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.
If your baby's ear condition does not appear in our guide of common problems, you should consult an expert. Plastic Surgeon David Gault FRCS, one of the world's foremost experts on the external ear, and developer of Ear Buddies™ and EarPerfect™ consults in London and also on Skype.
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:
The Benefits of Fitting EarBuddies™:
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 EarBuddies™ 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.
EarBuddies™ 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 scaphal actually reforms the antihelical 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 EarBuddies™ 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 EarBuddies™ after your baby is 9 months if you are prepared to be very persistent. We would recommend the Premium Pack for all babies over 1 month old, as it contains everything you will need for a longer splintage process.
Yes - we send our products to over 130 countries worldwide. If your country comes up on the list on checkout, we can send goods there. Click on the cart icon in the top right of the window to view your order. You can calculate your shipping costs before checkout with our new shipping calculator by simply entering your address. 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.
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.
If you purchase the Premium Pack, you don't need to worry about this. There are plenty of extra tapes: (4 Pouches of SuperWide AdhesiveTapes, 3 Pouches of Wide Adhesive Tapes, 2 Pouches of Narrow Adhesive Tapes).
Most parents use roughly 1 or 2 additional SuperWide packs (each containing two pouches of tape) per month of splinting. The SuperWide tapes are the cheapest way to buy the tape, as they can be cut into strips to make the Narrow Tapes (which hold the EarBuddies™ 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 Wide Tapes, Narrow Tapes or both, 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.
EarBuddies™ 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 twenty 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 operation costing on average £5000 in the UK, or some teasing and self-confidence problems in the future, it will all be worth it. The key is to think about what can be achieved long-term, rather than what is convenient in the short-term.
Yes. Over 98% of EarBuddies™ are fitted by parents themselves, and the Kits and Packs were designed with this in mind. However, if you feel that you need extra reassurance, some family doctors, hospital departments and specialists have experience in fitting EarBuddies™. The combination of the surgery-free, permanent correction of earbuddies™ with the clinical experience of expert fitters is known as the EarPerfect™ System and is recommended for babies who have, or are likely to need a hearing aid, and for parents who favour a professional fitter, and need extra guidance and support.
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.
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 EarBuddies™ 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.
It is perfectly possible to use EarBuddies™ 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® Natural 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.
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.