what does ear-grabbing mean?

Stephanie - posted on 08/20/2010 ( 54 moms have responded )

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my one-year-old daughter grabs her ears a lot. i don't think she's upset or in pain, but does this mean something??

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Kahla - posted on 09/21/2012

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My 7 months old daughter keeps grabbing and scratching her ear to the point it started to bleed a bit.. She is teething at the moment could this be why??

Lisa - posted on 08/22/2010

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My son Caleb grabs his ear ALL THE TIME!, mostly when he's tired. That's our sign,... ear grabbing,... hten comes the yawning. He also does it after a bath/ water in the ear, I clean his ears out after every bath,... it drives him crazy to have water in his ears.

Sometimes it means teething, and an ear infection, fluid in ear, it's a regular thing for us, so if he's doing it alot, I usually check his temp, and check for redness IN the ear. Good Luck! Hope I helped!

Clare - posted on 08/20/2010

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she could also have an ear infection, maybe go to the docs just to be on the safe side :)

Erica - posted on 09/03/2010

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Unless she has a fever, my opinion is she's either teething, tired or developing the fascination with body parts and realizing she has ears. Both of my boys messed with their ears when they were teething and when they were tired.

Tanya - posted on 10/23/2012

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I was always told by my doc and midwife it is a sign of pain, so could be ear infection or teething.

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Rebecca - posted on 10/14/2012

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My son doesn't grab his ears but not long b4 he turned 2gay he started sticking his fingers in his ears. Both at the same time. He does this daily and I'm concerned he may be autistic. I know I should probably discuss this with his Pediatrician but I'm scared. I mean who wants to hear that their baby has autism. :( I know this may not help any but I'm hoping sum1 will maybe have a suggestion concerning my situation. Hope ur baby girl gets better.

Bernadette - posted on 10/05/2012

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I might mean something like pain or ear infection, etc. Or it might mean nothing. It could be that she just enjoys the feel of it, or that it's just something she discovered that she can play with one day, and now it has become habit. My 18 month old son sucks his left thumb when he is tired, and with his right hand he tugs his right ear at the same time. It is just a comfort thing for him and has become habitual.

Jordan - posted on 09/28/2010

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My son does it alot! He does it for a few reasons I have figured out so far. He will grab his ears if he is tired or teething. He will stick his finger in his ear if he has water in them or if they hurt. Hope this helps

Beth - posted on 09/10/2010

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My daughter always pulls her ears or her hair when she's tired or drinking her bottle. Her dr said her ears were perfect and that it's nothing to worry about.

Rainy - posted on 09/04/2010

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It really depends with my daughter. If it is close to nap time then it is because she is sleepy. If she does it straight up from a nap or she has not been up long then it is because she is teething.

Teresa - posted on 09/03/2010

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could be that she is teething. my pediatrician says kids will sometimes do that to relieve the pressure in their gums

Aimee - posted on 09/03/2010

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Most times it means tiredness or stressed. Kids can get very stressed and most ppl dont realize it. My son does it alot too. mostly when hes upset or sleepy. ive been with him since he was born and if we are at someones house he watches me like a hauck and always pulls at his ears thinking im going to leave him :( some kids are also comforted by rubbing their ears, just like they would a blankie or twirl their hair.

Daralee - posted on 09/02/2010

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my daughter does this too i think its just they have found it and thinks that they are interesting i was worried at first too now she has found her hair so she rubs her head alot and even pulls it too.

Stacey - posted on 09/02/2010

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Either teething or an ear infection....if it comes with crying then she is in pain. Hyland teething tabs very helpful and if ear infection take to the doc. Good luck

Kelly - posted on 09/02/2010

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She may have sore ears, or something in them. At one years old they don't really know themselves but she knows something is annoying her. Might pay to check them out.

Kelly - posted on 08/30/2010

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My daughter just turned 1 yesterday. She has been tugging her ears since she was about 8 months old. It started out when she had an ear infection but then I think she began to equate ear pain with discomfort in general. So now when she is teething or hungry or just upset she will tug her ears and occasionally pull her hair a little. I think it is just a way for her to show her frustration since she can't really vocalize it yet.

Angela - posted on 08/29/2010

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Usually when they get their molars in/teething it happens because they are right next to the sinus. Unfortunately, molars can go up and down a few time before they decide to stay in. If she is in pain and fussy then I would think ear infection.

Raychel - posted on 08/28/2010

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My son grabbed his ears alot and only had one ear infection but the doctor wanted to go ahead and put tubes in because there was fluid behind his eardrum....and they put the tubes in at the first of august and he is doing great doesn't pull or grab his ears unless they itch or hair tickles.

Nichole - posted on 08/28/2010

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Kaleb hasn't started pulling on his years as of yet, However I work at a daycare and i've noticed several kids pull or play with their ears when its getting to be nap time. So its probably nothing.

If she starts becoming fussy then I'd take her in just to make sure.

[deleted account]

With some kids, when teething, the pain actually transfers to their ears. It's quite common. With my daughter it was very severe so she actually has a prescription for ear drops that numb her ears. Now she only tugs on them when she's tired.

Jennifer - posted on 08/27/2010

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My son does this all the time too. He just turned 1 on the 11th. Sometimes he's even made little scratches on his ears from grabbing them so much. When he first started doing it I thought he had an infection, so I took him to the doctor, but it wasn't an infection and he never has had an ear infection either. It's just from teething...at least for him. He grabs at them a lot when he's teething. Before, during and after getting the tooth, especially since ihe has a hard time with teething.

[deleted account]

It can be a sign of teething, ear infection or even that they're tired. Both my daughter and son have tugged on their ears when they're tired.

Megan - posted on 08/27/2010

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i have been told it can just be that she has found them and is exploring them. i know my 1yr old iis doing the same. there is not anything in her ears so i know its not anything to worry about

[deleted account]

It could be she has just discovered her ears if she does not seem to be in pain or upset. If she was, I would have guessed teething pain or an ear infection. I would watch it for a bit and if it really concerns you, ask the pediatrician about it.

Elizabeth - posted on 08/25/2010

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My son was doing the same thing and the doctor said that it was the same nerves connected to their gums so it could be teething.

Beckistevens28 - posted on 08/25/2010

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My daughter does it alot too, but she does it when shes tired beacuse she plays with mine and my husbands ears as well lol

Bec - posted on 08/25/2010

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It's often being tired, but can be teething too. Usually nothing to worry about. :-) So long as he's not in pain, but if it looks like he is, could be an ear infection or a cold so you should get it checked out.

Sounds like one of the first 2 though from what you've said so I think you're ok! :-)

Cassiday - posted on 08/24/2010

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My son grabs his ears a lot when he's tired, but if it's something that's really persistent and she does it excessively, I'd have it checked. Could be some fluid behind the ear drum or an early sign of an ear infection.

Brianne - posted on 08/24/2010

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Does anyone's baby pull their hair out? My daughter gets mad and pulls out clumps of hair...it's scary when she has like 5 strands of hair in her hand. Yeesh!

Judie - posted on 08/24/2010

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If there is no sign of pain then keep a look out to see if she is talking while doing it or if other people are. My son is doing it and I can tell he is noticing the difference in sound. It is cute to watch, sometimes he will put his hans over them then down and repeat while he listens.

Tanya - posted on 08/24/2010

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my son grabs his ears when he's tired. at first, he grabbed them a lot because he discovered them and thought it was fun. Now, it's mostly just when he's tired. I was worried and took him to the doctor. She said if he's not complaining and has no fever it's nothing to worry about.

Pamela - posted on 08/24/2010

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my daughter does this alot but thats only when she startes to get really tired... i had her at doctors about it when she first started doing it but was no ear infections or that.. just her being tired.. nothing to worry about babies do there own things x

Ashley - posted on 08/24/2010

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My daughter does it alot too. I thought it was an ear infection or something, but when I went to get her checked out-she was fine. Now she does it when she is sleepy and ready for a nap.

Roxanne - posted on 08/23/2010

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My daughter does it when she is getting tired!!!! also she does it ALOT when she is teething. : )

Jill - posted on 08/23/2010

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My dtr always tugged on her ear when she was getting the start of an ear infection.

Jennifer - posted on 08/22/2010

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are her ears pierced?? my 12 month olds ears are pierced, and sometimes she will "pull" at her ears-but shes really just playing with her earrings. I do have her checked-and i can usualy tell when shes got an ear infection, bc shes pulling and fussy!

Kirsten - posted on 08/22/2010

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Oh, after reading Lisa's response that I so agree with, it reminds me that if I think Bryce might have an ear infection (usually only grabs that one ear all the time and really grizzly) then I do a temperature reading out of both ears, as the one with the infection usually reads higher and that lets me know to book a doctor's appointment asap.

Kirsten - posted on 08/22/2010

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My little boy grabs his ear/s a lot when he is tired, teething or has sore ears! But mostly when he is tired. But if your concerned, please get it checked out.

Rachel - posted on 08/22/2010

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Usually if it is an ear infection then there might be a funny smell in their ear, or some kind of drainage that comes from their ear. Some times the baby will have diarrhea or be sick to their stomach cause the same bacteria that causes ear infections causes stomach problems. So.. if the baby doesn't seem bothered by anything or doesn't have these symptoms I would assume they are teething, but if it persists for more then a few days I would take them in. The only way to get rid of ear infections completely are from antibiotics.

Lisa - posted on 08/21/2010

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My daughter does it all the time. I have taken her to the doctors a couple of times because I thought it was an ear infection but her ears were great. The doctor told me it was probably because she's either teething or her hair is bothering her. I know it made me feel a little bit better taking her to the doctors just to make sure. It might ease your mind as well.

[deleted account]

My daughter does that all the time and it's usually when she is teething. I had the doctor check and there was no ear infection - she was just teething.

Michelle - posted on 08/20/2010

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my son does it when his ear is hurting or when he hair covers his ears!!but just to be on a safe side i would go see the baby doctor to see if it an ear infection!!!

Brittany - posted on 08/20/2010

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My son grabs his ears a lot. He does it when he doesn't want to listen to me or sometimes it's just out of nowhere. She probably just does it to do it and it's probably nothing but if she does it and seems like shes in pain or she cries when you lay her flat it could be an ear infection.

Maranda - posted on 08/20/2010

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Could have fluid behind the ear drum....infection or no infection. My son has to take Claritin. Or....I know sometimes my son's hair tickles him...haha

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