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My Baby Holds Her Ears

Your baby is growing fast and hitting her milestones on time. They surprise you daily with the things they are learning and doing, but there are things you would wish they didn’t do. When she starts holding, scratching, or even pulling her ears suddenly, you get concerned as a parent.

There are various reasons why your baby is suddenly interested in her ears than she did earlier. If your baby starts tugging her ears and does not show any ear infection symptoms, she is most likely fine. Read on to know if it’s just a new game or there is something more to it.


Probably you have seen babies who self-soothe themselves by sucking pacifiers, hands, or their thumbs. Babies have different ways to calm themselves too. Your baby may be holding her ear because it helps her feel calm and relax. If she is soothing herself with her ears, you will notice she does it right before falling asleep or between her feedings. It will stop on her own as she grows.

A New Discovery

Your baby just discovered that she has ears attached to her head, just like when she found she could move her hands and kept wiggling her fingers over her face. Her grip is getting stronger, and she may hold, pull, and play with her ears. It’s a new game that she is currently enjoying until she makes another discovery. Don’t worry over it and let her enjoy her newly found joy.


The nerves around the teeth and mouth go all the way to the ear. When your baby is teething, she may feel like her ears are painful. Due to the nerves, the teething pain may be feeling like ear pain. Your baby may start pulling her ears because it’s uncomfortable, and she is upset. These are signs that your baby is in pain. She will be drooling a lot more than she usually does, turn red, cry, scream, touch her mouth, and try to bite her toys. Other teething symptoms are fever, skin rash, and runny nose.

Itchy Skin

Your baby may have an itch that they are scratching when she is pulling her ears. Babies’ skin gets dry for various reasons. Dry skin is itchy and, at times, can go away on its own. The skin around your baby’s ear and the head is susceptible and can get dry due to soaps or shampoos, laundry detergents used while washing your baby’s clothes. Change in weather and temperatures may make the baby’s skin dry, especially if it is dry and hot. Your baby can also have itchy ears if water, soap, or shampoo got on her ears too.

Ear Infection

Ear infections are common to babies between three months and three years. Your baby might be holding or pulling her ear due to an ear infection. Ear infections are rampant in children, and your baby may get more than once before she gets three years. Babies’ ear tubes are more horizontal, and this makes them more prone to ear infections. Adults and older children have vertical ear tubes, thus have a slower rate of infection. Watch out for these signs if your baby is frequently holding her ears. Your baby may have difficulty sleeping, fever, crying, refusing to feed, irritability, vomiting, and cold or flu symptoms like a runny nose.


Distraction is an excellent way to change your baby’s attention from her ears. Give her some colorful and noisy toys to keep her baby busy. Alternatively, give her toys with new textures like rubber to explore. If your baby is pulling more daily, cover her hands with little mittens or socks to keep the tiny roaming fingers at bay.

When your baby is teething, it makes her hold her ears, try soothing her gum with a cold pacifier, or request your pediatrician to give you some pain medication. For itchy skin, the baby lotion will help ease the itchiness, and if the weather causes it, try to regulate the temperature around the house.

Ear infections are brought by a bacterial infection and should be treated with immediate effect as it may cause a hearing problem. Most pediatricians recommend a dose of seven to ten days of antibiotics. They may recommend other treatments depending on your baby’s ear infection. Your baby holding her ears may be a game they have discovered and are smitten by it, and soon they may find something more exciting and stop holding them. But if your baby is holding, pulling, or tugging her ears and seems irritated is a sign, her ears are in pain. Take her for a checkup.

1 thought on “My Baby Holds Her Ears”

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