If you see that your newborn ears don’t match, you don’t have to worry about it. That’s probably because when your baby was in the womb, the ears were squished. So, it’s not unusual that the baby’s ears, as well as some other parts of the body, were distorted.
Even though you can’t notice the difference, the newborn’s ear on one side of his or her head may be higher than on the other.
It’s not a bad problem nor does it mean there’s something wrong. Many babies have ears that aren’t exactly symmetrical and this doesn’t actually affect their hearing.
The ears will gradually become more alike as your baby develops and grows into an adult!
Why do my baby’s ears look different?
Many parents can see that their newborn ears don’t match. That’s okay because the baby’s ear will change shape. But if you notice that their ears look way different and they are not forming the normal shape after a few days or even weeks, the baby might have some deformity.
Roughly 15-20% of babies have some type of ear disorder or deformity.
And the most represented one is ear lidding. Abnormal folding of the ear cartilage is typical for this type of deformity.
One type of ear deformity is when the middle part of the ear, also known as the concha, becomes pointed instead of rounded towards the front.
It may be hard to notice at first but it can become very obvious after a few weeks or months because that child’s normal shaped concha will not change much.
What causes ear deformities in newborns?
When it comes to ear deformities, the environment is the main thing to blame. When we talk about congenital deformities, they are caused by certain conditions the baby was in while in the mother’s womb.
Things that are associated with congenital ear deformities are using prenatal drugs during the period of pregnancy. Such as alcohol, isotretinoin, mycophenolate, and thalidomide.
All of these drugs are known to cause congenital deformities, but the most common is isotretinoin.
Isotretinoin is an oral medication that’s used for treating severe acne. If a woman has taken this drug at the crucial stage of pregnancy then it can lead to serious deformities in the ear area.
Such as decreased ear size, constant folding on top of the ear, and smaller or absent external ears altogether.
Why does my baby always hold her ears?
Another popular concern among parents, right next to the dilemma about newborn ears don’t match, is why the baby is pulling its ears?
This might be a sign that the baby is just too tired, or there is an ear wax that is blocking the ear.
If there is no fever, there’s a chance that your baby might have an ear wax problem. Put a couple of drops of olive oil in her ears every day until you get rid of the ear wax.
Sometimes this problem can be a bit more serious. If your baby is well-rested and there’s no ear wax whatsoever, the baby might have an ear infection. Tugging ears and pulling them constantly can indicate the middle ear or external ear infection.
The best thing to do is if you take your baby to a doctor to examine the ears. If she or he has any kind of infection it must be treated immediately.
Can you get babies ears pinned back?
If you want you or your child to pin back their ears, the solution is surgery. This one is very popular for ear deformities and it is also called otoplasty.
The surgery will set things straight by taking out part of the cartilage in each ear and re-shaping it. The surgery is used to correct protruding ears, but it can also be used to make them smaller or perkier.
The operation takes about three hours, an hour or hour and a half per ear. It happens under general anesthesia since there are no pain receptors in the cartilage area.
After waking up from this surgery the child will have bandages on his/her head for about three weeks. After that time period, you can see how well the ears look now before they are even completely healed. But remember that you cannot let children who are less than six months old have otoplasty.
How do you reshape a baby’s ears?
One of the ways you can reshape your baby’s ear is by using moldings. This is a non-surgical way to shape one’s ears. The little molds are placed around the baby’s earlobe, and it is done within the first months of the baby’s life.
If you wonder why it’s performed so early, it’s because the baby’s ear cartilage is still soft at this stage. If the child is older, and the cartilage becomes firm, the modeling method cannot be performed.
Baby’s ears are usually very small, soft, and fragile. If parents notice that newborn ears don’t match, you don’t have to worry about it right away.
There’s a big chance that the ears were just squished from the position the baby was in while in utero. The shape of the newborn’s ear will go back to normal in the first 48 hours after birth.
However, if the shape is still not like it should be, even though some time has already passed, there’s a chance that the baby has lidding ears.
This condition is not so uncommon, and if diagnosed in the first few weeks, the baby’s ear can be reshaped simply by using ear molds.
On the other hand, if your child is older, there’s also a way of fixing the folded ears. The procedure or surgery is called otoplasty, and it’s performed within a few hours.