Ear Infections and Sleep
Ear infections are sneaky little things. They can disrupt sleep for days, even weeks, if undetected and left untreated.
If your baby is usually a good sleeper, and things suddenly seem off, it’s possible that an ear infection could be behind it. Even if your baby is fine during the day and only has a hard time at night, it could be an ear infection.
Why Do Ear Infections Affect Sleep?
Ear infections can cause more pain at night, because laying flat for hours puts more pressure on your baby’s inflamed ear drum. In fact, sometimes babies won’t display the classic symptoms of ear infections, and the only clue that something is awry is frequent night wakings that are out of the norm.
Signs of An Ear Infection
- Runny nose and runny eyes
- Mucus in eyes
- Pulling or tugging at the ears (not present in all babies)
- Fever over 100 degrees (not present in all babies)
- Disrupted sleep
- Trouble hearing (temporary, don’t worry)
- Loss of balance
Your baby doesn’t have to show these symptoms to have an ear infection – sometimes, the only symptom is disrupted sleep.
The only way to know for sure is to have her ears checked, so head over to your pediatrician if you suspect that something is off.
Some ear infections clear up on their own and some need antibiotics. Do antibiotics always help? No! Many times they do, but in some cases your baby may need another dosage or a different medication. Keep an eye on your baby over the next few days and track his condition. Keeping in contact with your pediatrician will ensure the smoothest and fastest recovery.
If your pediatrician approves, you may want to try these natural Ear Drops in addition to whatever your doctor prescribes. They’re homeopathic and moms love them!
What You Can Do in the Meantime
Until your baby gets better, here are some things you can do to ease his discomfort:
1. Give your baby sips of water to drink. This can stimulate the muscles in and near the clogged tubes in your baby’s ears, and assist the fluid in draining.
2. Limit dairy. Milk, cheese and dairy products increase inflammation and mucus in your baby’s body. This makes it harder for the tubes in her ears to drain fluids away.
3. If you are using a swing, keep in mind that rocking motions may cause pain for your baby. Swinging or rocking motions move the fluid around in your baby’s ears, which can cause more discomfort.
Follow her lead on this one – some babies are ok with it, others suffer from it.