The easiest way to tell if your baby might have an ear infection or any other illness is by observing a change in his mood.
If your baby starts crying more than usual or gets cranky, there could be a problem. If he develops a fever (whether slight or high), that’s another big sign something is wrong. Ear infections tend to follow a common cold or sinus infection, so bear that in mind too.
You may also notice the following symptoms:
• Your baby pulls, grabs, or tugs at his ears. This ia a common sign that he could be in pain. Babies do pull on their ears for many other reasons (he may simply be tired), so if your baby seems otherwise fine, he probably doesn’t have an ear infection.
• Diarrhea or vomiting. The bug that causes the ear infection can also affect the gastrointestinal tract.
• Reduced appetite. Ear infections can cause gastrointestinal upset. They can also make it painful for your baby to swallow and chew. If your baby has an ear infection, he may pull away from the breast or bottle after he takes the first few sips.
• Yellow or whitish fluid draining from the ear. This doesn’t happen to a lot of babies, but it’s a definite sign of infection. The moment you see this it’s straight to the doctor.
• Unpleasant smell. You may smell a foul odor coming from your child’s ear, again, if this is the case go to the doctor immediately.
• Difficulty sleeping. Lying down on an ear infection can be very painful.