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To consider ear splints for my 4 month old?

(30 Posts)
Tallblue Thu 16-Feb-17 08:24:34

My little one started out with 'normal' ears and over the months they have grown more and more outwards and really stick out now, like almost 90 degrees. To me my baby is so beautiful, but I'm so worried about him eventually being teased at school, I've watched this happen to others growing up and know kids can be so cruel.

I've found something called 'ear buddies' which is a splinting device and has a high success rate in babies. Basically a splint is put into the outer ear and it's taped (surgical tape) against the head. It would apparently take 3 months to be effective according to the website. It's approved by lots of reputable organizations, including some NHS trusts. I'm thinking it's better to do this now whilst baby is small rather than having to consider surgery later on. The earlier the splints are used, the shorter the timeframe so it's not really an option to wait and see. For a baby my age it could take 3 months, any older and we'd be looking at 6 months or more.

I'm torn between not wanting to change a thing about my beautiful baby's appearance and missing an opportunity to potentially help with something he could be upset about later on (being teased about ears). Using the splints could be uncomfortable now but I'm thinking as he's so small he won't remember whereas if he chooses to have ear pinning later on, that would be painful.

AIBU to consider using the splints?

notapizzaeater Thu 16-Feb-17 08:26:32

We used them on my ds 14 years ago, made a huge difference and didn't high him at all. At this time of year when you're out they wear a hat so no one really noticed.

smilingsarahb Thu 16-Feb-17 08:26:51

I wish someone had given me ear splits when I was a baby.
Can you try and see how baby reacts and if he isn't uncomfortable go ahead and if he seems distressed stop.

IHeartKingThistle Thu 16-Feb-17 08:34:31

Well DS had massive sticky out ears at 4 months and now he's 7 and they don't stick out at all. I guess he just grew and the shape of his ears changed.

I'd be very wary of doing anything like that tbh.

Tallblue Thu 16-Feb-17 10:19:23

We live overseas in a hot country so I'd have to order the splints from the U.K.
A little worried about irritation and discomfort due to heat/sweating.

notapizza what age was your son when you used them? How long did it take to have an effect?

smiling this is what I'm hoping DS would avoid when he's older- I'd hate to look back and regret not doing it. Do you mind me asking- I assume from your comment you are not so happy with your ears? what age did you realize you were not happy with them? I'm conscious I want to avoid giving DS a complex about his ears!

IHeart this is what I'm thinking too- maybe DS will grow into his ears and all this is unnecessary. But if that doesn't happen, maybe he will be left unhappy and considering pinning. Tough decision as I'm trying to pre-empt the future.

UserReuser Thu 16-Feb-17 11:50:42 Never heard of them, but nhs seems positive and relaxed. Seems pretty harmless.

My dd had proper pixie ears for moths though, and they curved over time

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Thu 16-Feb-17 11:55:46

I don't see why not. The NHS page says it not painful and for me that would be the game changer.

NotTheBelleoftheBall Thu 16-Feb-17 11:57:48

I'm watching this with interest DD was born with v sticky out ears (almost folded over) they are 'normalising' now, but still quite noticeable. I, of course, think she's the most gorgeous thing on the planet, but I want to make her childhood as easy as possible and kids can be mean.

NotTheBelleoftheBall Thu 16-Feb-17 11:58:33

UserReuser DD also has pointy pixie ears... in secretly hoping they stay (even if we tape hem back so they are a bit flatter to her head).

whoopitywhoopitywhoop Thu 16-Feb-17 11:59:34

we used them on one ease that was getting deformed as a newborn. There is still some asymmetry by it was definitely worth it.

downwardfacingdog Thu 16-Feb-17 12:04:38

yanbu - seems an easy fix for something that can make people feel very self-conscious.

Sirzy Thu 16-Feb-17 12:07:07

I would use them.

I had my ears pinned back when I was 10 and i am pleased I did BUT it was a painful process so if you can do a non invasive, non painful way of helping I would.

If she doesn't like them you can always stop using them

freelancegirl Thu 16-Feb-17 12:08:49

We used them on our little boy when he was 11 months old and I wish I had done it sooner. The sooner you use them the less time you have to have them on. At almost a year old we had to keep them on for four months which wasn't much fun as he became aware of them and would try to pull them off occasionally. We had to stick them back regularly. However they worked and the distance between his ear and head reduced by 5mm on each side. They are still not the smallest of ears, bless him, but it really did make a difference. We used Ear Buddies and got ours fitted (after initially doing it ourselves) at the Portland clinic under the doctor (albeit fitted by the nurses) that invented them. When they stuck them back they made sure they were completely flat against the head. We had to trim a bit of his hair there. But would definitely recommend doing it.

PageStillNotFound404 Thu 16-Feb-17 12:13:00

I have prominent ears and wish something like this had been around in my babyhood. I hate my ears and always wear my hair to try to hide them, which cuts out a lot of style options. If the NHS say it's painless then I'd definitely try it.

mmgirish Thu 16-Feb-17 12:16:07

I would in your position. Some children suffer from teasing then go through an operation to have them pinned back later.

bumsexatthebingo Thu 16-Feb-17 12:23:44

I would get them. I think it's something that they would quickly get used to. And 3 months is a relatively short time to fix something that could potentially lead to bullying/surgery when he's older.

TheNotorious Thu 16-Feb-17 14:04:26

My DH has sticky out ears and he always says he wished his parents had got them fixed when he was a child. He got bullied at school and it had a huge effect on him. Our DS doesn't have the same ears but he said that he wouldn't hesitate to have fixed them for DS should he needed to. It's hard when you find your little baby so perfect but I applaud you for thinking ahead. Your DC may very well thank you one day!

Tallblue Thu 16-Feb-17 14:52:07

Thanks all! Your responses are most helpful.

Irishmummy Thu 16-Feb-17 15:57:58

Hi I used them on both my son and daughter as babies and think they did a fab job. Both kids ears look fine now. I did find removing the tape at the time quite difficult but found a cotton bud dipped in baby oil helped with the sticky residue. They can be a bit fiddly and time consuming to remove but I felt it was a much safer option than surgery later on.

Coconut0il Thu 16-Feb-17 16:05:27

I used them on DS2. I found it quite hard to explain to people what they were for and looking at them made me feel quite upset, I don't really know why. They didn't bother him at all, think it effected me more.
It has made a difference to his ears, I didn't leave them on for as long as recommended so hope in the future I don't regret taking them off early.

Doglikeafox Thu 16-Feb-17 16:22:50

I would do it. My DP has finally starting to 'grow into' his ears now he is an adult, but all through his childhood and teenage years he was teased horribly as they stood out from his head. Looking back at pictures, they weren't even that noticeable but they were to him, and apparently to his bullies they were too.
It is 3 months of uncomfortableness, which in my eyes beats a life time of bullying hands down!
Best of luck OP smile

Sunnysky2016 Thu 16-Feb-17 16:23:18

Children can be cruel. If you could do something to help and you chose not to, would you forgive yourself if your child was bullied? I think as a parent it would your heart out.
You are doing the right thing imo

IHeartKingThistle Fri 17-Feb-17 00:30:53

I'm finding this really interesting. DD has a partial underbite and I decided a long time ago never to suggest that she has it fixed unless she brings it up. I'm just worried that one day she'd think I didn't think she was good enough or pretty enough, that I wanted to change her. But saying that, a big part of that is to do with the fact that fixing it would be very invasive and painful for her, unlike the ear splints. I wonder if I would have done it if I could have done it painlessly for her as a baby. I honestly don't know!

Tallblue Fri 17-Feb-17 16:04:01

We've taken the plunge and ordered the ear buddies today! Will give it a go and if it causes any distress or discomfort to my LO will discontinue using them.

Coconut0il Fri 17-Feb-17 16:12:38

Good luck with it Tallblue. Let us know how it goes smile

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