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Ear Pulling

Many parents interpret ear pulling in an infant as a sign of pain caused by an insidious ear infection, when in fact it’s simple exploration. Around four months of age, all babies start moving their hands around to test their new range of motion and to explore whatever happens to be sticking out. For Lucy, this includes her ears; for Jimmy, what sticks out are his ears and his penis (when he is naked). But I digress. It’s true that ear pulling may signal general discomfort when teething pains start (around eight months of age). Whenever Lucy experiences throbbing in her gums, she will cry, touch her face, rub her eyes, and pull on her ears. This little display could convey the false impression that she is suffering because of her ears, rather than because of the erupting tooth. Pain medication will help her deal with the worst teething episodes. For the record, Jimmy’s penis pulling is rarely a sign of discomfort.