When your baby keeps pulling his hearing aids off

In this post, I wrote about using the Phonak Stick and Stays to keep the processors stuck on behind T’s ears. That worked really well from when T was 3 months old (when he first got hearing aids) up until now (at almost 9 months old). However, in the past week or so, T seems to have discovered that he has ears, and frequently reaches up to touch them, pull them, pull off the hearing aids and look at them, pull off the hearing aids and put them in his mouth, etc. I don’t think his ears are bothering him, and I don’t think the ear molds or processors are bothering him (no fluid in his ears, no other signs of an ear infection, there’s no obvious gapping between the ear mold and T’s ear, and when T is distracted playing, he doesn’t tend to yank at the hearing aids) – it seems like he’s just discovered that the hearing aids are there. Now, the Stick and Stays are not nearly sticky enough to withstand T’s grasp and pulling, so he can very easily get the hearing aids off. And, boy is he FAST!

So, we decided the Stick and Stays were no longer quite enough. We first tried using toupee tape instead of the Stick and Stays. The toupee tape is a bit stickier, but it turned out to not be sticky enough to foil T. Also, the toupee tape doesn’t come pre-cut into the shape of a hearing aid processor, so it’s a little more annoying to work with.

Next, we tried putting on a hat that covers T’s ears. We ordered these – the style is called a pilot’s cap, and other companies sell them as well. So far, the hat seems to be working pretty well! It’s made of a soft, lightweight cotton that’s not too hot for indoor-wear, and although T will still reach up for his ears, he can’t reach the processor to pull it off. And, it comes in lots of colors and looks adorable (picking out baby clothes has become something of a new hobby for me).

A few other notes about using a pilot’s cap – the fit is pretty important. You want the hat to be pretty snug, since if it’s too loose, it won’t fully cover the ears. At 9 months, T wears an XS, and it fits perfectly, although I do have to make sure to tie the chin straps pretty tightly. Also, if you try the pilot’s cap and find that it works well, I highly recommend getting backups (this is just common-sense when it comes to baby clothes), since they get pretty gross during mealtime.

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