Should I Splint?

If an ear sticks out or an obvious ear deformity remains 48 hours after birth: it should be splinted immediately. The earlier you begin, the shorter the splintage period, which is easier on both parent and baby. Please see our infographics below for more information.

If no obvious ear deformity is visible: it may still be necessary to splint. About a third of all ears which eventually stick out appeared to be normal at birth. It is common that they slowly drift out between birth and 6 months, and parents often say "we suddenly noticed the ears were sticking out, when they were fine at birth".

If you notice that the ears start to drift out: begin splintage as soon as possible. Ears are commonly pushed forward during breastfeeding, by a mattress, or by the head cosies of car seats and this contributes to the drift (see example). See how to monitor change in ear prominence here.

If you have a Family History of prominent ears: even if the ears haven't started to stick out yet, you should consider splinting from birth, as early splintage gives faster results, more easily.

If your baby has a hearing problem: early splintage is especially important, as a hearing aid may not stay in place if there is an ear deformity.

If your baby is older: early splintage is best, but even starting as late as 18 months may not be too late, especially if your baby is still breastfed, as this keeps the ear cartilage softer for longer. When EarBuddiesTM were first introduced, we said that splintage was 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. However, the level of success achievable is heavily dependent upon perseverance and we would only recommend that you begin using EarBuddiesTM after your baby is 18 months if you are prepared to be very persistent.

Does my Baby need Ear Buddies | Learn when to Reshape Stick Out Ears


If Ears are Normal at Birth

To print a copy of this infographic, please click here. Images are supplied by kind permission of David Gault FRCS at EAR (Ear Aesthetics & Reconstruction).


  • "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

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  • "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

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  • "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

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  • "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

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  • "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

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  • "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

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