How to Administer Ear Drops to a Baby When You Are Home By Yourself

Oh no, your baby has an ear infection!  Luckily the doctor has given you ear drops which will have your baby feeling better in no time.


1.  Hold baby across your lap as you sit on the sofa, turning his head so that the affected ear faces upwards.  Hold baby’s head stable using your non-dominant hand.  Next, using your free hand, grab bottle and squeeze one drop into baby’s ear.  

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2.  As drop enters ear canal, baby will scream as if you are drowning him in battery acid.

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3.  Baffled by his response to what should be a reasonably painless interaction, check to make sure you have the correct bottle and have not accidentally reached for a small ear drop-shaped bottle of lighter fluid or something equally dangerous that someone may have left in your medicine cabinet.  This is a common mistake.

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4.  Hold baby down with non-dominant hand.  Baby will now violently thrash his head in an attempt to escape your grip.  Using your dominant hand, hold ear drop bottle between your fingers and squeeze four additional drops onto your child’s face, making sure none of them lands anywhere near the child’s infected ear.

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5.  Curse quietly to yourself while child cries.  Make another attempt to align spout of ear drop bottle and opening to ear.  Place several more ear drops in various locations on child’s face.

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6.  Briefly hold your child upright in an attempt to calm him.  He will angrily grab your lips or nose as a means of saying, “Please stop doing this.  I am unhappy.”

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6.  Hook your hand around child’s head, using your upper body strength in an attempt to hold him immobile, all the while feeling like a horrible human being because you have your child, who you allegedly love, in a headlock against his will.

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7.  Call SWAT team.

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Also, for the record, yes, I know Socrates drank hemlock.

44 CommentsComment

  1. After many horrible episodes with our own child, I’m starting to believe that administering medicine to babies should be banned under the Geneva Convention. What especially kills me is the illustration in the instruction booklet of a smiling, relaxed mom happily dosing her smiling, relaxed infant, who submits docilely to the medicine and doesn’t even look sick. I’d like to see medicine that offers accurate illustrations of full body wrestling holds appropriate to use while administering medicine to infants who are screaming bloody murder, and coated in snot, tears and/or puke.

  2. Avatar

    Sam Haworth

    It doesn’t get better very quickly. My 5 year old got a nasty case of swimmers ear recently. In the course of trying to apply the necessary submission hold to get him to let me put the drops in, he managed to kick the medicine bottle I had set on a nearby table across the room, spilling most of the medicine. Insurance wouldn’t cover a replacement and a new bottle was almost $400 out of pocket. Let me tell you, no further drops were wasted. We managed to squeeze the full course of treatment out of the tiny dribble left in that tiny bottle, and all it took was full body grapple that I like to call the “Boa Constrictor”.

  3. I am having painful flashbacks from The Time I Tried To Use The Snot-Extractor-Bulb. I ended up giving it up as a bad job as he thrashed about so violently I was afraid I’d end up giving him a nosebleed.

  4. Your blog is great! It’s fun to read while relaxing with my baby who will someday, I’m sure, get an ear infection. That’s gonna be the day 😀

  5. Reblogged this on advpareshvns and commented:

  6. Love your Blog! Its so true and funny. and I completely know the pain of this since my two two year olds have to have ear drops quite often. >.<

  7. Do the burrito. This works for eyedrops, too. Make it a game! It’s fun, and then they are pissed at you, but 1. Meds delivered; 2. Babies have short memories.

    Good luck. Awesome graphics. 🙂

  8. Swaddle baby, rock to sleep on your lap with bottle nearby. Then administer drops while kid is asleep. If he does wake, he is swaddled and can’t wiggle much. Then rock back to sleep. Works for eye drops, too. For yucky tasting medicine, swaddle, have bottle of sippy cup nearby, put medicine in a syringe to squirt. If the child will not open his mouth, pinch his nose closed. When he opens, put syringe in his mouth, but wait until he has taken a breath. Then squirt in medicine. Hold head so he can’t turn over and spit. He will swallow so he can take the next breath. Fight over, offer soothing bottle or sippy cup.

  9. And the doctor wonders why you need a refill so soon… could it be that although only two drops get in the child ear at least 15 drops are spent in the process.

  10. Love the post. Humor aside, I used to put the drops in my son’s ears while he was sleeping, then quickly put a small wad of cotton in to hold the medicine. I’m sure there’s a whole piece to be done on the art of tiptoeing with curative potion and cotton balls to the ears of a sleeping babe.
    My heart is aching and laughing as I read. Such is the path of parenthood. 🙂

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