Stick-out ears like Santi's can make life miserable and lead to "reduced quality of life & self-esteem, social avoidance and poor performance in school." Children and adults are often teased and while names like 'Dumbo, Big Ears, Yoda, Spock & Wing Nut' can be meant in jest, they can have a deeper psychological impact.
Once, corrective ear surgery (Otoplasty/ Pinnaplasty) was the only option, costing up to £5000 for the average UK paediatric case. General anaesthesia and time off school or work are usually needed, and while post-op pain can be managed*, complication rates e.g. scarring can be as high as 10%.*
Now there's an ingenious way to fix your baby's ear problems before they are aware of them, avoiding the emotional impact of bullying & teasing, and the costs & complications of surgery. EarBuddies splints reshape the soft cartilage of baby's ears, resulting in a permanent, surgery-free correction.
We think of it like fitting braces to a child’s teeth, only more affordable and quicker. Newborn babies can get great results in just 2 weeks. If your baby is older, this can take longer. Santi was 5 months old when his mother fitted EarBuddies. 4 weeks later, he can grow up comfortable and confident with his ears.
"I ran across EarBuddies and presented the idea to my wife. We were hesitant and scared to do anything DIY with our new baby. We are first time parents so the stress level of this decision was quite high. The detailed instructions on the website made us a bit more comfortable. We placed the order and got EarBuddies first placed on his ears at 3.5 weeks old. We kept them on for a full 4 weeks. We are really pleased with the results."
Chris, Melody & their Son - Texas, USAFind Chris and Melody's full story here!
"My baby was born with a very rare ear malformation, an inverted conchal bowl. I was worried about functional difficulties with wearing an ear-bud style headset when my baby was older. [...] After the first week of splinting, when it was time to change the tapes, the results were amazing. My baby's ear looked essentially normal. We kept taping for several more weeks, to ensure the correction would be permanent. The tapes and splint never seemed to bother my baby at all."
Olivia & her Baby - Saskatchewan, Canada
"Ted was just under 2 weeks old when we fitted the EarBuddies. We kept them on for 2 weeks no problem; the plasters did get mucky and I was dying to take them off and wash his ears but we persevered and could see a massive difference after 2 weeks. We were so pleased!
Both ears now have a lovely curl and we are so pleased we discovered EarBuddies in time, as my only concern had been teasing when he was older."
Read Sarah's full story here!
Sarah & her Son Ted - Halifax, England, UK
Well, it's only been 3 weeks so far, we started splinting at 3 months old, and ITS WORKING! When we take off the splint, her ear looks normal! The instructions are very clear on fitting the splint and it gets easier with time (as easy as it can with a wiggly baby).
Thank you EarBuddies for creating a product that allows children to avoid surgery and self esteem issues later in life! My daughter will be as grateful as we are."
Erica & her Daughter - California, USASee the full review!
I was so excited to discover that his ear could be reshaped without surgery and that it seemed to be an easy fix. [...] Augie started wearing the mold at 8 weeks old and wore it for a total of 8 weeks. His ear is beautiful now and we are so excited!"
Erin & her Son Augie - California, USARead Erin's full story & blog!
"When our son was born it became apparent he had a slight ear deformity. […] I stared to worry about the comments he may get as he gets older and future bullying!! But it was when surgery was mentioned that I decided to Google what options we had. That's when I came across EarBuddies.
We started the process when my son was 11 weeks old and I was very impressed with the fast delivery time. We've kept the tapes on for 16 weeks in total and have been very pleased with the results so far, especially for the shape."
Nicola & her Son - Rochester, UKRead more about Nicola's Experience
About 5% of babies are born with abnormally shaped or stick-out ears, but a further 2% of babies develop stick-out ears in the first 6 months of life. EarBuddies™ splints can be fitted by parents at home in under 20 minutes. An independent study at the Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow in 2012 showed a 78% success rate in newborns when splints are fitted by parents, with 73% rating ease of use as 'easy' or 'incredibly easy'. With early splintage and dedication, fantastic results continue to be achieved by parents at home.
When your baby is born, the cartilage framework of the ears is extremely soft because of Mum’s hormones. Some squashing of the ears is natural at birth, but if the ears remain an odd shape after 48 hours, or if they start to stick out, this will quite quickly become permanent as the cartilage hardens. EarBuddies splints re-mould the cartilage folds in a baby's ears to restore the natural curves and hold the ear close to the side of the head so that when the framework hardens in the controlled shape, there is a permanent, surgery-free correction.
"If successful, an effective splinting programme could consign the surgical correction of all but the most severe ear deformities to the past."
British Medical Journal, Vol. 334
Post-partum splinting of ear deformities Lindford AJ, Hettiaratchy S, Schonauer F.
Over 98% of EarBuddies™ are fitted by parents at home. However, when professionally fitted and the treatment supervised, success rates rise to up to 92% of cases, even in older babies or those with difficult ear problems.
Professional fitting combines the surgery-free, permanent correction of EarBuddies™ with the clinical experience of trained fitters. Choose amongst our global network of EarBuddies™ Professionals.
Click here to see the locations of some of our Professional Fitters, as well as our most recent 500 orders. If you don't live near a Professional Fitter, or want to fit EarBuddies™ yourself at home, we'll ship direct to your door!