy he was.Hope all works out. good luck



answers from Tampa on

I had this same problem with my son as well. We used to warm the drops and we used to sneak the drops in his ear while our son was sleeping. He is a heavy sleeper, so this worked very well for us. I know how hard it is to hold your child down while they are screaming to get the drops in. You can go through a whole bottle of drops and not even get one in the ear.

Good luck!!

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