Why Do Babies Grab Their Ears?


Babies grab their ears for a variety of reasons. Common causes are playfulness, tiredness, teething or an earache. Therefore, being able to tell the difference is vital.

Babies have a lot of territory to explore.
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Just as babies spend a lot of time discovering their hands and feet, ears are another interesting appendage to explore. Parenting expert Heidi Murkoff explains, “Peculiar mannerisms such as ear pulling are common and fairly short-lived.”

Babies like to play with all their appendages.
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All babies display signs of tiredness. While ear pulling is not the most common sign, it is a possibility. Carefully observe your baby for her tired signs.

Ear pulling can be a sign of tiredness.
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Similar to tiredness, babies have a variety of signs to indicate they are teething. Ear grabbing is one of the less-common signs.

Ear grabbing is usually not a sign of teething.
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If a baby is continually pulling or batting at his ears in a non-playful manner and displays other signs of discomfort like fussiness or crying, he likely has an ear infection. An immediate call to the doctor is needed.

If a baby fusses with his ears too much take him to the doctor.
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Trust your parental instinct. If you are concerned about your baby’s ear grabbing, call your doctor immediately.

If you are concerned call your doctor.
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  • “What to Expect the First Year;” Heidi Murkhoff; 2003.
  • “Gentle Baby Care;” Elizabeth Pantley; 2004.
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