Infant Sleep and Ear Infections

Dreaded ear infections can make sleep quite painful for baby, which causes him to wake up screaming in pain. This blood curdling scream can scare parents, too, and certainly keep everyone from getting a good night’s sleep. Parents often wonder what causes their little one to be in so much pain during the night when they appear to be okay during waking hours. Generally, this is due to the fact that when baby is reclined all of the fluid builds up in his tiny ear and the pressure becomes quite painful. That’s when the fussiness and crying will begin. There are several ways to help baby with his pain and allow everyone to get a good night’s sleep.

The first is to put baby to bed in a reclining position. This could be in his car seat, a swing, or even propping up his crib mattress so his head is elevated. Do not put baby on pillows or blankets to prop his head up as this could cause suffocation. By inclining baby to sleep the fluid in his ears will be able to drain and he won’t be in as much pain.

Infant Tylenol or Motrin may be recommended, too, for the little one to help ease the pain. Pediatricians sometimes prescribe ear drops that numb the eardrum so baby does not feel so much pain. Before you can get to the pediatrician, though, the first two suggestions will certainly prove helpful in easing baby’s pain and allowing everyone to sleep.

Reduce Ear Infections

In the future, the best policy is to avoid ear infections if at all possible. That means avoiding as many germs as possible. One way to do this is by avoiding large daycare centers. Place your baby in a small setting to reduce the amount of germs he is exposed to. Next, breastfeed baby for at least 12 months if not 24 months or longer to improve baby’s immune system and his ability to fight off germs.

Most babies are subject to ear infections from 6 to 18 months, after which they usually have ears that have grown enough to reduce the risk of ear infections. By age 3, most kids have no more problems with ear infections than an adult.