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Home / Health Insurance / Articles / Health Tips / Baby Health / How to Clean Baby Ears: Ways to Clear Earwax Buildup in Babies

How to Clean Baby Ears: Ways to Clear Earwax Buildup in Babies

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

There are many ways to clean your baby’s ears. The method that suits both your baby and you, as a parent should be adopted. Cleaning a baby’s ears is not as easy as it may seem. There are many safety measures that need to be kept in check. It is important to keep in mind what you are dealing with when it comes to earwax in the ears. 



Earwax is produced naturally in bodies (both in adults and in babies). The glands in the ears produce earwax to trap dirt and other things that could harm the ears. The colour of earwax ranges from yellowish to brownish. It is a natural occurrence in the body but it does not mean that it should be taken lightly. It should be cleaned as soon as possible.

What happens if your baby’s ears are not cleaned?

Usually, the earwax builds up, dries and comes to the outer ear and falls off. A buildup of wax can occur when well-meaning parents attempt to clean their baby's ear with cotton swabs, which can actually force the wax back inside the ear and create a blockage. If the ears of the baby are not cleaned regularly then this could lead to ear aches, itching and even hearing problems.

A buildup can become serious when wax traps water in the external ear canal or when the baby's hearing becomes compromised. If the wax is too deep or too hard to remove, earwax-softening drops are suggested by the doctor. 

Ways to clean your baby’s ears

Below are tips on how to clean your baby’s ears:

Using a washcloth

There are many ways to clean the earwax from your baby’s ears. The most commonly used way is cleaning the earwax using a warm and wet wash cloth. The wash cloth is not inserted in the inner ear, as it is as harmful for the baby as is a cotton swab. It is used to clean the outer canal and the surface of the ears as these places have earwax build up. The steps to use a wet cloth to clean your baby’s ears are as follows:

• You should wet a cloth with warm water and keep a check that the water is not too hot for your baby.

• You should ring out the wet cloth nicely so that there is no extra water dripping from it into your baby’s ear.

• You should gently rub the wet cloth on the outer ear so that if there is any earwax it would come out.

• You should never put the wet cloth inside your baby’s ear. It is as harmful for the baby as human fingers or cotton swabs.

Using baby ear drops

You should first check with your doctor if using hydrogen peroxide solution ear drops, is safe for your baby. If he agrees then, first you should fill a small, clean glass bottle half-way with hydrogen peroxide and then fill the rest of the bottle with water.  After mixing it well, it becomes a solution, ready to be put into your baby’s ears to clean the earwax. There are some things you should keep in mind before using eardrops. They are as follows:

• You should use the ear drops on your baby only when he is calm.

• You should warm up the bottle by rubbing it in between your hands.

• You should check the level of the dropper up to which it should be filled.

• You should place the dropper above the ear canal before pouring the drops in the ear.

• You should pour the ear drop one at a time, if the prescription says that more than one drop is needed, go ahead.

• You have to make sure that your baby is still for a few minutes after the drop is applied so that it can enter the ear canal.

Your baby's ears: What if earwax drops and wet cloths do not work?

The doctors may opt to use an infant earwax removal tool when no other way works. The seriously build up earwax is curved out with a tool called a curette. It might sound painful but the doctors do it so gently that the baby does not get hurt.

Not all baby earwax is harmful. Some of it is good and normal but too much of a good thing sometimes harms one. You should check with your pediatrician if you have any questions about how to clean your baby ears. 

Dos and don’ts of cleaning your baby’s ears

• You should not use a cotton swab to clean your baby’s ears. It may rupture the eardrum or make the wax problem worse.

• You should not put your fingers inside the ear as well to clean the earwax. It is as harmful as the cotton swab.

• Earwax drops should be used if it becomes a serious problem.

• You should not use hydrogen peroxide ear drops on a baby who cannot support her own head. The drops and water will not drain properly.

• You should not use ear cleaning kit on your baby’s ears.

• If you want to clean the inner ear of the baby, you should take your baby to the doctor and get it cleaned as the doctor can clean it without the risk of puncturing or scratching your baby’s eardrums.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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