I think it is good that you are waiting as well. DD1 had ear infection after ear infection starting when she was around 3 months old. We noticed around 12-14 months old that she wasn't "talking" as much as other children her age so we contacted our local EI. Maybe contact them if you start getting concerned when your child gets a little older. For DD1 she had so much fluid that she couldn't hear and basically was not getting a reading on this thing they used to measure what she could hear.
We did end up having DD1 get tubes when she was around 20 months. If it helps to reassure you, they didn't put an IV in her arm. The surgery is so quick that they just gave her some gas. I had hadn't even finished half my bagel and they came out to say she was done. She was up and moving around like nothing happened later that day. So far after having the surgery she has only had maybe 2-3 ear infections and she is now 3. Her speech is doing just fine.