What is the recommended method for cleaning the ears of infants and then toddlers? Can you offer any other hygiene-related information or suggestions?
My suggestion for cleaning your baby's ears is don't. Ear wax serves an important protective function for the external ear canal, as a coating against moisture and bacteria. Probing the canal with a cotton bud or other foreign object is not only unnecessary, it's dangerous. The skin cells in the canal can rub off, leaving painful open areas, and if the cotton bud goes in too far it can puncture the eardrum, resulting in infection, scarring and even hearing loss. Toddlers and older children can sometimes build up excess wax in the ear, which can hurt or interfere with hearing. Putting a few drops of earwax softener or mineral oil in the affected ear canal two to four times a day can help soften the wax and promote natural drainage. If you have other questions, you should discuss them with your baby's GP.