When Do Babies’ Ears Start to Stick Out?

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When Do Babies' Ears Start to Stick Out?

If you are worried whether your baby will have a big sticking ear or not, you are probably wondering when do babies’ ears start to stick out? The good thing is that you can notice that right away when the baby is born. 

But about one-third of the ears that stick up don’t even show until the newborn is three months old.

In addition, the cartilage framework of the baby’s ear hardens as their head shape changes.

As we know, all babies develop differently, and not every infant will follow the same timeline as another. So what decides to stick out ears? Simply put: 

1. Genetics – most importantly genetics is a huge factor in determining whether your baby’s ears will be prominent or not. It largely depends on if there are any family members with big ears 

2. Environment – such as environments such as smoking during pregnancy may cause ear deformities 

3. Alcohol intake during pregnancy and any other substance that can harm the fetus.

How do you shape a newborn’s ears?

If you are curious about how you can shape a newborn’s ears, then you have read the answer to when do babies’ ears start to stick out? 

You can reshape a newborn’s ears by using custom baby ear splints. Differently called earmolds, these ear splints are very popular among the practice for fixing the problem with toggled ears.

This can help your baby with ear deformities by holding and supporting the ear cartilage until it hardens and forms the desired shape. 

Newborn baby ear splints can offer a lot of benefits. One of them is that they will fix toggled ears without the need for surgery.

Also, wearing these custom molds can help you prevent your child from being rejected or bullied by their peers because of having differently shaped ears.

The length and frequency of wearing depend on each case individually; it is usually recommended to wear them four to six weeks night and day.

But also while sleeping and awake, while doing regular activities like feeding and playing with parents or siblings.

Why are babies’ ears so flexible?

When Do Babies' Ears Start to Stick Out?

When babies are born, they contain a high estrogen level that reaches its peak on the third day of the baby’s life and starts to go down after six weeks.

An enzyme called hyaluronidase reacts with estrogen and that’s what makes the baby’s ear cartilage so flexible and pliable. 

Are ears sticking out genetic?

Yes, genetics can be the reason why your baby is having ears that stick out. Each and every baby is inheriting genes from their parents that influence how their ears will look, how big they will grow, and how prominent they will be. Oftentimes, protruding ears are passed from a parent to a child. 

Protruding ears in toddlers can also be caused by injury or trauma. During birth, it is possible for babies’ heads to be pulled excessively sideways which can leave ear damage behind.

If you suspect this may have happened with your child, please do not hesitate in contacting your pediatrician right away.

Therefore, when do babies’ ears start to stick out? As children get older their ears protrude at increasingly slower rates but often remain that way into adulthood in some cases.

Why do my child’s ears stick out?

When Do Babies' Ears Start to Stick Out?

We have cleared the answer to, when do babies’ ears start to stick out? But, why do child’s ears stick out anyway? It is probably because your baby has an underdeveloped antihelical fold.

If this fold is not formed in the correct way, it causes the ear’s outer rim or differently called helix to stick out more. 

Ear development is a process that keeps going from the eighteen weeks of pregnancy until birth. At first, the cartilage starts to develop by dividing into smaller parts and then forms ossicles which are connected by a membrane shaped like a chain. 

In addition, the head’s shape is determined by ear cartilage formation too. It turns out that ears not only serve you with hearing but also have quite an important role in forming a baby’s head silhouette.

Many children were born with visible or hidden anatomical differences, which means that something was formed incorrectly during the prenatal period. In some cases, it is reflected on the external appearance of the child – for example, folded ears.

How to stop babies’ ears folding over when sleeping?

If you want to stop the folding of your baby’s ear when sleeping, the best thing to do is to use baby earmuffs. They are proven to be very comfortable, are well-fitting, and will stay put even on the most mobile babies.

Earmuffs are very soft, suitable, and sensitive, just as they should be for the baby’s little delicate head. The most popular ones are Baby Banz and Joey Noise Canceling Baby Earmuff.


Baby’s little ears are delicate, as well as each part of the little one’s body. When time slowly passes, the physical appearance of the baby will change.

Here, many parents notice that the newborn’s ears are getting bigger, and wonder when do babies’ ears start to stick out? 

Well, the good thing to know is this type of condition will be noticeable right after the birth of the baby.

However, somewhat a third of the ears don’t even show up until the baby reaches three months.

There are a few factors that can influence the baby’s folded ears, but luckily there are successful methods for dealing with this type of problem. Whichever approach you choose to go with, the solution is guaranteed. 

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My name is Catherine. I'm a Mom and one of the avid writers working on HerScoop!