Another Ear Infection: Advice on Tubes

by jessicaturner on June 10, 2009

Elias has another ear infection. This is his fourth ear infection in four months, so yesterday we had the conversation with our pediatrician about considering tubes. The thing about Elias’s ear infections is that they are not just in one ear and they continue to heal and come back. It is exhausting – and hard to know that Elias is in pain. He is such a happy baby that you would never know that his ears are so crummy. She is going to check him in two weeks in hopes that the infection will be healed, test his hearing and we will discuss next steps then.

If you have gone through this with your kid(s), I’d love to hear from you! Were you glad you made the decision to do tubes? Did you try anything alternative first – like baby chiropractic care, which I have heard can help with some babies… Did your baby have to have tubes multiple times? What do you wish you had known going into it?

Thank you for sharing your experiences. I know it will help us as we consider this decision, as well as other moms who read this blog and are in this situation!
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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

becca June 10, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I have no advice, our son has had two ear infections in his almost two years, but I wanted to 1) tell you that I'll be praying that you and Matthew come to a decision you both feel comfortable with and 2) tell you that Elias STILL makes me smile every time I see his cutesie little face! Our son sat down and watched his video of the pool and it was so cute to watch Elias and our son watching him and copying him…while sitting on our couch. :)


Angela June 10, 2009 at 12:06 pm

My son had a couple of ear infections when he was real young although he also had RSV too. He couldn't get well from either of them so fortunately I was able to work from home so I could remove him from daycare. The first things that got better were his ear infections. Then the symptoms of RSV went away. I liked staying home so much I continued to do so (then got fired, mortgage business). But I could have gone back and tried daycare again if I didn't get layed off.


Lauren Kelly June 10, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Speaking as a 25 year old who had tubes multiple times when I was younger, I'd examine all your options. Mine kept falling out and so that's why I kept having to get them and eventually I had ear drum replacement surgery to correct my ear drum which was damaged from having so many sets of tubes put in. Everyone is different though, so I can't say they won't work for Elias! But ear issues are just something I'll have to deal with for the rest of my life.


Sara June 10, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Both of my boys had tubes and I was thrilled with how well they did. My oldest never went to daycare and was exlusively breast fed and had his first infection at 4 months. 7 months later and 5 infections later, he got tubes at 11 months and turned into a new kid! He started sleeping more and they stayed in until he was almost 3. My younger one is like elias, happy, never knew he had infections. But we waited with him and ended up having a 2 year old we couldn't understand. The chronic fluid in his ears had caused a conductive hearing loss and he wasn't learning sounds because he couldn't hear them. Logan got tubes and is now in speech therapy. I would highly recommend them! After over drugging my oldest with antibiotics, I do think treating mild infections with motrin and tylenol and "waiting it out" is sometimes an option, unless fever is bad. Lots of good info on the internet. I'm a nurse and my hubby is a CRNA and we both we confident we made the right decision with both our boys the get the tubes!!! hope this helps.


Amy June 10, 2009 at 12:14 pm

My two older girls each had them placed. My oldest when she was 11 months and my 2nd when she was 18 months. It was absolutely the BEST thing we could have done. In addition to the ear infections, my oldest would get croup. The tubes COMPLETELY stopped all of that.
My other daughter had pneumonia and bronchitis as well as vertigo. The tubes didn't stop it, but definitly helped the situation. She now only gets bad colds about 2x a year instead of the monthly illnesses.



Tina June 10, 2009 at 12:29 pm

2 of my 3 kiddos (both my boys) had tubes at 9 and 10 months after many, many back-to-back and double ear infections. It was the best thing for them, too! They are now 4 and 13 and neither have had issues since!

I had them when I was little, too, and it's apparently genetics determining the shape of your inner ear. It was quick and easy (literally about a 10-15 minute procedure – we had just got into the waiting area and sat down when they came out and told us they were done). The hardest part was watching them come out of the anesthesia/waiting on it to wear off, but it was great to have no more infections, not constantly be on antibiotics (or at the doctor's office), not to have to worry about any hearing damage or speech delays due to the infections and it seemed to have helped both of them with their sinus drainage a bit!

Good luck and we'll keep you all in our prayers!


Gina June 10, 2009 at 12:33 pm

My daughter had her first ear infection at 10 weeks old and had them consistently until she got tubes at 13 months. We were wary of allowing her to have tubes until they tested her hearing. She had absolutely no vibration in her eardrums because she had so much fluid. Her hearing was being affected. We could tell a difference in her hearing immediately after she got her tubes. She never had another ear infection. Her tubes fell out when she was 3 and her ears have been fine since.


Mallory June 10, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I'm just a teenager, so I don't know many details, but I will say that I had ear tubes put in when I was about 2. Now, my ears seem to be the only thing on me that doesn't regularly have a problem! I've only had a few (like 3 or 4) infections in the last 15 years!


Southern Gal June 10, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Only my middle child had ear infections. I actually think it was caused by acid reflux although they didn't have that diagnosis back then. He threw up constantly and I breastfed him. The doctor didn't even suggest tubes until he was almost three. But once Jacob got those boogers, it was bye-bye ear infections. They fell out months later and that was that. It was a pain to have to have ear plugs custom made to go swimming. I'll bet those moldable ones they have now would work just as well.

The only thing I remember about the surgery was they warned us Jacob would cry for no reason as a side effect of the drugs. It was so true. He sat on my lap and cried and cried. I asked him why he was crying and he said he didn't know. It wore off quickly and we were back to normal.

So, all in all, a great experience with tubes. I pray you have peace in your decision…whatever that may be.


Gail June 10, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Natalie had chronic ear infections for the first two years of her life. We were at the doctor's office constantly. I actually had her scheduled for tube surgery and cancelled at the last minute (just shortly before she was 2) My gut feeling said she would grow out of it (most kids will grow out of them by 2 my pediatrician said)and she did. Ask to put him on a maintenance antibiotic and see if that helps (low dose for a long period of time)I honestly would not have the surgery. I don't think they are the answer for everyone. Explore all your options.


MommyofBoys June 10, 2009 at 12:41 pm

My son got tubes at 17 months and we haven't looked back! In the 6 months before that we were in and out of the doctor's office constantly. He was miserable and quite honestly, we were too! I really struggled with the decision for the tubes, but it was an amazing experience. I would agree with another person that the hardest part was watching him come out of the anesthesia. But once that was done, we had a completely different child. He began to eat more, talk more and in the last 6 months, he has yet to be to the doctor. He did have one ear infection, but the ENT told us what to watch for and had given us antibiotic drops. They cleared it right up. I know it's a tough decision. Wishing you well!


Deanna June 10, 2009 at 12:43 pm

If the docs recommend tubes, I would highly recommend that you do it, too. My little guy had horrible ear infections and got his first set of tubes at 8 months. He did have to get a second set at 18 months because the first set came out as he grew and the infections immediately started again. If you are constantly battling ear infections at your house, it is the best feeling to no longer be pouring antibiotics into their sweet little systems post-tubes. For most kiddos, they outgrow ear infections…. my 6 year old never had any problems again after that second set of tubes. And a little aside, the procedure is really simple…. definitely harder on mommy than baby!


JabbaMamma June 10, 2009 at 12:49 pm

My daughter had multiple ear infections before she had tubes put in. She has only had 1 ear infection since then….thank goodness! I really worry about her ears because when my brother was her age, many, many moons ago (lol) he had a lot of ear infections. He did eventually have tubes put in a couple of different times, but as a result of all of the infections, he now has some hearing loss in the left ear. As a result, I really worry about my daughter. So far, after the tubes she seems to be doing just fine, and her hearing is near perfect. Four ear infections in four months is a lot. I think you should strongly consider getting tubes put in. They are quick and relatively painless, and boy do they help and are definitely worth it!! Good luck with whatever you decide :)


Therese June 10, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Jessica-as I have told you, 2 of my 3 boys were one step away from tubes. Both out grew their ear infections and they had many more than Elias. My brother, the doctor has a grown son who had them as a toddler, and he believes that his son has hearing problems (mild) from the tubes. I do have a friend who did baby chiropractic with amazing results! She also used a natural remedy (may have been oregano oil or primrose oil) I can check with her if you want-and that also worked. All this being said, ultimately it is your decision and you will make the one that is best for Elias because you and Matthew are excellent parents! {{{HUGS}}}


Michelle Cearley June 10, 2009 at 1:12 pm

We had tubes for my oldest and it was wonderful. He was miserable with 8 ear infections and on constant antibiotics. Plus, by the time we got tubes at age 1 he has started exhibiting hearing issues due to constant fluid. He ended up being delayed with speech and having 18 months of speech therapy which I believe is a result of not hearing well for his first year. We only had 1 set which fell out on their own. We never had another ear infection after that. You have to weigh out his pain, his risk of hearing issues due to fluid, missing daycare if he's running fever due to infection, etc. to decide what is best. Most kids outgrow the infections after age 2, but many people can't live like that for two years if your child is not hearing well or if you are having to miss work due to constant illness/fever with ear infections. My child screamed all night for several days with every ear infection, so it was an easy decision to have the procedure done. We had no complications from it.


Kelley June 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm

My daughter had several ear infections when she was much smaller. She didn't have tubes. The doctor explained why she wasn't a candidate. He said that if she got an ear infection once every six weeks (that is extreme case) as long as the medicine would heal her ear, he didn't want to do tubes. If she kept an ear infection for six weeks and different antibiotics didn't do the trick, then we would consider tubes. She has had many friends with tubes and the parents said it was a miracle. One of her friends was not walking at 15 months. As soon as she got tubes, she got up and walked the next day. Skipped crawling all together.


Anonymous June 10, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Hi! My neice started blogging and I found you threw her. My kids are now 26 and 31 and yes they had their share of ear infections especially my daughter. They will out grow them! It's just the was his ear cannel is formed that he gets them more often. Just try to keep him away from sick kids. Good luck and look into other alternatives!!!!!!


mamma2 June 10, 2009 at 1:34 pm

My oldest daughter started having ear infections when she was only one month old and seemed to be on medicine every month for one. When she was 7 1/2 months old we had tubes put in her ears. It was the best decision we made because as long as we were careful in the tub she didn't have any more infections. She had to have a second set put in after the first ones fell out because the infections returned and so now she has what is called t-tubes put in.
I strongly recommend that you put the tubes in. The surgery is not that complicated and does not take that long at all. He will be a much happier baby. Something else for you to consider is if he continues getting the infections in can cause speech problems later down the road.


Lisa June 10, 2009 at 1:39 pm

I haven't had to deal with ear infections, but I have read that sometimes they can be triggered by food intolerances. For some kids, once you figure out and eliminate the food, the ear infections go away.

This blog post briefly talks about it:


Bec74 June 10, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Hey there…as a momma of 4 ,we went through MANY ear infections,especially with my last 2. It seemed as if we were living at the Dr's office. We choose not to to do the tubes and my kids did grow out of them by two HOWEVER I know many people who did do tubes and were more then happy with the results! I'll pray for you guys to make a decesion you feel comfortable with! Good luck …and poor little guy!!!


Melissa June 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm

My now 2 year old daughter had 8 ear infections in her first 8 months of life and had tubes at just over 8 months. It was the easiest quickest surgery imaginable. We left her with the doctor, went to the waiting room to sit down and literally 5-8 minutes later, the doctor came to find us to tell us all was well and she was done. She's only had one ear infection since then. It was a blessing!


Melissa June 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Both of my girls have had tubes, and my oldest is on her second set. After her first set fell out her inner ear filled with fluid and she couldn't hear well. The ENT dr. said it would eventually cause her to go deaf because the water would wear away the bone. We did try chiropractic care first, and it did not work at all. The chiropractor recommended to eliminate all dairy products from her diet. We did that for about a month with no difference.
Apparently it is hereditary–the small eustachian tubes that can cause several ear infections. I've joked that our next baby is getting tubes at birth–before we bring him home from the hospital!


tra June 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm

I have been reading your blog since finding it through Angie's blog. I myself have had migraines. Used to get one 2-3 times a week where I would almost pass out or I would vomit, but on the days I didn't have a migraine that bad I would wake up every morning with a headache after testing my neurologist suggested I have a sleep study. I was not obese maybe a little overweight. Come to find out I have sleep apnea. When I started reading info on sleep apnea I realized that I did have a lot of the symptoms. After getting my lovely cpap machine I don't have a headache every day like before. Just a suggestion if you haven't been tested read the info.


Sunni June 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Ben had ear infections every single month and was constantly sick. The decision was finally made to do the tubes and remove his tonsils. I can't even begin to describe the change in him. He is 100% better and much happier. So glad it was done because it was a good decision to improve his health and well being.


laurensmommy June 10, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Right before Lauren turned one, she had 2 ear infections in 2 months! NOT FUN! Like Elias, she is so happy that we didn't even realize when she had the 2nd one (she let us know the first time) She had 2 rounds of antibiotics and an anitbiotic shot to "knock it out" last time. So far, so good….we've been almost a month without an ear infection, but we were thinking in the tubes direction as well.
I don't have any specific advice, just wanted to empathize and say that you and your family will be in my prayers while you are making this decision!


Jiff June 10, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Bayley was plagued with double ear infections all during cold season this past year. Her doctor told us that he was trying to hold off until spring/summer got here so hopefully the infections would clear up. If she gets an ear infection while the weather is warm, she'll probably end up with tubes. I hope not. :( My neighbor's baby had to get tubes and she hasn't had an infection since. She has done remarkably well, but my friends were nervous because they sedate your baby to do it.
So hopefully Elias can avoid tubes…but if not, I bet he does VERY well because it's pretty common for kiddos to get them. :)


Erin June 10, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Hey Jessica. We are actually going for our pre-op appointments tomorrow, and we will be getting tubes for our 19 month old next Friday. I, too, was VERY on the fence and hesitant about the whole procedure. Make sure your pediatrician refers you to a pediatric ENT that you are comfortable with. My ENT sat down with me and validated the entire list of questions that I had. He even showed me a video. :)Abigail had 6 double ear infections, one of them that lasted a month because we went through 3 different rounds of 10-day antibiotics before it finally went away. When we went for our initial referral appt with the ENT, he said her ears were not currently infected, but were filled with fluid. So on a normal day, she has fluid in her ears. That is what made the decision for me. I am a teacher and concerned about speech and hearing problems and how they will effect her in school. I actually have a blog post about it, and at the bottom are a few links to some research I did. Check it out here:

Also, as a side note, a friend of mine got tubes for her little boy when he was about 8 or 9 months old. She was the one-in-10,000 case in which the tubes fall out after 2 weeks. THey went to their post-op appt and one of the tubes was gone. They have to wait for the hole in the eardrum to close up before doing it again. On the other ear, the tube got clogged with drainage and so he got an infection, which was eventually remedied with eardrops. After all that, she still said that she is glad with her decision to get tubes because he hasn't been on oral antibiotics in 6 months. Good luck on your decision!


Coral June 10, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I hope your little guy feels better soo! Thank you SO much for asking this question, and a big thank you to everyone who responded. We are actually going through this right now and after some hesitation we scheduled my daughter's surgery for July 10th. She has had 6 ear infections since February and just can't seem to get out of this cycle so I feel we had no choice. I feel very reassured that we've made the right decision and hope you find what works best for Elias and your family. I will be thinking about and praying for you!


The O'Brien Family June 10, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Morgan started getting double ear infections in February of last year. She pretty much had them constantly until August when we put the tubes in. Like Elias, they basically never healed. She developed an allergy to amoxicillan and we struggled to find meds that were strong enough to help.

Her surgery was the day she turned 13 months old. After the tubes were put in, Morgan had one more ear infection a week later. She had fluid build up at the time of the surgery so we expected that last one. A couple hours after the surgery she started walking, so we believe she had a balance issue that was holding her back.

Since the surgery we have used the drops they gave us on two separate occasions. Both times her ears healed up quickly with no other meds required!

I am so happy I made the decision to do the tubes. Like you, I was nervous about it, but it went so much smoother than I expected.


Jill June 10, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I wouldn't allow this until I have earnestly taken milk and milk products out of his diet. That worked for my sons. We avoided tubes and all the infections went away for good.


The Cutes and Scoots Show June 10, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Please feel free to email me about this directly. I've got too long a story with my son to nearly get close to posting the information in one comments section. Long story short, I know exactly what your situation is. My son (who is 23 months now) last year had 12 at least ear infections in a matter of 8 months. At some point we just stopped counting as NO antibiotics seemed to be doing the trick anymore. Tubes went in … still ear infections… Took the tubes out (Which out ENT said he does like once every 3 years), took the adenoids out. Colby's ears were just being soo stubborn. And then we started a preventative antibiotic for the last 7 months.

As you can see. We have definitely been there and done that with regards to the tubes and ears and everything else upper respitory wise (he's an asthmatic too!). SO I'd be happy to chit chat and email about it if you'd like to hear more on my thoughts!

Good Luck. It gets better.


joseph June 10, 2009 at 3:54 pm

We had tubes put in Emma's ears and it was the BEST decision we have ever made.

When she was 18 months old, we had already gone through 12 ear infections, numerous colds and even the flu.

After the tubes, not a single ear infection. In fact the frequency of colds and such came to a halt.

No problems with hearing or anything.

She is 6 now and I can safely say it was one of the best decisions we made with the health of our child.


Tonia June 10, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Here is my ear infection experience. My first 2 children rarely got/get sick. Between the 2 of them, they maybe have had 4 ear infections. My oldest is 8 and the next one is 5. My youngest!! He's a totally different story.

His first ear infection that we know about happened when he was about 10-11 months old. Then they just kept recurring one after another. Both ears, to one ear, to the other ear!!! We tried many antibiotics and were finally at the point where our doctor was going to recommend us to the ENT specialist for tubes.

Some people at work asked me if I had ever considered a chiropractor. I hadn't, as I had never gone to one before. But I did some research on 3-4 different chiropractors in the area and decided on one that 2 of my friends were going to. He does the Gonstead method.

I talked to our doctor to ask if we could wait for a month to see the specialist and try the chiropractor in the meantime. He agreed!! We kept my son on the antibiotic that he was currently taking until it was gone. So maybe 10 days.

We started seeing the chiropractor on June 13, 2008. I think when we started we were bringing my son in 3 times a week. We did that for the next month and when we brought him back in to see our doctor for a follow-up he was AMAZED at how perfect his ears looked!! He said to keep going to the chiropractor if it works. The big test he said would be around fall with the cold air again and the typical time for ear infections to start coming back again.

MY SON HAS NOT HAD ANOTHER EAR INFECTION SINCE!!!! About a month ago he did get a cold and we brought him into the doctor and his ears did have some fluid. So the next time he went for his chiro appt. our Chiropractor checked him and out and did some adjustments for his ears and we have no problems!!

I think the key to chiropractic to not go just a few times and think that is all you have to do.

After we saw such great results with my son, we ALL now go to the chiropractor!! My son with the past ear infections is on an every two week appt. schedule!!

Anyway, that is our experience. If you decide to do tubes that is totally up to you and Matthew. I wasn't opposed to tubes in the beginning but once I saw that we didn't have to do them I was THRILLED!

Good luck and I don't think you can come up with a wrong answer!!

Take care!! I hope little guy starts to feel better. It is so miserable to have sick kids. My heart goes out to you!!


gitz June 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm

i have friends who think they were miracles for their kids, but that's as far as my information goes. :) you'll make the right choice in doing what you're comfortable with…

… i'm just waiting to see if Matthew starts blogging about ear infections now to see if he can get as many comments like he did with the Pampers :)


Andrea June 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm

My daughter who is now 18, had frequent ear infections to the point of her eardrum rupturing multiple times before 10 months of age. She ended up having her first of five surgeries at 10 months of age. The tubes worked wonderfully when they would stay in. The biggest problem was getting them to stay in. I don't think that is the case for everyone, just hers. I would have to say that I was happy with the tubes. She also was the type of baby that you would not even know she had an ear infection until her eardrum would rupture cause she was so happy. Good luck to you :)


Rebecca (Sam's wife) June 10, 2009 at 5:57 pm

i am an audiologist and think that tubes are a good thing. i personally would ask to see an ENT physician from ped and get his hearing tested. really all they will do is a tympanometric test(ear drum movement) and then maybe a type of behavioral test. he is so young he won't condition well, but there are modifications that can be made. tubes are important for speech and language development too. if he has constant fluid his world may sound muffled and like he is listening to the world under water. we haven't had to do this route yet with our girl, but my friends with kids who have gotten tubes have noticed a world of difference.


Rebecca June 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Good luck with your decision! We have pretty much avoided ear infections with our kids. They are prone to chest infections.

Also, I just read Churched! I started reading it on Saturday and couldn't put it down!


Katie June 10, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I went though this with all four of my kids. We ended up doing tubes on all of them. I would do tubes all over again if given the choice. The procedure is very simple and short. The out come it wonderful. No more antbiotics if they get an infection. They have ear drops instead. My kids got maybe one infection the whole time the tubes were in.


BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) June 10, 2009 at 6:53 pm

My oldest daughter had repeated ear infections her first year. She's a June baby. Her pediatrician reassured me she would likely outgrow them and she did.

My youngest daughter, Miss A, however, is a March baby. She continued to have ear infections on through the spring after her first birthday and into summer. So she had tubes put in (at Baptist). It was a very very quick procedure and we were home by 10 a.m. She napped for a long time and was up playing by 3 p.m. that same day! One tube fell out about 8 months later and the other one stayed in for a considerable time. They definitely helped, though.

I also tried cutting back on dairy for my first daughter, thinking their might be a correlation (I even switched to soy formula for supplementing.) I couldn't tell a great difference, though.

Good luck!


Kelly June 10, 2009 at 7:02 pm

I am a tube expert. I had 3 sets as a child and my daughter is on her 2nd set. They are the BEST.THING.EVER. While an infant she had one infection after another, it was 3 straight months of going back to the ped as soon as the antibiotics wore off.

My MIL *insisted* baby chiropratic care would help because she swears it helped with her youngest child. However, Parker was a cleft lip baby and my child so she was double high risk. My husband took her anyway and guess what, it did NOT work. I am a believer in chiropractors but this was a no go.

After her first set of tubes, she was a new child. She was very happy and the only sign was fever. She lost those tubes about 6 months later after having no infections during that time. As soon as the tubes came out, the infections came back. Time for set #2. She got those at 21 months and still has them (she'll be 6 next month). I'd say she only gets 1-2 infections a year now and usually after we've accidentally gotten water in her ears.

I did not read the comments above mine yet but most everyone I know has always been pleased and wondered why they didn't get them sooner. The whole procedure takes only a few minutes. We used an outpatient surgery center for our local Children's hospital. She was only gone from us less than 30 minutes.

Of course, after major cleft lip repair surgery at 10 weeks — tubes were a piece of cake at 9 months and 21 months.


Suzie (jillian's mommy) June 10, 2009 at 7:19 pm

You will be so happy after the tubes are done! Jillian had one continuous ear infection for months. She has 13-15 infections to date the day we got the tubes. It took hers a month or so to start working. She has 3 infections after receiving them but a month later she was infection free! We haven't had one since March. If they do get infected the ear will drain brown pus like liquid which is ok since that means the tubes are doing their job. They say they have to wear ear plugs when bathing/swimming. Our ENT said we only needed to use them if the head was going all the way under. A few drops like from washing their head wouldn't hurt. I really wish we would have had them 6 months earlier like our ENT said after we finally went. I took so long to go because our Pediatrician assured us he was doing all he could. Since we waited so long and finally went against what my pediatrician said we now has permanent 25% hearing loss due to 4 ruptures of the ear drum. To this day I have so much hate for that Dr. If I would have followed my gut instinct I would have taken her to the ENT earlier.
The surgery was actually a breeze. The hardest part is when they take your baby back there and you can't follow. He will prob be awake too so that's what made it hard for me. It lasts about 20 mins and Jillian had nooo problems. I pumped her full of Tylenol and she was back to normal. BTW LAWRENCE TRAVIS is our ENT he is FABULOUS!! You will be so relieved that Elias isn't in pain anymore and if he has trapped liquid in his ear drum he will hear better!!! Good luck


Paige June 10, 2009 at 8:12 pm

I did do tubes for both of my kids. Will was 9 months old and Caroline was 18 months old. SO much easier with Will…coming off the drugs that put them out is miserable but it was so much worse for Caroline.

My sister did chiropractor for her oldest to help ear infections, as well as a special diet…email me if you want me to try and get it from her…

I had no choice but to do tubes because both of my kids' hearing was being affected. My poor daughter flatlined on her hearing test…

Pray about it…you will know what to do. Just remember, that unfortunately those tubes can come out at any time…Will's first one came out at 6 months…but it got us over the hump of one ear infection after another!

Hope this wasn't too confusing or random. I will be praying for you and Matthew!



Jenkins Family June 10, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Our baby or toddler I should say now, because she is getting ready to turn 3 in August had 9 ear infections by the time she was 5 months old. We then decided it would be best for her to have tubes put in her ears because it was effecting the way she heard us talking to her. We took her in the surgery was over in 45 minutes and she was a little crabby when she came out of the Anethsia and then slept pretty much the rest of the day and from that day forward she has not had one ear infection and having the tubes as really improved the amount of sinus problems she was having prior to the tubes. The tubes was one of the best decisions my husband and I had ever made regarding our daughters medical care. If you decide to do tubes I think you will soon find out how happy your son will be. I hope my comment sheds some light on your decision. I hope you and your husband make the best decision for your son.


Anonymous June 10, 2009 at 8:53 pm

My daughter had 8 ear infections in 11 months, she got tubes placed this past november. Best decision ever, she hasn't had one since and she has even been healthier, I can't remember the last time she had a cold. The surgery was rough, only lasted a few minutes but the anesthesia made her grumpy, worse than I had ever seen. But it was totally worth it.



SandyL June 10, 2009 at 9:35 pm

My daughter had tubes at 1, 3, 4 and 7 when she was 7 she also got her tonsils out and that helped a TON.. One problem that we noticed with my daughter was that she especially at the age of 3 was starting to stutter. When the tubes were in she was fine but when they weren't she stuttered. She got her first set the day after her first birthday. She walked the next day. The surgery was a breeze and recovery is practically nothing. I am so very glad we did it and I wished they would have done it sooner. She was a not very happy baby. Since she was 7 (She is 16 now) she has had 1 ear infection.


Tori June 10, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Our son had so many ear infections the first 15 months of his life. One six month span it seemed nonstop. He had to take Rocephin antibiotic shots (4 every other day) to break one. We went to an ENT, but our pediatrician advised waiting. She believed it was allergies and as his ear grew, the ear infections would decrease. She was right: he hasn't had an ear infection in over two years now. I am so thankful we spared him that surgery. He still occassionally has some allergy issues, but we give him Claritin for a week or two and avoid any ear infections that may form. My advice is wait.


Rebecca Louise. June 10, 2009 at 10:34 pm

I do not have any experience with this but I have read about tubes being very effective! :)


Karla June 11, 2009 at 12:23 am

Yes, we have been in the same exact situation.

Our daughter, from age 1 on, continually went through the cycle of catching a cold, getting an ear infection, being well for a short time, and starting all over again.

My dear mother-in-law suggested we cut out all milk/milk products to lessen her mucus. (We had already been told by the doctor to consider tubes.) Within a month, she seemed better than ever. A test soon after confirmed a milk allergy, and she has NEVER had another ear infection since then. (She is 5 1/2 now and continues to avoid all milk products.)

I figured it was worth sharing, and I hope your little guy is doing better soon!


Karla June 11, 2009 at 12:28 am

Forgot to add…my daughter (mentioned in the above comment) has gone to a chiropractor since she was one, as well, and it has helped tremendously, too. In fact, he had suggested eliminating dairy long before my mother-in-law did.


6hebrons June 11, 2009 at 12:32 am

HI Jessica,

My second child had ear tubes at the age of 5 months, he had terrible ear infections — and a high tolerance for pain, so it took a while to relize what was going on. That was young from what I hear, and they finally fell out around 1 year and then he was fine from then on, they say they just developed. I know I wouldn't have changed it — he was a different child when we got them, better and I didn't feel so guility cause it took a long while to discover he had another infection again. I wish you the best, he is now 8 and has showed no side effects — and he breast fed until 6 months — whatever you do is becasue you love him… so trust yourself.
Take care and god bless.



Dennis And Amy June 11, 2009 at 1:08 am

My youngest child, Madison, had 13 ear infections by the time she was 1 year old. Yes, 13. Her father traveled overseas alot for his job and to this day I can honestly say that he was no sooner airborne and Madison would get an ear infection. The final straw was the bi-lateral ear infections and losng it in the ER at 4AM demanding to see an ENT for a consult. Not one of my best moments as a mother. When she was 14 months old we had tubes put in and the ENT also removed her adenoids. Instant new baby. She was having a hard time keeping her balance trying to walk but once the tubes were put in instant balance and equilibrium. The tubes that she had put in were the ones that were to be surgically removed, however when she was a little over 3 years old, they decided to come out on their own. The ENT was out of town but thankfully our Pediatrician was able to finish removing them.

For us it was the best decision. She is 10 years old now and she has only had 1 ear infection in 7 years. I know that you and Matthew will make the right decision for Elias.


abbeyviolet June 11, 2009 at 1:59 am

We just did this. B (my 2 year old son) basically had an ear infection most of the time from Jan-April this year, although he had only one before that stretch. We finally tried, on the pediatrician's advice, nasonex for a month rather than anti-biotics and even though it was odd to treat the nasal symptoms rather than the infection it did work and he has been well for awhile.

Unfortunately, the ENT didn't buy it and said tubes were necessary anyway. I was pretty torn about it, but we did have them done. It was done in office with drops to numb it. He was a little off the day of, but pretty much fine the next day and no infections (that we know of) since.

My son is one of those where we didn't really know he had infections so it was a hard decision for me. I was just not sure when the time come that it was absolutely necessary, but went with their recommendation and hope that it will be beneficial for him. We are less than a month out though so hard to know. Good luck on a tough choice.


The Pelts June 11, 2009 at 2:06 am

First thing to note: I'm 28 years old, so the medical stuff is a little outdated, but like Elias, I, too, suffered with ear infections and yucks. Before all was said and done, I had 6 sets of tubes, but the last set lasted from 5th grade until my sophomore year of college. I had lots of hearing loss as a result of my issues, but the tubes helped restore it, and all seems well these days.

The best advice I have is follow your Mommy and Daddy instincts. In the end, you'll know what to do. Prayers for you!

Mary Beth


Gail June 11, 2009 at 2:52 am

Just wanted to add also that the ENT I saw said if the fluid goes away and then comes back each time they are not really candidates for tubes. If the fluid remains and you can't get rid of it, those kids are candidates for tubes.


Anonymous June 11, 2009 at 3:19 am

Hi Jessica! My son had tubes put in when he was 9 months (he is now 4 yo) and although the surgery was super fast/easy and required no recovery time (he was fine and happy in less than an hour after surgery), the tubes didn't work until he got older. Although he had many ear infections AFTER the tubes, it was nice that the fluid in the ear drained out and I would know that he had the infection (he was real happy like Elias and wouldn't cry/run fever) so this allowed me to know for sure he did have the infection and I was able to simply call the pediatrician and tell them there was drainage and they would call in drops (another benefit is not having to use antibiotics) you simply put a certain amount of drops into each ear and it heals that way… On the side, when flying, their ears do not pop with tubes, which is an extra bonus, no sucking while taking off/landing and everyone seems happier! I will be praying for you guys as you make the decision but I would recommend them!


Anonymous June 11, 2009 at 4:00 am

My son, born at 28 weeks, had 6 sets. The 6 sets came form rapid growth and they simply came out and he got sick and we got more.

It was simply THE BEST thing for us all 6 times!!! He was never fussy when he was sick. We would just notice he would not eat as well, or we would hear him more at night. Like he was restless. So when we got tubes we noticed, he slept better, he ate better, he played better etc… Again, it was never really bad but we could notice a positive change.

The surgery is SO QUICK! By the time you hand your baby tot he nurse and go back to the waiting area and try to sit…. they call you! THey are DONE in a short amount of time!

The afternoon of the procedure is normal. It is like nothing has ever happened!

ALL 6 TIMES were great for us. I pray that you will find the right option for you and Matthew and Elias.

We'll be watching and waiting and praying!

Christi Cave in Mississippi


Nanja June 11, 2009 at 4:54 am

If the ear infections are not bothering him, why would you give him tubes (or antibiotics)? But if his hearing is impaired, or if he has other problems because of his adenoid (snoring, sleeping problems) it's a good reason to give him tubes. It really helped my 2-year old. His language all of a sudden exploded and he is sleeping better (less restless) after his adenotomy and tubes. It took him 5 days to recover from the procedure, but it was worth it.


Mommy In Pink June 11, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Oh no, ear infections are the worst, I know that I had them like crazy when I was young. My daughter who is 10 months still has not gotten one yet (fingers crossed it stays that way),but I wish you guys the best!


Jess June 11, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Jessica, I am so glad you posted this! My 14 month old daughter is scheduled to have tubes put in in 3 days. Her pre-op appt is tomorrow. I really struggled with whether it was the right thing to do, but when she got her 7th double ear infection last week, I knew it was time. The ENT told me it is much worse on the parents than the kid and that they are running around the same afternoon. We'll see about all that. Thanks so much for posting this…it was great to hear other parents experiences. Aint the internet grand! :-)


Michelle in NJ June 12, 2009 at 3:15 am

After 9, yes NINE, back to back ear infections and different antibiotics, I had had enough. As my pediatrician was writing out yet another antibiotic prescription, I stopped her and demanded that she give me a referral to an ear-nose-throat doctor. She did, we went to a doc highly recommended by friends and got the tubes put in my then 18 month old daughter. It was tramatic (for ME) but just a quick 20 min procedure and within a week I could CLEARLY understand what my daughter said and no more ear infections. She's 5.5 now and looking back, I would've done it sooner.

Ask around for a good ENT and have the tubes put in….you (and your little guy) will be happy you did.


beth June 12, 2009 at 3:15 am

Both my son and daughter had multiple ear infections, especially my son. He had his first set of tubes at 6months and it helped tremendously. He kept that set until he was 3, they typically don't stay in that long. He has since outgrown ear infections. My daughter didn't outgrow hers and ended up having a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy when she was 6. (Wish I had done it sooner!) It was truly a miraculous surgery for her. The procedure is nothing to be worried about. They only use nitrous oxide, no general anethesia or even needle sticks and the whole procedure was over in less than 20 min. After the kids always woke up then we were on our way home with no complications. Good luck!


Anonymous June 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm

My daughter had lots of ear infections during the first year of her life. Some were double ear infections and most were resistent to our first round of antibiotics. The always got better in time though. Our pediatrician is pretty conservative so he never brought up tubes. I think I'd wait it out and see how Elias does without the tubes. After her first year, my daughter hasn't had any ear infections and she's about to turn 4 on Saturday. Good luck!


Angela W June 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm

My now 7 yr old had multiple infections when he was younger. We put off getting tubes. Finally a couple of months before he turned 4, we did it. He was fine the whole time, even for awhile after the tubes fell out. He had to have his 2nd set Nov '07, these were long term which can last up to 2 yrs. He has had no problems until this week, we found out he has an infection. Because of the tubes the infection is sitting on the ouside of the tube so using drops. Both times he was outside playing as soon as when we got home from his surgeries! I think it has helped, but he was also on allergy drops. Good luck with your decision, I know it is hard to make. It was easier for me on the 2nd set since he did so well with his 1st, where he also had his adnoids out!


About The Brown Eyed Bunch June 12, 2009 at 3:37 pm

my son had tubes put in at 15 months, it was scary, they put them under but i would do it again if i had too. it defintely helped him out and he hasnt had one since. every child is different though.


Megan June 12, 2009 at 5:56 pm

When I was 4 my parents had my hearing tested because I kept saying "huh" and they'd repeat themselves and I'd give them an answer (I could read lips). I was 60% deaf due to multiple ear infections that they never knew about because I never complained about them. After two sets of tubes I ended up having my tonsils removed and all my ear infection problems went away. Thankfully, I recovered my hearing as well. I was in speech therapy for a few years in elementary school and now you'd never know that I ever had an issue. I don't remember much about the tubes except that they tried it as a temporary fix that may have helped but it wasn't the end result for me. Every time dr's look into my ears now they can tell that I had tubes due to scarring. I remember having to keep water out of my ears but don't remember anything other than that. My hearing is perfect now and I can't remember the last time I had an ear problem.


the momma June 13, 2009 at 4:26 am

Hey Jessica, thanks for the twitter follow! My 3 daughters have never had a single ear infection. They have all been exclusively BF, and have had chiropractic care all their lives (including in utero!). My darling niece, also exclusively BF, has not been as blessed- the last round of ear infections included 4 in 6 months! At that time the pedi was recommending tubes, which scared my SIL (and me… who wants to put their little love under anesthesia?!?), so I did a bunch of research for her (they call me the google queen) and found a lot of info about chiropractic care for ear infections. Although my SIL and her husband had regular chiropractic care for themselves, they had never taken their children, so I asked her to prayerfully consider taking my niece. (I try not to be too pushy when suggesting my SIL do things I already do and feel passionately about.) She agreed to give it a try- anything to avoid surgery- and saw amazing results after just one visit! My niece's speech had been delayed- due to the ear infections- and there was a marked improvement that same day! She has been taking my niece for 8 months now- with no ear infections to date! The chiropractor did recommend eliminating dairy from my niece's diet, which my SIL mostly did… but not completely. (She'll let her have ice cream, cheese and such, even a cup of cow's milk if they're over at my house for lunch)

Anyway, my SIL and I would strongly recommend chiropractic care! If it doesn't end up working for your darling son, you can always go with the tubes. But, it might just save you from surgery! Praying God's wisdom upon you in this decision!

BTW, my brother and I had tons of ear infections as children (never BF). I grew out of it, and my bro had tubes put in before he was 2. My mom would recommend the tube surgery, but I prefer the less invasive chiropractic care.


Crazy Mama June 15, 2009 at 12:41 am

If your doctor wants to do tubes, go for it! I don't know how much your doctor has explained it to you, but their natural ear tubes are in an S shape when they are little. The older they get the more they straighten out, but since they are in an S shape now, bacteria will build up quite easily and make your little guy miserable.

Both of my kids had to do it. The oldest was always sick and had become resistant to ALL of the mainstream antibiotics. It was dangerous because if he had gotten something like pnuemonia, we would have been in trouble. It worked out well for both of my children and I highly recommend doing it.

Be prepared to do it more than once since your little guy is so young, but still very worth it.


lisawitt June 16, 2009 at 2:46 am

Hey Jessica! I dont know about you but I was really upset when my son kept getting recurrent ear infections…like somehow I did something wrong(daycare, not bfing long enogh, etc)? He had no infections and then at his 9 month check up….double, ouch! We had no clue! Like your son, he was happy and I really had no idea? We did 6 rounds of oral antibiotics and 1 round of shots, and although they would clear up some, never completely. So, after lengthy discussion with pedi and ENT and prayer, we decided on tubes. Was very nervous as Z was only 10 months at the time. We had them done Jan 15th and now 6 months later, no infections at all! I must say although I never thought he was unhappy before, I can tell a difference in his temperment and speech. And SO nice to not be on antibiotics constantly which I did not like. I know it seems a little scary, but trust your doc and if they think its best, it probably is and you will also probably notice in a few weeks a difference too after the surgery! Hope this helps!


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