Every baby is perfect and precious as-is, but sometimes a newborn has irregular ears. This can mean that the ears are prominent (sticking far out from the head), folded over (like lop ears), pointed or cocked ("Spock" ears), or otherwise crinkled in an atypical way.
In the past, the way to correct this situation was to wait til the child was older and perform a surgical otoplasty (or ear correction surgery). While this is certainly still an option, it involves discomfort, anesthesia, and surgery.
Current thinking in plastic surgery supports the use of a technique called "Ear Molding." Ear molding uses a series of custom fabricated silicone and aluminum stents to shape a baby's ear in an anatomically ideal way. Ear molding works best during the early weeks and months of a baby's life-- the younger the better. This is because babies have high circulating levels of their mom's estrogen left over from pregnancy. This unique situation allows their cartilage to be malleable and permanently reshaped.
This means that a newborn baby can have his or her irregular ears made perfect in a non-invasive way that can take as few as four or five days.
If your baby has irregular ears, and you are interested in ear molding (sometimes also referred to as ear wells), please call my office at (212) 452-2400 to see if he or she is a candidate for the procedure. The highest success rates are in the youngest babies. If ear molding is started at 2 days old, it can be completed by one week old, and the ears can be forever improved.
I believe in this technique so much that I've even done it in my own child, who was born with a folded helical rim (top part of the ear).