How to Get a Baby with an Ear Infection to Sleep

Ear infections are usually caused by bacteria and can result in a wide variety of symptoms in your baby, including pain and pressure felt in the ears. Ear infections can cause your baby to become irritable and fussy, also. Your baby may also grab onto his ears, experience diarrhea or a reduced appetite. Even more stressful, an ear infection can make it difficult for your baby to sleep. Fortunately, there are actions you can take to help soothe your baby to sleep.

Call your baby's pediatrician when you first suspect that your baby has an ear infection. You will likely need to make a trip to see your baby's doctor, where he will examine the insides of your baby's ear for infection.

Dispense medication to your infant as indicated by your baby's pediatrician. You may also be able to give your baby an over-the-counter pain reliever prior to bedtime. Ask your baby's pediatrician about the correct dosage for over-the-counter pain medication, according to your baby's age and size.

Soothe your baby to sleep. Elevate your baby's mattress slightly to help relieve pressure in the ear. Instead of picking her up when she fusses or cries, gently rub or pat her back to help ease the pain and crying. If soothing your baby in the crib does not work, try rocking her to sleep in your arms; your touch may help provide comfort to her.

Run a humidifier in your baby's room; the moist air can help ease the pain of an ear infection.

Apply warm compresses to the affected ear. Dampen a washcloth with warm water, wring it out and place the compress on your baby's ear as she sleeps for pain relief.


About 60 percent of all children will contract at least one ear infection by the first birthday, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.