How to Clean a Baby's Ears


The yellow gunk that you see in your baby’s ear may be unsightly, but don’t be tempted to go crazy with the Q-Tips. That earwax, also known as cerumen, is actually helpful and helps protect the sensitive inner lining of the ear canal from water, dirt and infections. In most cases, a gentle cleaning of the outer ear is all that's needed to keep your little one’s ears clean and healthy.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Soapy water
  • Baby washcloth
  • Prepare a mixture of warm, soapy water in a bowl. Test the temperature of the water before you use it on your baby. Hot water can burn her delicate skin.

  • Grab a clean baby washcloth, dip it into the water solution and wring out the excess liquid. Hold your baby in your lap and try to make her calm and comfortable.

  • Use the washcloth to wash behind the ears and the folds of the upper part of the ear. You can clean around the inside of the ear with the washcloth as well.

  • Rinse the washcloth and wring out the water as often as you need. Use different parts of the cloth to avoid spreading dirt and grime to other parts of the ear.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you believe your baby’s ears need some extra attention, contact your pediatrician for advice. If your baby is tugging on her ears, she could have an ear infection or another issue that should be addressed by a doctor.
  • Never insert anything into your baby’s ear canal. You may accidentally cause damage to the inner ear, especially if your baby squirms.
  • Don’t use the earwax remedies you see in stores unless your doctor advises you to do so.


  • Photo Credit Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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