Healthy Family & Home

Treating ear infections – keeping a warm cloth on a wiggly child’s ear

When I was in elementary school, we lined our mittens up on the radiators in the classroom to dry them after a cold and snowy recess. If any of us developed an earache, our teacher would tell us to grab a hot mitten from the radiator and hold it to the ear.

If you don’t have a hot mitten nearby, I’ve got a nifty trick you can try using one of our earflap hats (also called an aviator hat), to hold a warm cloth in place on a child’s ear.

How does warmth help an ear infection?

An ear infection hurts because of pressure on the ear drum as it bulges to contain fluid that is building up. Heat works to help fluid in the ear break up and be on its way, thus relieving pressure on the ear drum.

But getting a child to lie still on his or her side and hold a cloth perfectly in place themselves for long enough can be a challenge.

A trick for keeping a warm cloth on a wiggly child’s ear

Put the earflap hat on your child without tying the strings. Then take a regular, dry wash cloth and microwave it for 20-25 seconds to warm it. (My husband and I also did this to warm our babies’ blankets after bath time.)

Check that the cloth is not too hot, just comfortably warm to the touch. If it’s too hot, wave it in the air a bit until it’s the right temperature, and then tuck it under the earflap next to the offending ear. Tie the strings under the chin. Let your child lay back and relax.

If your baby is up for it, you can also place them with their painful ear on your chest to provide warmth. But good luck getting your preschooler to do that!

And of course, we’re not doctors here. So make sure you get your child to a doctor if you suspect an ear infection.

While we’re on the topic, I highly recommend a trip to Web MD’s Ear Infection Health Center . You’ll find a vast number of articles dedicated to the topic, including worksheets to help you decide when to give antibiotics.

What about you? How do you get through dreaded ear infections with your little ones?

Hats & Designs

The case of the disappearing baby hat

earflap hat

Does your baby keep his hat on – or does he pull it off as soon as it’s on his head?

As cool weather sets in, a warm, high-quality hat is a must-have for your baby. But what do you do if your babe won’t keep her hat on?

Babies love to play with anything new, and that’s often why babies try to get their hats off as soon as you put them on.

Your baby: “What’s this fuzzy new thing on me now?”as she pulls it off for the 8th time in a row…

You: “Argh, keep that on! I am trying to keep you warm!”

Many moms make a point of getting their babies used to wearing our hats and hair bands from early on, before those little hands get proficient at ripping articles of clothing off. But if this is news to you, don’t worry, it’s not too late.

Since it’s often the novelty factor that’s behind your baby’s desire to remove his or her hat, you’ll want to make it a little less interesting. When you place the hat on, distract with a toy or favorite song.

This may only work for a few moments the first time, but after several different outings where you’ve consistently used it, the hat becomes, well, old hat to your baby.

I’d also recommend trying a baby hat with tassels that tie under the chin. This will buy you some time and make sure the hat stays on longer. The added bonus is that ears are covered reliably, also (that’s why they’re sometimes called ear hats).

Tassel and flap hat

Try tassels to keep that hat on! Bonus, they can also be tied up behind the head out of the way.

Tell us, how do you get your baby to keep his or her adorable little hat on?

Hats & Designs

Leela wants to know: which hat do you like?

Multi-color two poms little girl hat

Leela looking sweet in the multi-color two poms little girl hat

Hats are where it’s at now, with Old Man Winter on the way. Little girls everywhere are presented with the challenge of choosing the right hat to get them through the chilly days ahead.

So I put two hats to the test by an adorable and very discerning almost-three-year-old little girl, Leela.

Adorable brown earflap hat for girls

Now Leela looking gorgeous in the brown earflap hat…

Leela lives in Toronto, Canada. Here she models for you both hats in size 3-10 years. (Beanie Designs is based in Georgia but ships worldwide, in case you didn’t know.)

Earflap flower hat or multi-color two poms hat?

Both hats are warm and cozy for the coming winter months, but here’s where they differ:

The multi-color two poms hat is soft and floppy. Leela’s mom says, This hat is adorable! It’s light, super soft, hugs her head rather than gripping it and doesn’t seem the least bit itchy. Leela loves it!”

multi color two poms hat

Hard at play in the two poms hat

The brown and pink earflap hat is crocheted, so it has more structure and thickness. This makes it a little less stretchy, but the chunkier weave also gives rise to great breathability.

Leela’s mom comments this one is a “little bit heavier and the weave is a tad bulkier. But it’s still light and soft, and she really likes the flower on it.”

She also notes that the earflap hat “is a bit bigger than the other one so I imagine the first one will get more use this season.”

Great coverage with earflaps

Great grow-with-me coverage with the earflaps

Leela is not quite three yet, and both hats were sized for 3-10 year olds. However, my thought is that the multi-color two poms hat will fit easily through a range of sizes simply because it can be worn with the pom poms flopped down when your little girl is small or with the hat completely filled out on a bigger head.

The earflap hat will still work at the younger range, but you’ll want to make sure it is tipped back on your little girl’s head. And of course those earflaps mean you can fasten it on for stay-put convenience through snow fights, skating practice and all manner of horsing around outside.

Leela wants to know, which do you like?

Fun in the crocheted hat

Hats & Designs

Baby hats that will stay On

organic cotton ear flapI started out making baby hats when my baby girl was born. She was my first model, and because she started out wearing them early, she quickly got used to them and rarely complained about having to wear one. In fact, one of her first words was “too small”, because every time she asks to put on a hat I’m making for sale, I tell her it’s too small, not her size.

Things haven’t changed much now that she is two, and she has a real fetish for all the hats she sees. I promise, if I didn’t hide the new hats I make from her, she would be on to them in a second and trying them on one by one. So these days all products for sale are faithfully hidden away till they are bought!

Thinking back, I guess one of the reasons why she was able to get used to having a hat on her head, was simply because it stayed on firmly. Most of our designs come with earflaps like the early ones I made for my little baby. That makes it easy to tie the hat firmly under the chin, so that it doesn’t move, obstruct your child’s vision or become in any way a hindrance to a child’s play. Just having it there all the time they are in exposed or changeable conditions, gives kids a degree of comfort, and I’m pretty sure that my daughter loves hats for this reason.

Of course hats are used to protect your child’s head from cold or other conditions, but I have rarely seen kids who want to keep them on. If your child is happy to have some sort of protective covering on all the time, this can be a big blessing, making your child less likely to fall sick after outdoor events in exposed areas when the weather isn’t the kind you’d write home about! Sun exposure can be just as dangerous as cold and wintry conditions.

Here’s a picture from Jody. She sent this picture of her daughter DD on her new beanie hat: She wrote “I absolutely LOVE this! I wish DD would leave it on, but I’m training her 🙂 ”
Jody's lil girl Keep on training Jody. Getting a hat that stays on is worth a try. It could make your life as a parent that much easier.