Dr. Greene’s Answer:
Most ear infections happen before 2 years of age, and most happen between November and March (in the Northern Hemisphere). If your daughter has only had two by 15 months, she is probably well on her way to outgrowing them.
The most common risk factor for developing an ear infection is a recent or ongoing viral respiratory infection ( the common cold). Passive smoke exposure and pacifier use beyond the age of 6 months are also risk factors. Bottle feeding while an infant is lying flat on her back may also contribute to early ear infections.
Some studies suggest that children with hypersensitivity to cow’s milk may be more predisposed to ear infections. However, this association is still controversial.
That having been said, there may be a subset of children with cow’s milk allergy and recurrent ear infections who would benefit from transitioning from cow to soy milk. This is likely to be a very small number of children.
Breast milk, of course, is the best drink for babies to prevent ear infections.
Last reviewed: May 23, 2008