Why I’m Taping My Baby’s Ears Back


Without a doubt, my baby girl is beautiful. She was born healthy, happy and adorable! She looked a whole lot like my husband did in his baby picture. His little mini. But she also has his ears. I too have big ears and it’s always something I’ve been self-conscious about. I asked her pediatrician at her one-month appointment if there was anything I should do about her ears. They would fold over in the car seat, during nursing, and when she slept.  The doctor told me there was a thing called EarBuddies out the U.K. that was only a couple hundred dollars and worked. But if I wanted to do it, she said do it now versus later because the ears are more moldable in the first couple of months.

To Tape or Not to Tape? 

I researched EarBuddies and other options and was conflicted. Surgery to pin the ears back isn’t an option till after age five and it would be considered cosmetic surgery. EarBuddies is non-surgical and painless so that approach seemed best but it did require shaving the hair around the ears and taping back the ears.  I wondered if maybe she’d grow into her ears in a couple months? I decided to wait a bit longer. At four months her ears still stuck out so I asked a different pediatrician about the options. He too mentioned EarBuddies and said that would be his suggestion over surgery. My husband said he didn’t really think her ears needed to be changed but also was fine with trying it. I ordered EarBuddies online the next day and then waited about two weeks for the kit to arrive from the U.K.

If done before a month old, the ears would be taped back for 2-6 weeks. By 5 months of age, it required 3-4 months of taping.

The best way to describe EarBuddies is this little moldable splint for each ear made of medical grade plastics, silicones, and inert metals. You fit them into the top part of the ear folds and then using medical tape, tape the ears back to the side of the head. Without EarBuddies, simply taping back ears could cause the ears to look deformed. Fitting them is a two-person job for my husband and me and we are actually getting pretty good at it. I’ve done it myself once too, so it’s possible with one person. The tape is supposed to last two weeks, but the most we’ve made it is one week.

Wanting to Quit

My baby started the process right before five months old and rips at the tape daily. Especially her right ear and at night. Every single day, I want to quit this process. Every day I have to remind myself over and over “she will thank me later, she will thank me later.” Her poor ears have been getting inflamed, sore, and there’s an eczema-type rash that develops. You can tell it bothers her a lot. We’ll let everything air out a day or two and then we tape it back again. This is likely slowing down the progress too but of course, we don’t want her to be uncomfortable. The website says inflammation and soreness is not common, but it does happen with some babies. She is also teething so pulling at her ears could be a result of that too. For these reasons I wish I had started the process when she was a month old instead of waiting. Plus 2-6 weeks sounds so much better now than 3-4 months but when she was first born 6 weeks sounded like a long time. 

Does She Really Need It? 

After ordering EarBuddies, I found on their website, “The gap between the back surface of the average adult ear and the side of the head is approximately 17mm. If an ear sticks out this much in a baby, then it would usually be thought to be ‘prominent’ or ‘stick-out’.” My baby’s ears stuck out 23-25mm. After that, I realized I was making the right choice and even if the correction was slight, it would be worth it.

Lots and Lots of Headbands

To cover the tape, I put her in thick headbands or beanies. I found the cutest and softest trendy turban headbands on Amazon. 

Even with the cute headwear, the tape does show. Plus she pulls off the headband or hat about ten times a day. We also use more tape than required because she is so good at pulling the tape off.

Are People Judging?  

I will admit as a mom, I wonder if people are judging me for taping back my daughter’s ears. I always explain it’s a nonsurgical way to correct stick-out ears and everyone has been really supportive and encouraging. Still, I feel vulnerable and I don’t really know where that comes from. Interestingly, the people who ask the most about it are little kids who are just curious and definitely not judging. Even writing about this journey makes me feel a little uncomfortable, but I think other moms might be able to relate. 

Is it working? 

Progress Report

We are one month in and when I see her without the EarBuddies on, it’s really hard to tell if there is a difference yet. In fact, when I measure, it seems like there is no change at all which is very discouraging. Photos are the best way to track and I did get very excited from photos taken right after the tape was off because there was a noticeable improvement. But after 24-48 hours, the improvement diminished. This photo was taken after the tape was off two days and I really don’t see the changes yet. 

I’ll keep you posted on the progress and how the next two months go. This first month has gone by very slowly. I really want to see results already but it’s probably too soon.

I know in the grand scheme of things, three months will fly by and soon enough, taping back the ears will be a distant memory. Until then, it’s a lot of convincing myself every day not to quit on the process. 

Originally published on February 4, 2020


  1. Hey! I’m looking into earbuddies for my daughter who is 4 months and just wondered how you got on?

    What were the end results like?

    Your daughter is beautiful by the way 😍😍❤️

  2. Hi!
    Thank you! Unfortunately we had to stop it shortly after this because she got really bad eczema and kept ripping off the tape.
    I actually mailed the ear buddies I had to someone who read the article and reached out.

    It could be worth a try! I wish I had done it when she was under 2 months old.

    I will say, now that my daughter is almost 15 months her hair has grown in and her ears aren’t as prominent.

    Best of luck whatever you decide! 🙂

  3. It looks like this is diminishing her hearing acuity, by covering her ears even slightly you could cause speech and language delays

  4. We had this done by a professional. Some plastic surgeons to this on the side. He told us we had to start before the baby turned 2 weeks old and it worked! He said you might as well not do it if the baby is over 2 weeks old and we kept it on for 4 weeks.

  5. I also tried ear buddies but my daughter got an fungal infection under the tapes- I don’t think I’d recommend them. Have you tried Otto stick? They pin the ear to the head but the ear can breathe and they are invisible. You can use them at any age- I am using the baby ones. You need to fit them during a nap.

  6. As a pediatric nurse, this is really sad to read. Children this young are learning and bonding by interacting with their environment and parent/guardian. This ear correcting piece is purely used for vanity purposes, can cause discomfort and interrupt their daily interactions with auditory and speech development . Take a moment and think about this: would you want to wear something that caused discomfort and had no idea what it was for.
    If your child is bothered by her ears when older, get them pinned then. Save your money now if you anticipate this may happen. Your focus should be your baby’s physical and emotional health.

  7. I would also like to reply to the comments that I read:

    -I respectively disagree with your pediatrician. Any pain or discomfort to a child can interfere with growth and development.

    – I saw that someone mentioned their child had a fungal infection from this product. This is potentially dangerous. If the infection spread to the internal ear canal it could lead to hearing loss or worse.


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