7 fantastic secrets to prevent ear infection in your baby
Infection of the ear in babies occurs when fluid accumulates in the area behind the baby’s eardrum and becomes infected.
Normally, any fluid that enters the ear flows quickly through the Eustachian tubes, which connect the middle ear to the back of the nose and throat. But if an Eustachian tube is blocked – as often happens during colds, sinus infections, even allergies – the fluid is trapped in the middle ear.
There are some steps you can take to make your child less likely to have recurrent ear infections. (The first is specifically about babies)
1) Breastfeed the baby for the first six months
Breast milk provides antibodies against ear infections.
2) Hold your baby standing when you feed him
Hold him so that his head is higher than the rest of his body. Babies fed while they are lying are more likely to develop ear infections.
3) Move your baby away from the pacifier from 6 months
Babies 6 months of age or older are slightly more likely to develop ear infections if they use pacifiers, so consider reducing the use of your pacifier or avoiding it completely if your baby is having to ear infections.
4) Avoid second-hand smoke
Keep your baby away from tobacco smoke because exposure to smoke increases the risk of infection. Make your home a non-smoking environment and do not take your child to places where there are smokers.
5) Wash your hands frequently
Although ear infections are not contagious, the resulting respiratory infections are. Keep your child’s hands clean and stay away from people with respiratory infections as much as possible.
6) Make sure your child’s vaccinations are up-to-date
Vaccines help prevent certain diseases that can lead to an infection of the ear. Research shows that since the introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine into the immunization schedule, the number of children with ear infections has decreased.
7) Make sure you position the baby correctly during the meal
If you are feeding your baby with a bottle, hold the baby in a semi-upright position so that the milk does not return to the Eustachian tubes. Avoid keeping the bottle for the same reason.