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Ear infections stink — there is no better way to put it! As a parent of four I have experienced my fair share of ear infections and none of them have been easy. When my oldest would start tugging on her ear, I knew that we were going to be headed to the doctors in order to get antibiotic. However, I have a hard time deciphering the signs and symptoms of an ear infection in my 6-month-old.

When he screams uncontrollably or seems unusually cranky, I have to run through the list of things that could be wrong…

  • Hungry
  • Dirty Diaper
  • Too Hot
  • Too Cold
  • Tired
  • Not Feeling Well

It’s tricky to know what signs you need to look out for when it comes to ear infections in babies and toddlers. I have tried to collect information from my many visits to the doctor and from years of experience to help you with what to look out for:

What is an ear infection?

An ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear, usually caused by bacteria, that occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum.

Are ear infections common?

Unfortunately, yes they can be. Five out of six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. My kids would usually get 2 ear infections a year and they were always pretty brutal.

What are the signs of an ear infection in babies and infants?

Since babies and toddlers are nonverbal, it is important to know what some signs and symptoms are that could alert you to an ear infection:

  • a 102-degree fever
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • trouble hearing
  • decreased appetite
  • fluid or pus draining from ear

If you feel like your little one is suffering from any of these, it would be a good idea to go to your doctor.

Disclaimer: this information is based on opinion and is not provided by a medical professional.