Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

ear infections, ear tubes, and language

I'm hoping that some moms of toddlers with ear tubes can chime in here.  My DS had six ear infections in 4 months before we finally got ear tubes put in 2.5 weeks ago.  He had his follow up appointment with the ENT yesterday and they tested his hearing and it was within normal ranges, although just barely normal in one ear, but they said that could also be because he was just distracted and didn't want to sit still. His hearing was not tested before he got his tubes other than his newborn screening (normal).

Before his surgery, he did not say any words. He said dadada all the time, but not to anything in particular. At his one year appointment (before his tubes), the pedi wanted him to have one word, but he didn't really have one (sometimes he says "da" more emphatically around the dog, but we weren't sure about whether he really knew what it meant). He didn't say mama or dada discriminately.  She said maybe the tubes would help.  Well, since he got tubes, he has been babbling a lot more.  And we think he says "hello" now, when he waves.  And at daycare they said that they hear him babbling a lot more and making more different sounds, too.

So, I was just wondering if anyone else had this experience, too.  Anybody had a chronic ear infection kid who just was NOT interested in talking, and after tubes, their language took off?  I am hoping that is what is happening for us!

Married to DH since 6/30/2007
Mom to DS, born 12/3/2010

TTC Baby #2 since 5/2014
BFP: 6/16/14 EDD: 2/25/15  Missed Miscarriage discovered 7/10/14 D&C 7/17/14

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Re: ear infections, ear tubes, and language

  • Not from personal experience, but my cousins son had issues with language, at like the age of three. They had therapists and such to deal with it and here it was his ears.   He got the tubes and his language fixed itself!
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  • DS had his tubes in at 15 minutes and he wasn't speaking at that time.  It took him a while but now he's talking up a storm.  I do think his speech was slightly delayed because of the chronic infections and tubes but he's caught up now.
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  • i swear dd started babbling more the day she had her tubes. they can hear better once their ears arent constantly filled with fluid.

    my cousin had ear infections when he was younger and they never put tubes in. he ended up having to go to speech therapy for years. the chronic infections actually caused him to have some scarring in his ears and he still doesnt hear 100% out of one side.

  • DD literally started babbling the day after her tubes were put in.
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  • My ds had tubes at 18 mo and he was really not talking much before the tubes. He turned into a blabbermouth after the tubes and now I wish he would shut it for 2 seconds a day :) I think the tester was right. He is only one after all. He might not respond the right way on cue at 1.  I say give it some time and have the hearing tested again in a few months. 

    Our ds never had another ear infection after he had the tubes put in FYI and he'll be 11 this month. 


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  • Thanks everyone for the replies!  I hope that DS's language progresses faster now that he has his tubes.  He seems to get really frustrated when he can't communicate with us, so I'll be happy about anything to help with that.
    Married to DH since 6/30/2007
    Mom to DS, born 12/3/2010

    TTC Baby #2 since 5/2014
    BFP: 6/16/14 EDD: 2/25/15  Missed Miscarriage discovered 7/10/14 D&C 7/17/14

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  • Your DS is still pretty young to be concerned about not talking yet. I'm surprised that your pedi wants one word at 12 months.
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