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Ear Infection
How to Spot an Ear Infection in Your Baby

March 18, 2024

How to Spot an Ear Infection in Your Baby

It’s the middle of the evening, and your baby is awake crying. You cannot figure out what’s wrong or what you should do. There are a variety of reasons your baby might be crying, and you’re uncertain how to pinpoint the actual cause. It might be a baby ear infection, yet how can you tell?

Ear Infection Symptoms and Ear Infection Signs

Toddlers and babies do not have the language to communicate with you verbally that their ear is in pain; therefore, it’s useful to know and be on the lookout for typical ear infection signs and ear infection symptoms babies.

Tugging at his ear

Toddlers might tug at their ears for several reasons, and among those reasons might be an ear infection. An ear infection causes ear discomfort and pain, and in trying to relieve the pain, they’ll tug at their ear. Infants under age one may hit their ear because they have a hard time locating, as well as connecting the discomfort to their ear.

A hard time lying down or sleeping

As a baby who has an ear infection lies down, it’ll cause a change in pressure inside the middle ear. That pressure change is painful and isn’t comfortable, making sleeping or merely lying down flat more of a challenge for kids.

Ear drainage

One surefire indication of an ear infection includes pus or fluid that drains out of the child’s ear.  Even though not all kids suffer from it, this yellow or bloody and thick fluid is the outcome of a ruptured eardrum. Do not be worried over a ruptured eardrum; it’ll heal by itself in a couple of weeks.

Crying more than normal

Because of pressure and pain that is caused by ear infections, an infant might fuss, cry, or be more irritable than normal. While an increased amount of crying might indicate any number of issues, be alert to other symptoms which might be a sign of an ear infection.

A hard time hearing

Fluid builds and sits inside the middle ear as an infant experiences an ear infection, which might cause temporary hearing loss. For toddlers and infants who do not have the ability to speak, they might be unresponsive to noises. Older kids might ask “what?” more often throughout the duration of the ear infection.


This symptom is a visible sign that their body is working diligently to ward off some infections. As a baby has a temperature of 100-degrees Fahrenheit, it’s vital that you are observant of other typical symptoms as their body might be attempting to fight off the ear infection. 

Loss of balance

A person’s center of balance is situated inside the inner ear. Fluid buildup and pressure from an ear infection might cause clumsiness, unsteadiness, or dizziness.

Reduced appetite, vomiting, diarrhea

The virus which causes the infection in the ear also impacts the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, upsetting the tummy. Kids might suffer reduced appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea when they’re sick. Also, ear infections make it hard to swallow and chew because of the pressure changes. If you see a reduction in your toddler’s appetite, search for additional indications which might be a sign they have an infection in their ear.

Treatment for an Ear Infection 

The majority of ear infections vanish without using antibiotics. Symptoms generally improve after a few days, with complete recovery after 1 - 2 weeks. But, contact your physician if symptoms don’t get better after one or two days. Your healthcare provider will recommend a treatment strategy or prescribe an antibiotic that helps heal the infection.

For more information on how to spot an ear infection in your baby contact BASS Urgent Care today!

At BASS Primary Care Walk-in Clinic, it's Your Health, Your Schedule.