Does This Child Have An Ear Infection? – Case 1

A ten-month-old girl, who had been sleeping through the night, has now been waking up each night for one week. She pulls herself to standing in the crib, and rubs her right ear. She calms quickly when picked up by her parents.

Not bad, Dr. Watson! This child may have an ear infection, but probably not. Most 10-month-olds will begin regularly waking at night (in fact, it is one of the most difficult sleep periods in life). They typically pull to a standing position (they are sooo excited about standing at this age), and really miss their parents (separation anxiety). They will often rub their ears as a self-comforting, sleepy-time habit. Their short-term anxiety is relieved quickly by being held. This doesn’t sound like a girl who is either in pain or who has an infection.

Back To Detecting an Ear Infection

Last medical review on: September 18, 2006
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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