Top 20 FAQ's
If you place another order on the same day, and before our shipping deadline of 15:00 (UK time) Monday to Friday, and LET US KNOW immediately using our contact form, putting the two order numbers in the order field, we will do our best to combine the orders in a single pack and refund the appropriate postage as if the order was made in a single attempt.
Ears which are squashed or folded over at birth can unfold and regain their shape somewhat, if not completely. If an ear is not back to normal at 48 hours after birth, it should be splinted.
For most babies, the question is purely a matter of appearance, and so the decision to splint is entirely up to you as a parent.
The only exceptions would be:
in babies known to have a hearing problem, as a behind-the-ear hearing aid fits best if the ears do not stick out
if the conchal bowl is deformed and might make in-the-ear headphones difficult to wear
Avoids the need for expensive surgery
Avoids risks and complications of surgery
Avoids pre-surgery teasing
Negligible complication rate
Do-it-Yourself fitting so no need for doctor's appointments
Can be fiddly to fit at first - follow our fitting guide for best results
Longer splintage period in older babies requires perseverance - our barrier cream and adhesive remover wipes will make tape changes much easier
You will need to remove the splints before swimming lessons in case they get lost in the pool
When your baby is born, the cartilage framework of the ears is extremely soft and flexible, partly because of mum’s hormones. As baby gets older, the cartilage naturally hardens to give the ear its permanent shape. Until it does, the shape can be altered permanently and without the need for surgery. If you can begin splintage early, the cartilage is softer and more ready to be moulded into a new shape.This is why Ear Buddies™ work: fitting the splints restores the natural curves of the ear and once it is held close to the side of the head by taping, its framework hardens in the controlled shape, to give permanent, surgery-free correction.
Another reason for early fitting is that babies move their heads very little in the first few weeks of life, and the skin hardly sweats. In a newborn, once the birth coating has been cleaned off, the tapes used to fix the splints in place usually stick for long enough – about two weeks - to ensure a perfect fix and avoid the need for future surgery.
Ear Buddies™ splints work by resetting the tendency of the cartilage to push the ear out from the side of the head. The pressure of the splint in the anti-helical groove actually reforms the anti-helical fold which is usually missing or abnormal in prominent or misshapen ears. Merely taping an ear back without the splint in place is not effective, and can cause kinking, flattening or notching of the rim of the ear which may not become noticeable until later years.
Early splintage is best, but starting at even 18 months is not too late - especially if you are still breast-feeding as this keeps the cartilage softer for longer. When Ear Buddies™ were first introduced, we said that they were effective in babies of up to 6 months, but that limit has been steadily increasing. We have had parents report success with splintage starting at 4 years old and independent research into splintage in Japan shows that it can be effective in much older children and even in adults.The age at which splintage starts determines how long you will need to splint for - the older your baby is, the longer the splints must be worn to take effect. The level of success achievable is heavily dependent upon perseverance and we would only recommend that you begin using Ear Buddies™ after your baby is 9 months if you are prepared to be very persistent.
We are not in the UK. Can I still order from the website?
Yes - we send our kits to over 130 countries worldwide. If your country comes up on the pop-up list on checkout, we can send goods there. The shop will calculate the shipping cost once you enter your address, and you can review all the details in the basket before finalising the order. Some Specialist Fitters, like David Gault in London, Dr Jill Tomlinson in Australia, the Mayo Clinic and Boston Children's Hospital in the US, and some NHS Hospitals in the UK have their own stock of Ear Buddies.
Step 1. Select a kit. All kits include two Ear Buddies™ splints, adhesive strips, headwear and instructions.
Kits are identical, except for the headwear.All the splints in all the kits are the same size.
Step 2. You might want to add an additional cover-up from our range of hats, bandanas and beanies.
Great if you live in a variable climate or just to suit a different outfit.
Step 3. Decide if you need extra tape: There is enough tape in each kit for a newborn (under one month old).
You WILL need extra tape if your baby is older when splinting starts.
Step 4. Choose Adhesive remover wipes to make tape changes much easier and tug-free.
Medihoney Barrier Cream to protect the skin, especially if you live in a hot country, or if your child sweats or possets.
If you are breast-feeding, the ears may stay softer for longer, and you may need at least one extra pack of Superwide tape.
The particular tape we use is highly specialised and is indeed more expensive than other tapes, but in 25 years of experience, it is undoubtedly worth it. Do not use inferior tape - without the correct hypoallergenic, tensile and adhesive properties, skin shear, inflammation and soreness is likely, and the correction will be much slower and less successful. You are also likely to find that other tapes can soon cause cross-allergy to other preparations.
Most parents use roughly 1 or 2 additional super wide packs (each containing two pouches of tape) per month of splinting. The super wide tapes are the cheapest way to buy the tape, as they can be cut into strips to make the short tapes (which hold the Ear Buddies™ splint to the ear), and used uncut to hold the splinted ear to the head. However, if you are likely to find that cutting the tape is too fiddly, you can buy extra supplies of long tapes, short tapes or a mixture, which will save you the bother.
If you are breast-feeding, the ears may stay softer for longer, and you may need a little more before the ears harden enough to remember the new shape permanently.
For our Top Fitting Tips click here
Can I really fit these myself without any experience? What if I do it wrong?
Ear Buddies were designed by David Gault to help babies fast, so that families did not need to wait for an appointment to see the doctor. Very many thousands of baby ears have been treated safely and successfully by parents (and grandparents!) and in over eighteen years of worldwide sales, we have never had an ear which has ended up worse as a result of splinting. Have a little confidence, read the instructions and above all persevere. The easiest option for now is to do nothing, we know. New mums have quite enough on their plate without having to splint, but if you can save your baby an ear op or some teasing in the future, it will all be worth it.
I am nervous about fitting EarBuddies™. Is there anyone who can help?
Over 98% of Ear Buddies™ are fitted by parents themselves, and the kits were designed with this in mind. If you feel that you need extra reassurance, some family doctors, hospital departments and specialists have experience in fitting EarBuddies™. Specialist fitting is particularly recommended for babies who have, or are likely to need a hearing aid. David Gault FRCS, the Plastic Surgeon who developed Ear Buddies™, sees babies for Ear Buddies consultation and fitting at clinics in and around London - at The Portland Hospital, The Bishops Wood Hospital and The Clementine Churchill Hospital. Contact secretaries on 020 3327 0059 for appointments.
Do I have to tape the splinted ear to the side of the head?
For the splint to exert sufficient pressure on the cartilage folds of the ear, it is necessary to tape the ear to the side of the head. Simply taping a splint to the ear will have little or no effect in reshaping it.
Could my older baby pull off the splints?
Older babies have the co-ordination to put their hands up to the sides of their heads, and can pull at the splints when they are first fitted, if the splints are properly fixed, babies do not have the dexterity to move them out of position. We supply Superwide tapes especially for this purpose.
Breastfeeding slows the hardening process but does not stop it - the cartilage will harden even if you are breastfeeding. If you have fitted Ear Buddies™ before one month of age and you are breastfeeding, about 25% more splintage time may be required as the cartilage is slower to harden. Splintage times may be 10% shorter than stated below if you fit after two months of age and you are breastfeeding because the cartilage will be slightly softer and more mouldable than if not breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is the best possible start for your baby and great for you too in very many ways.
My child has delicate skin and eczema - I'm worried he will be allergic to the tapes.
It is perfectly possible to use Ear Buddies™ successfully. True allergy to the tapes we supply is extremely rare. Most skin reactions are usually due to sweating or because the tapes have become wet. Occasionally the area between the back of the ear and the side of the head becomes a little inflamed and sometimes weepy, usually due to the close contact of two skin surfaces. You can minimise this by keeping your baby’s head dry at bath time. If the area looks as though it might become inflamed, we would recommend Medihoney Barrier Cream, applied with a cotton bud, which will protect the skin and allow it to settle. Paradoxically, children who develop this tissue reaction, and children with eczema, often achieve a better, quicker result, perhaps because of the influx of prostaglandins into the inflamed area. If the area is frankly inflamed and weeping then you must take off the splints immediately and allow the skin to heal. Only re-apply when it is completely better.
I want my baby to have swimming lessons. Can I leave Ear Buddies on?
It is really best to take them off before each lesson, just in case they are lost in the pool. If you decide to risk it and leave them on, you should definitely change the tapes as soon as your baby is out of the pool, as the skin can become irritated by soggy tapes or dampness, especially in the crease behind the ear or under the splint.
“I have used earbuddies as a GP for several years,after discovering them 7 years ago when my second son was born with mis-shapen ears, and which were successfully treated with splints. I think they are fantastic!”
Dr Eithne Brenner
“Excellent results …couldn't believe the difference - 100% improvement”
Mrs O, Trowbridge
“My son's ear improves so much.. and it only been 2 weeks that he has ear buddie on. First, I have a little hope because he is 5 months old but I can see that his ear looks better. I still keep it on anyway. I am so glad I found your website otherwise my son's ear will look different. thank you!”
Mrs Benjaphorn Kanmepol, New York
“I just thought I'd write to say how brilliant the ear buddies are! I was quite nervous initially that i'd make the problem worse and wouldn't be able to do it properly... but I persevered and Luca's ears are now much better. Thanks again!”
Nick and Sal
“We are very pleased with the improvement and although not perfect, a great deal better I'm sure you will agree. As I have said before we didn't expect them to work 100% as she was 9 months at start. Many thanks”
Sandra and Guy
“We are half way through a two month period of using them with my son and so far I am amazed at the results- just in one month!!”
Mrs Carla E, Isle of Wight
“Well worth the time and effort.”
Mrs N, Grantham
“Many thanks for such a good idea - I only wish it had been there for my other three children who all needed surgery.”
Mrs W, Cheshire
“I am writing to let you know how successful your Ear Buddies™ splints have been with my young son.”
Mrs J, Surrey
“Her ears are so much better than they were…”
Mrs N, Kent
“Excellent results …couldn't believe the difference - 100% improvement”
Mrs O, Trowbridge
“ Back in June you fitted an ear buddie to our daughter Simran. There has been a 100% improvement... Our daughter now has a sunder kan (beautiful ear). Many thanks again Doctor. ”
Mr BB, Ilford, Essex