Our Experience With the EarWell System

Here is a trip down EarWell lane..

These show the right ear protrusion before the EarWell system:

before and after photos of the EarWell System

Here are a couple of pictures showing the heavy lidding on her left ear:

before and after photos of the EarWell System

Her progression from her first appt. to her last:

our review of the earwell system on themilleraffect.com
what are ear wells? themilleraffect.com
the ear well system by dr byrd on themilleraffect.com
why our daughter got ear wells on themilleraffect.com
our daughter's ears after she had ear wells for 6 weeks themilleraffect.com

*Please note that the camera often flips the image. The right ear was the one protruding and the left ear was the one with the heavy lid. The left Ear Well was removed first and the right Ear Well was removed two weeks later.

I want to start this post by saying that I know this is super insignificant to so many people. This post will literally just be about cosmetic ear molds that we had put on our daughter when she was 7 days old.

I know that babies having big ear lids, protruding ears, etc. are tiny problems when it comes to the major things parents sometimes have to face with their children.

Just know that at the time, this was significant to us. So significant that I cried about it more than a few times. I think ANYTHING, when it comes to your tiny newborn baby, is significant.

This post was strictly written to tell everyone about the EarWell Stystem, so that new parents can make an informed decision when it comes time to.

Mostly because this is something you have to decide on in the first ten days of your child’s life.

EarWell System

How did this all get started?

When your baby is born you will inspect everything about them. You won’t be able to stop staring at them. You get especially close up to them while nursing them in the hospital.

During one of our nursing sessions I noticed that one of Miller’s ears was really close to her head and the other wasn’t. The other one looked normal and the one that was pressed to her head looked off to me.

Let me just say thank goodness her two ears were different. Because little did I know it, but the one that LOOKED NORMAL to me was the one that was the problem!

When I mentioned it to the hospital pediatrician, she looked at them and agreed that one of her ears stuck out a little more than normal. I was like ‘wait, what’? I thought the one that was pressed to her was the weird ear. NOPE!

She then told me I could have cosmetic ear molds put on and recommended two people to me: Children’s Hospital and Dr. Byrd. 

Ya’ll- I 100% believe she would have never said anything about Miller’s ears if I hadn’t pointed it out. But if you think about, that is probably normal. Why would a pediatrician want to point out something that may be a tiny bit aesthetically off about your newborn baby? I definitely can’t imagine they would ever say, ‘Oh, and by the way your baby’s nose is a bit crooked, I recommend you having something done for it.’

I wish they would though. So many parents leave the hospital NOT REALIZING that their baby may need Ear Wells until it is too late.

Why too late? Because you have to have the Wells put on within the first ten days of their life in order for them to really work.

When we saw our own pediatrician a couple days later, we brought it up again. She probably would have never said anything either. But, she actually had this entire system from Dr Byrd that she pulled out. She had a pen that measured how far the ear stuck out from the head and it determined that Miller’s was in the red zone. She then gave us all of his information.

Little did we know that Dr. Byrd CO-INVENTED the EarWell System.

We immediately called and got in right away. We knew we didn’t even need a consult at this point since her two ears were so dramatically different. But, if you are unsure, most practices will do free consultations to determine if your baby needs Ear Wells.

What is an Ear Well?

According to Baylor Hospital research, ear deformities affect 25-35% of all newborns. Let that soak in. 25-35%!!!

The EarWell™ Infant Ear Correction System allows infants with ear birth deformities to be treated in a painless, non-surgical manner. They are plastic molds that are applied to the ears to help shape and correct muscles within the ear.

The Process

We went into our appointment knowing Miller was going to have to get an Ear well on her right ear. What we didn’t know was that she would actually need them on BOTH ears. Why? because the left ear actually had very heavy lidding that needed to be corrected.

They basically said if we were going to fix one, we may as well fix both. And we agreed.

At our first appointment they showed us what was wrong and how they were going to fix it. The right ear stuck out so much that by the age of 5 it would have stuck out 3x as much as the left ear. The left ear just had heavy lidding that needed to be fixed.

They shaved part of her head (so hard guys, the hair still hasn’t grown back) and the first Ear Wells were put on. Apparently Miller does NOT like having her ears touched. She did NOT like it when they put them on, but we could tell it wasn’t really hurting her at all.

After two weeks we went back in to get them put back on (you will go in every two weeks.) They will give you tape at your first appointment in case the Wells start coming off before the two week appt. We had to use that tape.

Miller screamed bloody murder at her second appt. They actually remove the Ear Wells with alcohol pads. The Ear Wells are actually taped down pretty well so this means they have to remove the tape with the alcohol. Ouch! I would recommend putting baby oil on the tape the night before each appt. to help them loosen up. Their little baby skin is so sensitive!

Then she wore them for two more weeks. At her 4 week appt. they took the left ear mold off and just used tape to hold it back (kind of like what a retainer does for braces.) The right ear needed to stay on for another two weeks.

She finally had the right Ear Well removed after 6 weeks (right before Christmas). They removed the tape off the left ear and put retraction tape on the right ear.

They gave us something to measure with and said if the ear starts protruding again past that point then we would want to come back in and apply more tape.

PS-the actual Ear Wells NEVER BOTHERED HER. EVER! She did not even notice they were on. She never reached for them or tried to pull them off or anything. They only bothered her during the appointments (and she screamed bloody murder during those!)

They bothered us wayyy more than they bothered her. It is hard to bathe them because you have to make sure they don’t get wet. You have to apply more tape once they start coming off too soon, you have to take precautions to make sure spit up doesn’t collect in them, burping them in your lap is a little difficult because of the way you have to hold their head, etc.

BUT NOW SHE HAS TWO BEAUTIFUL EARS!!

The Cost

Insurance should cover a lot of it. We ended up paying $1300 out of pocket for both ears.

Why We Did It

When I mentioned it on Instagram Stories I got flooded with messages. I was worried I would get hate messages, but all I got was love.

So many stories were shared of personal experiences with my reader’s own ears. So many mothers wished they had known about them in time and so many adults talked about their own ear troubles. They talked about how much they were bullied or what kind of super painful surgery they went through to fix their ears later in life.

We choose to do it in her first few months of life, months she would never remember, to help her avoid all of that later on.

We 100% recommend this to every new parent out there. Go in for a consult if you think you need one! You know your baby best. If something is off about them SPEAK UP!

You will also be so glad you did it. It will be hard on you, but it honestly flies by so fast and becomes something of the past in a blink of an eye. 0 regrets.

Please leave a comment below with any questions you may have.

xox Amanda

 

5 Comments

  1. Christie C
    January 31, 2019 / 9:40 pm

    Do you have any recommendations for a baby that is now 15 weeks? My gut told me to do something and I sadly ignored it. It’s not even just cosmetic – they poke out and get caught folded forward in her car seat or in our arms. I so so wish I had known about this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Molly
    January 31, 2019 / 4:19 pm

    Thank you SO much for sharing your story. Because you were so transparent about your experience through Instagram stories (while I was pregnant) as soon as my daughter was born I assessed her ears. She, too, needed Ear Wells and we can not thank you enough for recommending Dr. Byrd! We got in just in time and she will have them off in about 3 weeks. Thank you for being open!

    • January 31, 2019 / 4:21 pm

      OMG these comments are going to have me in tears all day today! I am so happy I was able to help!!! xox Amanda

  3. Amy Gniffke
    January 31, 2019 / 4:06 pm

    Thank you so much for this Amanda! Honestly I had no idea what ear wells were before you and thanks to you, my 7 week old has perfect ears now. My pediatrician actually told me her ears would be fine when we asked but she had such bad lidding on both ears we still wanted to see a specialist and the specialist said she definitely needs the wells. Because of your journey and Miller’s journey with the ear wells, we were able to get them on before she was 21 days (which was the cut off) and now she will not have to worry about her ears when she is older or bullying. Her lidding was so bad they covered half of her ear and the other ear had the same lidding and was super pointy like an elf. We are so happy and so is Chloe. We can’t thank you enough!!!

    • January 31, 2019 / 4:20 pm

      OMG CHILLS! This means everything to me thank you! And yes I should probably mention you have a little longer if it is a lidding issue and not a protrusion issue. I am so happy you heard about it in time and that you were happy with the process! Now you can spread your knowledge to even more mamas out there! xox a

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