How long do I splint for?

EarBuddiesTM should be fitted when the cartilage of the ear is soft enough to be reshaped, and removed when the cartilage has hardened enough to permanently hold the new shape and position.

How long you splint for mostly depends on the age of baby when EarBuddiesTM are fitted. As a general rule, the earlier splintage begins, the higher the chance of success and the shorter the time needed to correct the problem.

Why is it so important to splint early?

  1. The cartilage of the ear is softest and most flexible at birth and can be easily moulded. It naturally becomes progressively harder with age.
  2. Babies are less active in the first few weeks of life, and the skin sweats very little. In a newborn (once the birth coating has been cleaned off) the Adhesive Tapes usually stick for long enough – about two weeks - to ensure a perfect correction and avoid the need for future surgery.
  3. Because the cartilage hardens with age, an older baby's ears will take longer to "learn" the new shape than a newborn's ears, and so the splintage period will need to be longer. Older babies are also more dextrous and may be able to use their fingers to pull at the tapes holding the splint in place.
  4. As baby’s sweat glands and sebaceous glands develop, the Adhesive Tapes stick less well and it becomes increasingly important to keep the ears clean and dry to avoid the risk of inflammation due to trapped moisture.

Can we take the splints off for a day?

The splints are best worn 24 hours a day; they are made to be comfy, and your baby should be able to sleep on a splinted ear untroubled. However, you can remove them for a few hours for a special occasion, or if baby swims. If you do take the splints off, make sure you refit as soon as possible, as you can quickly lose the benefit of the correction, particularly early in the splintage.

Does Breastfeeding Affect Splintage Duration?

Breastfeeding keeps the cartilage softer for longer. If you have fitted EarBuddiesTM before one month of age and Mum is breastfeeding, about 25% more splintage time may be required as the cartilage is slower to harden. After two months of age splintage times may be 10% shorter than stated below if Mum is breastfeeding because the cartilage will be slightly softer and more mouldable. This is not a reason to delay beginning splintage however, as the sooner you begin, the greater the likelihood of a good result. Breastfeeding is the best possible start for your baby and great for Mum too in very many ways.

Although every ear is different, below is a rough guide as to how long to splint for stick-out ears:

If EarBuddiesTM are fitted at:
We recommend you splint for:
birth
2 weeks
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
4 weeks
6 weeks
6 weeks
2 months
2 months
3 months
3 months
6 months
4 months
9 months
5 months
Over 12 months
6 months

 

How do I monitor the progress?

Take photographs and measure the prominence (for stick out ears) - see details here.

How will I know when to take the splints off?

Splint for the recommended time – see above. When you remove the splints, take photographs and measure the prominence (for stick out ears) over the following 48 hours - see details here.

Could the ears start to lose the effect of the correction?

If the splints were applied correctly, and the period of splintage was long enough for the cartilage to "set" in the new controlled shape, the ear should remain permanently corrected. Although the cartilage has taken on a new shape, it is still quite soft at this young age, so take care to avoid anything which can reverse the improvement. Ears are commonly squashed and pushed forward during breastfeeding, by a mattress, or by the head cosies of car seats for example. Immediately upon removing the splints after the period of correction, take photographs and measurements (for stick out ears). You can then monitor the correction. If you feel the ears are starting to lose the effect of the correction, simply re-fit the splints.

 

  • "Thank you so much Earbuddies!! You saved my baby from some future insecurities and saved us thousands of dollars in plastic surgery!!!"

    Leopoldo - San Diego, USA

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  • "Early splinting of neonatal ear deformities has been proven to be successful but the opportunity to splint is frequently missed due to lack of awareness amongst healthcare personnel."

    International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, NHS Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow - 2013

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  • "His ears look great now and people can't believe the before and after pictures. Thank you so much EarBuddies! You have made a great change in my sons life!!"

    Laura, Buckinghamshire, UK

    See Laura's Story
  • "She's been wearing the splints for 2 months now and her ears look amazing!"

    Niki - Essex, UK

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  • "Thank you for helping us prevent future cosmetic surgery and give symmetrical ears to our little boy during his early childhood."

    Dr. Kristen H. - Iowa, USA

    See Kristen's Story
  • "Many are told it will improve with age, or that simple taping will work, when in fact the opposite is true. Odd-shaped ears, which do not become completely normal in appearance within 48 hours of birth should be splinted."

    Royal College of Midwives: A Smart Start

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  • "The results are nothing short of amazing. She doesn't even notice them on and applying and removing is a lot easier than I thought it would be."

    Simone Marshall - Victoria, Australia

    See Simone's Story
  • "I can not recommend them enough! I now feel happy that Charlie can grow up without being self conscious of her ears."

    Tara Wooldridge - Nottingham, UK

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  • "We are so pleased and so glad a product has been designed to help to save the little people from having to go through a painful, expensive operation."

    Michelle - Bristol, UK

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  • "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 17 Feb 2007, Volume 334

    See what other experts say
  • "The fitting instructions are so easy to follow with great illustrations that helped me to feel confident in the fitting process. We are thrilled with your product and the results!"

    Kelly Moore - Instagrammer

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  • "This is a phenomenal product & more people should know about it!! It's a shame US doctors don't know about this. This product will save so many children from having to get surgery and being teased about their ears."

    Mrs. Kasey Ott, U.S.A

    See Kasey's Story
  • "Splintage is a simple, safe and non-invasive procedure for the correction of prominent ears."

    British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons

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  • "Thank you EarBuddies for such an amazing product. Such a minor inconvenience for a lifelong result. I know my son will be grateful in the years to come."

    Hayley, New Zealand

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  • "I cannot be happier with the result that we have achieved and am keeping the splints on for a bit longer to be sure of the result. I only wish that I had known about it before as my 3 year old nephew was born with cup ear..."

    Julie B, UK

    See Julie's Story
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