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What to Know About Cleaning Your Baby’s Ears


As a new mom, there are numerous tasks when caring for your little bundle of joy. Some of them can be easy to take on, such as giving them a bath or cutting their nails. However, others can be a little scary to do, and this includes cleaning your baby’s ears.

Cleaning Baby’s Ears Is Important

You may be wondering if you need to clean your baby’s ears. The answer is yes, but your task is to clean the outer ears and the skin around them only. This is something that can be done while you are bathing your baby. You only need to use a washcloth and a cotton ball. Don’t use a cotton swab, as it may only cause problems. If you see earwax, do not attempt to remove it, particularly if you don’t know how to alleviate blocked ears. This is best left to the experts. Earwax actually serves as protection for your baby’s ears, since it helps protect and lubricate the inner ear. Plus, it also has antibacterial properties.

How to Clean Your Baby’s Ears

First-time mothers may find it challenging to clean their baby’s ears. This must be done regularly to prevent any dirt build-up. There is no need to buy a special cotton swab for the baby; a simple cotton ball soaked in warm water will do. A soft washcloth with warm water also works.

Washing the Outer Ear

Here’s what you should do if you need to clean your baby’s outer ear.

  1. Soak the cotton balls with warm water or wet the washcloth.
  2. Remove excess water from the washcloth or cotton balls. Make sure the water is warm. Using hot water can burn the baby’s skin.
  3. Use the washcloth or the cotton ball to gently wipe behind the baby’s ear. Do the same around the outer area of each ear.

Note: Do not try to put the washcloth or cotton ball in your baby’s ear. It can cause ear canal damage.

Cleaning the Ears With Ear Drops

In case you see earwax, and you notice that it bothers your baby, you can bring them to your pediatrician to see whether your baby will need to be prescribed ear drops. Should your baby need ear drops to remove wax buildup, here’s what you should do:

  1. Calm your baby and slowly let them lie on their side with the ear with wax buildup facing up.
  2. Pull the lower lobe down gently to try opening the ear canal.
  3. Once you see the ear canal clearly, start putting two drops or the amount prescribed by your pediatrician in the ear.
  4. Make sure that your baby will stay in this lying position for at least 10 minutes. If you can nurse your baby to keep them still, the better. When it is time, slowly roll them such that the affected ear will now be facing down.
  5. Place a tissue under the baby’s ear and let the ear drops run out of the ear.

Do not attempt to stick anything in your baby’s ear to see if there is still earwax inside. Also, always use the drops as recommended by your pediatrician, particularly on how many drops you should put and how often you should do the procedure.

Caring for a baby is no easy task. There may be things that we will learn as we take care of them, and there are those that we have to learn when we ask those who are more knowledgeable. Ensuring that your baby has clean ears is often an overlooked aspect of child care so make sure to always clean your baby’s ears.