Every year many babies are born with misshaped ears. Ear defects such as bat ear, lop ear, cup ear, rim kinks, folded-over helical rim, Stahl's bar, ear tags and clefts are fairly common. In another smaller percentage of babies, ears may be normal at birth, but begin to protrude and stick out at around three months of age. "When a baby is born the cartilage framework of the ears is extremely soft due to the mother's estrogen hormones," says David Gault, F.R.C.S., renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon who practices in London. "During birth, some compression on a baby's ears is natural, but if the ears remain an odd shape 48 hours after delivery, or if they begin to show signs of protrusion, this irregularity will quickly become permanent as the cartilage in the ear hardens."
Now, there is an easy fix for worried parents. Ear Buddies are easy to use ear splints that parents can fit themselves to re-shape the cartilage folds in a baby's ears to restore the natural curves, and to hold the ear close to the side of the head. The splints shape the ear naturally, allowing the framework of the ear to harden into a controlled shape that becomes a permanent, surgery-free correction. Here are a few guidelines to know whether a baby can benefit from the Ear Buddies:
- 48 hours after birth the ear is still an odd shape
- The ear appeared normal at birth but 2 months later it is protruding from the side of the head
- The top of the baby's ear has an uneven or caved in appearance that is not smoothing out.
- The doctor says that the ear suffered compression at birth, but it is not correcting itself.
- Doctor or friends suggest taping the baby's ears to its head and all will be well.