Strategy #1 Learn To Spot Your Childs Sleep Cues How To Help Baby With Ear Infection Sleep
Like the rest of us, your child has a sleep window of opportunity, a period of time when he is tired, but not too tired.If that window closes before you have a chance to tuck your child into bed, his body will start releasing chemicals to fight the fatigue and it will be much more difficult for you to get him to go to sleep. So how can you tell if your baby is getting sleepy? Its not as if your one-month-old can tell you what he needs. Here are some sleep cues that your baby is ready to start winding down for a nap or for bedtime:-Your baby is calmer and less active this is the most obvious cue that your baby is tired and you need to act accordingly.-Your baby may be less tuned-in to his surroundings his eyes may be less focused and his eyelids may be drooping.-Your baby may be quieter if your baby tends to babble up a storm during his more social times of the day, you may notice that the chatter dwindles off as he starts to get sleepy.-Your baby may nurse more slowly instead of sucking away vigorously, your baby will tend to nurse more slowly as he gets sleepy. In fact, if hes sleepy enough, he may even fall asleep mid-meal.-Your baby may start yawning if your baby does this, well, thats a not-so-subtle sign that hes one sleepy baby.
Take Precautions Against Allergies
If you think allergies could be causing your child’s ear infections, be proactive by removing as many allergenic items from your home as possible. For instance, bar pets from your child’s sleeping area, keep the rooms where she spends the most time as free of dust as possible, and opt for bedding without feathers or down.
Can Ear Tubes Help
If your child experiences frequent or chronic ear infections, your pediatrician may discuss ear tubes with you. Ear tubes are tiny tubes that are surgically placed into your childs eardrums to drain fluid and prevent blockages. Ear tubes can provide immediate relief for little ones who regularly experience painful ear infections. Talk with your pediatrician and a pediatric ear, nose, and throat doctor to see whether ear tubes are right for your child.
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Treating An Ear Infection
If you notice the above signs, especially after having few days of cold symptoms, you should call your pediatrician. During this appointment your doctor will check inside your childs ears with a lighted instrument. Depending on how the eardrum looks and severity of symptoms, we will give you advice on how to get your child and whole family back to sleeping comfortably all night.
Although this is an infection, either caused by viruses or bacteria, most of the time ear infections can get better on their own.
Keep in mind that antibiotics do not work on viruses.
You and your childs doctor can adopt a wait and see approach for couple of days. During this time, there are a few things you can do to help your child get well and stay comfortable.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Suction the nose frequently
- Feed in an upright position
- Make sure the baby sleeps with the head elevated to decrease pressure on the ear and relieve pain
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Easy Ways To Cure Ear Infection
Ear infections are relatively common in both adults and children. Indeed, one in ten adults gets an ear infection at least once in their life, with more women getting it than men. The problem is estimated to affect nine in ten children before their third birthday. Also known as otitis media, ear infection is caused by bacteria or viruses in the ear canal. The infection causes pain due to fluid buildup and increased pressure against the eardrum. How to deal with it?
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Where Can I Find Additional Information About Ear Infections
The NIDCD maintains a directory of organizations that provide information on the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language.
Use the following keywords to help you search for organizations that can answer questions and provide printed or electronic information on ear infections:
Antibiotics Are Not Always The Answer
About 60 percent of ear infections are believed to be bacterial the other 40 percent are sparked by viruses and can’t be cured by antibiotics.
In 2004, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians jointly issued guidelines for treating acute ear infections in kids. The main message to doctors: Hand out fewer unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics, and give the body’s immune system a chance about two to three days to fight off the infection on its own. Studies have shown that approximately 80 percent of middle-ear infections in children go away without antibiotics in a week or so, and about 60 percent of kids have fewer symptoms after 24 hours, whether they take antibiotics or not.
“Watchful waiting” is appropriate for a healthy child between 6 months and 2 years of age when her symptoms aren’t severe and her doctor isn’t sure after looking in her ear that there’s an infection. It’s also appropriate for kids over 2 without severe symptoms.
During the waiting period, your pediatrician will probably suggest a pain reliever such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or anesthetic ear drops. If your child’s symptoms don’t improve, contact the doctor.
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How To Prevent Ear Infections In Babies And Toddlers
There are a few ways you can get ahead of your childâs chance of getting ear infections:
Breastfeeding your baby. Since breast milk contains antibodies, itâs been known to promote a lower rate of ear infections in breastfed babies compared to formula-fed babies
Always bottle-feeding your baby in an upright position. Feed your baby so their head is above the level of the stomach to prevent the Eustachian tubes from getting blocked by the fluid
Not smoking around your child
Ensuring your child has received their latest vaccinations
Practicing good hygiene, like frequent handwashing
Providing your child nutritious meals.
How Is An Acute Middle Ear Infection Treated
Many doctors will prescribe an antibiotic, such as amoxicillin, to be taken over seven to 10 days. Your doctor also may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or eardrops, to help with fever and pain.
If your doctor isnt able to make a definite diagnosis of OM and your child doesnt have severe ear pain or a fever, your doctor might ask you to wait a day or two to see if the earache goes away. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidelines in 2013 that encourage doctors to observe and closely follow these children with ear infections that cant be definitively diagnosed, especially those between the ages of 6 months to 2 years. If theres no improvement within 48 to 72 hours from when symptoms began, the guidelines recommend doctors start antibiotic therapy. Sometimes ear pain isnt caused by infection, and some ear infections may get better without antibiotics. Using antibiotics cautiously and with good reason helps prevent the development of bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics.
If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, its important to make sure your child takes it exactly as prescribed and for the full amount of time. Even though your child may seem better in a few days, the infection still hasnt completely cleared from the ear. Stopping the medicine too soon could allow the infection to come back. Its also important to return for your childs follow-up visit, so that the doctor can check if the infection is gone.
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What Are The Signs Of An Ear Infection
The most obvious sign of an ear infection is a sudden jolt of pain in one section of the ear or another. Sometimes, it is easy to dismiss it as something that will go away on its own and pay no further attention to it.
However, the pain usually only worsens over time, especially as bedtime approaches. The level of discomfort can be so sharp that you could end up counting sheep throughout the night even among heavy sleepers who usually drift off without much effort.
Here are a few obvious signs that you have an ear infection:
- Sharp instant pain or dull continuous pain in the ears
- Sharp pain with immediate oozing of pus from the ear
- A feeling of fullness in the ear
- Hearing difficulties
- Severe pain from lying down
If you suspect that your child may be down with an ear infection, here are a few signs to confirm the suspicions:
- Ear Tugging
- Crying during sleep at night
Ouch: How To Help A Child With An Ear Infection
Apr 10, 2017 | News
According to the National Institute of Health, five in six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. Theyre painful, theyre stubborn and they can be tough for a young child to cope with. If your child is suffering, there are a few things you can do to help ease their discomfort.
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Signs Of An Ear Infection
Ear infections are common in babies, and it is helpful to know the classic signs to watch out for:
- Crying and irritability: Your babys ear is most likely painful, so expect crying and irritability. You may notice more crying when your baby lies down. This is because the ear pressure increases with lying down, leading to an increase in pain and discomfort during an ear infection.
- Tugging at the ear: Because your baby is too young to tell you that their ear hurts, look for signs such as tugging on the affected ear.
- Difficulty feeding: The act of sucking and swallowing causes changes in ear pressure and is usually uncomfortable during an ear infection. You may notice that your baby is hungry and seems eager to eat, but stops right away.
- Trouble sleeping: Expect a restless night or two when your baby has an ear infection. Because lying down is painful, your little one will probably wake throughout the night.
- Ear drainage: Its possible for your baby to develop ear drainage with an ear infection. The drainage will appear different than normal ear wax, which is orange-yellow or reddish-brown. Infected drainage may appear white, green, yellow, or blood-tinged and have a foul odor.
- Fever: Its estimated that about 50% of babies and children will develop a fever with an ear infection.
What To Expect From Your Doctor
Most children will recover from an ear infection in about three days. While it used to be common practice to prescribe antibiotics, unnecessary use of antibiotics increases the risk that the infection-causing bacteria will develop a resistance to medications. Future infections can become harder to treat.
Doctors today tend to reserve antibiotics for:
- Children under six months of age
- Severe cases, such as ruptured eardrums
- Infections lasting longer than 72 hours
- Children at risk for serious infection or complications
Unless your child already had a cold or flu, cold and flu medications are unlikely to help. Your doctor may recommend a mild anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, for children over six months old.
Your doctor may recommend you postpone any planned airplane trips until the infection clears up. Changes in cabin pressure can exacerbate symptoms and risk eardrum perforation.
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Can Ear Infections Be Prevented
Currently, the best way to prevent ear infections is to reduce the risk factors associated with them. Here are some things you might want to do to lower your childs risk for ear infections.
- Vaccinate your child against the flu. Make sure your child gets the influenza, or flu, vaccine every year.
- It is recommended that you vaccinate your child with the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine . The PCV13 protects against more types of infection-causing bacteria than the previous vaccine, the PCV7. If your child already has begun PCV7 vaccination, consult your physician about how to transition to PCV13. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children under age 2 be vaccinated, starting at 2 months of age. Studies have shown that vaccinated children get far fewer ear infections than children who arent vaccinated. The vaccine is strongly recommended for children in daycare.
- Wash hands frequently. Washing hands prevents the spread of germs and can help keep your child from catching a cold or the flu.
- Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smoke. Studies have shown that babies who are around smokers have more ear infections.
- Never put your baby down for a nap, or for the night, with a bottle.
- Dont allow sick children to spend time together. As much as possible, limit your childs exposure to other children when your child or your childs playmates are sick.
Over The Counter Pain Killers
Have a bottle of Aleve or Advil in your bathroom medicine cabinet? Why not pop a pill or two into your mouth and swallow? Taking anti-inflammatories can help you sleep well at night when youre suffering from an ear infection.
These medications work by reducing the swelling and intercepting the pain messages sent to the brain. Thus, sleep may become possible despite the obvious discomfort being experienced.
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The #1 Thing To Consider With Ear Infections
I have seen it many times in my 10+ years working with families. A baby or toddler is diagnosed with an ear infection, is given medication, and parents administer the medication as instructed. The ear infection will go away, right? Wrong! Well, yes, most of the time, everything clears up perfectly as expected. However, for some babies and young children, we have heard time and again that the ear infection did NOT go away and sleep is still horrible. If your child is still not feeling like his- or herself even during the day playing, be sure to visit the healthcare provider again and make sure the infection cleared up. Ive heard from some families needing to give a different medication or multiple doses.
What Causes An Ear Infection
An ear infection is a viral or bacterial infection in the middle ear. It usually begins with a cold or allergies, which can cause the eustachian tubesa passage between the middle ear and upper throatto get blocked. The result: fluid build-up in the areas just behind the eardrum, and the pressure from the inflammation is what causes all that pain.
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How To Sleep With An Ear Infection
Ear infections commonly plague children, and also affect some adults. The infection typically affects the middle ear . The eustachian tubes inside the ears become clogged with mucus and fluids. The resulting pain and itching can become almost unbearable, causing difficulty sleeping and leaving you even more miserable the next day. If you are at your wits end on how to sleep with an ear infection, here are some useful tips to help ease the discomfort.
What To Avoid With An Ear Infection
You may not be able to prevent future ear infections fromhappening entirely. However, there are a few things you can do if your ears aresensitive to diseases to minimize your chances.
- Keep small objects out. As tempting as it may be, try not to insert anything into your ear, such as cotton swabs. These swabs can actually push ear wax further into your ear and can exacerbate your ear infection.
- Smoking. By constantly surrounding yourself with the irritants that are in cigarette smoke, you may be making your ear tubes more susceptible to infection.
- Garlic cloves in your ear. Sounds odd, right? Thats because it is. There are many theories out there that putting garlic in your ear will help thanks to its antibiotic properties. While the properties are there, the garlic resting on your concha isnt going to reach your eardrum, where the infection is. Also, its just not a good idea to stick small objects in your ears. Which is why you should instead use a product infused with garlic rather than an actual clove!
- Water in the ears. In the case of otitis externa keep ears dry and avoid swimming, if possible.
Even though ear infections are painful, sleeping comfortably can be easy, and your symptoms should begin to go away on their own after a few days. You shouldnt lose too much sleep! But, be sure to see your doctor immediately if you believe you have a ruptured eardrum, or the infection lasts too long.
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What Happens If My Child Keeps Getting Ear Infections
To keep a middle ear infection from coming back, it helps to limit some of the factors that might put your child at risk, such as not being around people who smoke and not going to bed with a bottle. In spite of these precautions, some children may continue to have middle ear infections, sometimes as many as five or six a year. Your doctor may want to wait for several months to see if things get better on their own but, if the infections keep coming back and antibiotics arent helping, many doctors will recommend a surgical procedure that places a small ventilation tube in the eardrum to improve air flow and prevent fluid backup in the middle ear. The most commonly used tubes stay in place for six to nine months and require follow-up visits until they fall out.
If placement of the tubes still doesnt prevent infections, a doctor may consider removing the adenoids to prevent infection from spreading to the eustachian tubes.