why does my baby’s ears smell


Why Does My Baby’s Ears Smell?

The condition of having a bad smell coming from your baby’s ears is relatively common. It can be caused by a few different things, some more serious than others.

Reasons Why Your Baby’s Ears May Smell

  • Otitis Externa or Swimmer’s Ear: This is a type of ear infection that occurs when the ear canal becomes infected with bacteria or fungi. It is usually accompanied by drainage from the ear, swollen lymph nodes, and a foul odor.
  • Ear Wax: A buildup of ear wax can cause a foul smell in the ear. You may also notice a yellowish-brown discharge draining from the ear.
  • Infected Piercings or Jewelry: Infection can occur if the piercing or jewelry is not properly cared for. This can cause an offensive smell and other symptoms such as redness, inflammation, and pain.
  • Foreign Object: If there is an object stuck in the ear canal, such as food or a toy, it can cause a foul odor as well as hearing loss.
  • Allergies: Allergies can cause a foul smell in the ears. It can be from an allergy to pollen, dust mites, or other airborne allergens.


If the smell is the result of ear wax, the excess wax may need to be removed. This can be done by a doctor, or at home with special drops or sprays. If the smell is the result of an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. If an allergic reaction is the cause, antihistamines can be given to help reduce the symptoms. If there is a foreign object stuck in the ear canal, it needs to be removed by a doctor.

It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect that your baby’s ears may be infected. The sooner the infection is treated, the less likely it is to result in any long-term damage.