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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44 CommentsComment

  1. So true! Love this blog… I can only assume that the doctors prescribe 5 drops per ear knowing full well that we will only get 1, maybe 2 complete drops in which is all that they really need. It’s doctor type hedge-betting at it’s best!

  2. You crack me up! oh the memories!!

  3. Avatar


    Worst ever: sitting on two year old in back of minivan attempting to administer eye drops, while camping, while other extended family members sit around campfire making jokes about it. Doing this three times a day. Arrive home three days later. Take child for follow up appointment, only to be told by Dr. that since it was a virus not bacteria, the eye drops had been unnecessary.

  4. Whoops, kids*

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  6. I laughed loud enough a few times while enjoying this – I had a few people pop their heads into my office to see if I was actually working… My kiddo had a lot of respiratory issues when he was an infant & I can relate all to well to the thrashing child. Attempting to squirt saline solution up a baby’s nose has to rank right up there with ear drops. Great post!

  7. Brilliant! As the others have mentioned, this is my exact scenario for nose drops/ aspirator. We’re to the point where he shrieks in terror at the mere sight of either and wrenches up like a serpent. No fun for either of us!

  8. Good post! Always fun administering medicines to children. Never had to battle with ear drops (though they look easy in comparison to putting in eye drops).
    Oddly enough, my boys are not keen on the whole medicine thing – I’ve tried to look on the bright side and believe that they won’t be shooting up heroin in 20 years’ time. My medicine-giving tips are here:

  9. Oh my goodness this is so true. My baby has just been prescribed a nasal spray. It’s a nightmare administering it. We have to cover his eyes with a cloth because he tends to move his head just as I spray so it nearly gets in his eyes!

  10. A much more efficient technique is to place the bottle within reach of the baby and walk away. Eventually, everything within a baby’s grasp will be jammed into their ears. You might also find that the cat, the dog and the hamster have all been inoculated against ear infection.

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