A few weeks ago my youngest, G, woke up in the middle of the night and wouldn’t go back to sleep. Since he was crying pretty loudly, I took him out to the living room and sat down with him, intending to rock, in the recliner. He would not relax, sitting straight up in my lap, just yelling inconsolably.
Finally I remembered what my mom had always told me, that the only time we kids ever woke up inconsolable was when we had an ear infection. Ugh, no mom’s favorite middle of the night realization.
Between pregnant brain and G having had only maybe 2 ear infections before, I was a little slow to realize that was probably the issue for his recent irritableness. It is spring in Oklahoma and all kinds of random things have started blooming.
So I turned to our favorite natural ear infection remedy: Mullein Garlic Oil. I put a few drops in each ear and we sat back down to rock. Within 10 minutes, he was calm. He was finally able to relax and lay his head down on my shoulder. I took this as my cue to head back to the bedroom where we were able to go back to sleep.
Ear infections are pretty much the bane of most parent’s existence. There is nothing worse than an inconsolable kid, especially in the middle of the night. We have quite a few techniques that we use to try to prevent infections, both on a routine basis and at the first sign of the common cold symptoms, such as a runny nose.
Probiotic Supplements: For The Whole Family
Probiotics are one of the few supplements that we give our kids every day. We went through several children’s probiotic supplements and the only one that my kids like well enough to take every day is the Rainbow Light Probiolicious Gummies. See my post My Top 4 Best Probiotics for Kids for a few other great options.
One of the things I like best about this product is that no refrigeration is required so we can keep them in the medicine cabinet with the other vitamins. It does not contain a huge amount of probiotics, but it is enough for an everyday supplement for my kids.
I personally take a higher-potency probiotic. See my post 5 Best Probiotics For Adults for what I recommend and use myself. If for some reason my kids needed to use antibiotics, I would probably break open one of my capsules and put it in a drink for them to replenish their good bacteria more quickly.
Chiropractic Adjustment: Get Straightened Out
In general, one of the things my chiropractor preaches is that chiropractic adjustment helps the immune system work more efficiently. If the body isn’t having to work around a misalignment, then it can heal itself better. I have definitely found this to be true.
At the first sign of cold symptoms, we go to the chiropractor and get that person’ neck adjustment and almost every time, their nose starts running like crazy before we leave the office. One of the best ways to keep infection away is to keep the nose running.
Acetaminophen: Not The Most Natural, But Effective
I have found that just plain acetaminophen helps to prevent ear infections. I do not use this once there is a fever involved, even though it is advertised as a fever reducer. I want to let the body fight the infection naturally. When I use this is when someone has had a runny nose and is starting to get ‘stuffed up’. I give a little bit of acetaminophen in order to get their nose running again. My preferred product for my kids the Little Remedies brand version. I like that it is paraben, dye and gluten free. See my review: Why I Use Little Remedies Acetaminophen.
As I mentioned above, keeping the nose running really seems to help prevent infection. If anyone has a more natural (and preferably a renewable or easily stocked up on) suggestion to replace using acetaminphen, please drop me a note in the comments section at the end of the post.
Natural Allergy Elimination Techniques: Less Tissues Needed
One of the longer term strategies we strongly credit with reducing the number of ear infections that we get in the first place is the elimination of most of our allergies. We are fortunate to have a very reasonably priced NAET practitioner in our city.
It is one of the craziest techniques to try to describe, so I’ll let you read about it on their website, but we started going for allergy treatments about 6 years ago and the number of ear infections my kids (and myself) get has dropped dramatically. The incident I described at the beginning of my post was only the second or third time G has had an ear infection and he is getting ready to turn 2 later this month. He had his first allergy treatment at the age of 4 weeks.
I personally used to get at least two ear infections per year due to seasonal allergies. I haven’t had one in at least three years now. It really has been such a blessing to reduce all of our seasonal allergies.
So far I have focused on ear infection prevention, but now I want to talk a little more about the treatment that I mentioned at the beginning of my post.
A few year ago, my chiropractor (and some internet research) finally convinced me that antibiotics were not usually the best treatment for an ear infection. But what was I supposed to do instead? My chiropractor suggested Mullein Garlic Oil. All I had to do was put the drops in his ear twice per day until the infection was gone.
I have since used it myself when I felt congested and my ear started hurting. The pain really did go away within 10 minutes. I would normally link to the product that I use, but it seems to be a store brand and isn’t available online. The picture to the left has the list of ingredients so you can track down a similar product.
There You Have It
Now you know the techniques we use to prevent and treat ear infections. I feel that preventing ear infections is one of the most important preparations we can do and think we have a good start on that. If we relied heavily on antibiotics the way we used to, it would be tough if we were in a society where antibiotics were not readily available anymore.
I would love to hear how you treat ear infections naturally. Please leave me a note in the comments section below.