7 doctors weighed in:

If my baby tugs on his ears does he have an ear infection?

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ruben Nazario
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Not necessarily

Babies tug their ears for many reasons, mostly because they are there and are easy to reach! but if the baby pulls her ears at the same time she has a fever or acts sick, then have your doctor look at the ears to see if there is an ear infection present.

In brief: Not necessarily

Babies tug their ears for many reasons, mostly because they are there and are easy to reach! but if the baby pulls her ears at the same time she has a fever or acts sick, then have your doctor look at the ears to see if there is an ear infection present.
Dr. Ruben Nazario
Dr. Ruben Nazario
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Dr. Carol Jacobs
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Part of cycle

Babies tug at ears for all sorts of reasons - sometimes they are just playing or if very young their hand just reflexively closes around ear when touched.
If your child has congestion, fever, crying and constant pulling at ear that's more suspicious. When in doubt make appt with Pedi MD and have it checked out.

In brief: Part of cycle

Babies tug at ears for all sorts of reasons - sometimes they are just playing or if very young their hand just reflexively closes around ear when touched.
If your child has congestion, fever, crying and constant pulling at ear that's more suspicious. When in doubt make appt with Pedi MD and have it checked out.
Dr. Carol Jacobs
Dr. Carol Jacobs
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Dr. Scott Katz
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Possibly

There are many reasons babies pull their ears.
It could be a sign of infection. For some babies it can be simply because they have "found" their ears or for comfort in the same way as sucking their thumb can be comforting. Babies may pull their ears when they are teething. Unfortunately the only way to know for sure is with an examination.

In brief: Possibly

There are many reasons babies pull their ears.
It could be a sign of infection. For some babies it can be simply because they have "found" their ears or for comfort in the same way as sucking their thumb can be comforting. Babies may pull their ears when they are teething. Unfortunately the only way to know for sure is with an examination.
Dr. Scott Katz
Dr. Scott Katz
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1 doctor agrees

In brief: Not necessarily

While it's true that some children with ear infections tug on their ears because they hurt, some babies pull on their ears because of ear wax, something itches, or they just discovered their ears were there.
Kids with ear infections tend to have a fever, have trouble sleeping because the pain increases when they lie down, and be generally fussy. So look for other clues in addition to tugging.

In brief: Not necessarily

While it's true that some children with ear infections tug on their ears because they hurt, some babies pull on their ears because of ear wax, something itches, or they just discovered their ears were there.
Kids with ear infections tend to have a fever, have trouble sleeping because the pain increases when they lie down, and be generally fussy. So look for other clues in addition to tugging.
Dr. Kathleen Forcier
Dr. Kathleen Forcier
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