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Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by Kiersten James

Today, I share our home remedies for ear infections in kids. These are what we rely on to ease pain and discomfort in those little tiny ears.

Ear infections and children frequently are associated with each other. Since most cases clear up on their own, home remedies are what we rely on.

Allergies and infections are the most common causes of ear pain.

Mucous membrane inflammatory responses frequently cause fluid retention and middle ear pain in babies and young children.

If your child is susceptible to allergies, they should avoid dairy, sugar, and any other allergens known to cause issues.

What Are The Signs A Child Has An Ear Infection?

While each child is different, these are the most common signs that you may be dealing with an ear infection:

  • Ear pulling
  • Crying
  • Fussiness
  • Fever for 1-2 days
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Reduced appetite
  • Vomiting

Children also tend to respond similarly each time they have an ear ache.

What Can Mimic Ear Infections In Kids?

Even though ear infections are incredibly common in children, we must consider the possibility that it may be something else.

Conditions that mimic ear infections:

  • Teething – especially toddler molars
  • Swimmer’s ear – water gets stuck in the ear and causes pain. If you pull the ear back and the pain gets worse, it’s swimmer’s ear. Treat this with alcohol/glycerin drops.
  • Sore throat
  • Wax build up – check for this with a home otoscope
  • Foreign body (aka crayon tip, cheerios, insects…) – also check for this with a home otoscope

How Do You Know What To Do?

The only way to definitively tell for sure what you’re dealing with is to look in those little ears yourself. It’s NOT hard and during my time in patient care, I’ve taught many moms to use this amazing tool.

I’m going to say it again.

Invest in a home otoscope. It will save you so much time and energy.

They’re very easy to use and most sets come with an instruction booklet/picture guide. YouTube also has wonderful videos for easy tutorials.

Home Remedies for Ear Infections

St. John’s Wort infused oil drops

St. John’s Wort may just be one of my all-time favorite herbs for home remedies. It is a natural antimicrobial, analgesic (pain reliever), anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic.

When used topically in the ear via an infused oil, St. John’s Wort rapidly soothes pain and inflammation from ear infections. A properly made oil can relieve pain in around 15 minutes.

Garlic-infused oil drops

A kitchen favorite and something I always have on hand, garlic comes in our #2 spot as a superstar for bacterial infections of all kinds – from ear infections to group b strep in pregnancy.

Garlic is a natural decongestant, antimicrobial, and immune system stimulator.

Ear drops made with garlic-infused oil are very effective at treating both bacterial and viral ear infections.

Essential Oils

Essential oils can be highly effective at treating ear pain in association with childhood ear infections.

Black pepper essential oil or diluted wintergreen essential oil added to St. John’s Wort is a potent formula for the home apothecary. Although these oils are not your typical “orange, lavender, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus” bunch, they’re worth investing in.

Warm cloth

With any kind of pain, warm moist heat often provides welcomed relief. Ear infections are no different.

Soak a soft wash cloth in warm water. Wring it out and apply the cloth to the cheek and ear that’s causing pain. Rewarm the cloth as needed for comfort.

Do not use a heating pad on a child due to the risk of burns.

Over the Counter Pain Relievers

Some parents are in the camp of no pharmaceuticals unless absolutely necessary and some parents are in the camp of wanting their child to be comfortable ASAP regardless of the means.

I’m in the middle here. I believe that both pain control and comfort are important.

We don’t use antibiotics or anti-inflammatories unless it’s a last resort but we do use over the counter pain relievers sparingly where indicated. EVERYTHING is okay in moderation.

Extreme opinions are not healthy in either direction. Modern medicine and its advancements are a gift to us. Use them when necessary.


This is by far the most boring home remedy, but it’s just as important. Do whatever you can to have them slow down and relax.

If you need to give them your phone to watch YouTube kids for 5 hours with those weird cartoon laughs and unidentifiable accents, just do it. It’s a special day for your kid and you get to take a break.

The immune system can’t function as efficiently as it needs to unless they take it easy for a little bit.

Again, don’t be so hard on yourself here. EVERYTHING is okay in moderation.

More Home Remedies

Natural Ear Infection Drops to Get Fast Relief Now (Babies and Toddlers)

Should I Give My Child Antibiotics for An Ear Infection?

Elderberry Syrup Recipe for Toddlers

Easy Fermented Garlic Honey Recipe (Uses & Benefits)

Homemade Amish Cough Syrup Recipe (Kids & Adults)

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The statements made on have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. Please consult with your personal physician or healthcare specialist regarding any potential changes to your lifestyle or healthcare regimen.

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