With my own baby at home I have first-hand experience with the concerns of the parents of newborns!
In addition to checking for a cleft palate that first day, I also inspected my new baby’s ears. The same hormones that allow the pelvis to relax for birth also soften babies’ cartilage. Just like the head shape can be temporarily changed by the birth process, ears can be affected. However, within a few days the ears assume the shape intended, and if there is still a crinkle or fold, or any of the differences in the photo above, ear molding in the first few weeks of life can improve ear shape and minimize the risk of longstanding deformity and consideration of otoplasty (ear surgery) later. The cartilage remains malleable, and when the shape can be corrected with the Earwell, then when the cartilage firms up it retains the corrected shape.
Ideally treatment is started in the first two weeks of life, and the device, which is applied with a skin adhesive, is changed every two weeks for a typical 6 week course. (Occasionally it is shorter if results are exceptional and sometimes longer with a smaller retention tape for more severe/stubborn areas.) Babies sometimes fuss with the application and removal but it is not painful.
If you have questions about your new baby’s ear shape, call us or email us pictures!