One of the first questions I was asked when I had Lillian is “when are you going to pierce her ears?”. I come from a Hispanic family where you pierce the baby girl’s ears RIGHT away! My husband was adamant that we wait, and I was unsure on the issue. A part of me felt like it is something my daughter should be old enough to decide for herself. I also thought it would be a fun way to allow her to learn how to care for herself should she decide to get her ears pierced. Lastly, when I was fourteen all I wanted was a belly button piercing. If she has NO piercings, her ears are a great place to start! So we waited. However, hearing so many opinions on the issue prompted me to write this post.
Baby ear piercing can be a heated issue for many new moms and dads. Some parents can hardly wait to pierce their new little one’s ears, while other parents consider it a rite of passage that should be given to the child at a later age. Cultural reasons or family traditions may also factor into why some baby’s ears are pierced.
If you are considering piercing your child’s ears, consider the following.
Reasons to have baby’s ears pierced.
Some parents believe it is less painful to pierce an infants ears than wait for the child to grow older. Ear piercing can also help solve gender identity for girls. Many cultures have a tradition or custom in piercing baby girl’s ears. In Spain, for example, it is common to pierce a newborn baby girl’s ears. The last reason for piercing your baby’s ear is that it is easier for parents to clean the ears or change the earrings the younger the child is.
Reasons to wait to pierce your baby’s ears.
You may decide to wait until your child is older for many reasons. Ear piercing can be a special rite of passage for a child to enjoy. Some parents want the child to be able to choose if they want their ears pierced. Some parents also find it unnecessary and painful for a new baby. Lastly, babies ears are not fully grown so the hole might be lopsided.
These are all factors to consider when deciding whether or not to pierce your baby’s ears.
When is it OK to pierce your baby’s ears?
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents wait until their baby is old enough to care for the ear piercing themselves. There is also a risk of an infant accidentally swallowing the tiny earrings.
If you wish to pierce your baby’s ears, wait until she is at least two months old and has had her first round of shots (specifically tetanus). Always talk to your pediatrician first before having your child’s ears pierced. See if your pediatrician can perform the piercing or has a referral to a safe office. Not all ear piercing businesses are equipped to the right safety standards to pierce babies ears (but they do it anyway!). Ear piercing guns are not good to use to pierce babies ears because they cannot be sterilized. Find a trusted referral that uses a sterilized needle. Round gold earrings are the best choice for reduced risk of infection and allergies.
Caring for your baby’s pierced ears.
Most likely your little one will cry during the procedure. There may be slight swelling and redness at the site. Be sure to care for her ears to help heal the ears faster and reduce the risk of infection. Follow the instructions given to you by the ear-piercing business. Do not remove the earrings for at least 6 weeks. Most doctors recommend you leave the earrings in for the first year. Gently clean the front and back of the ear lobes twice a day with the recommended ointment and gently rotate earrings each time.
If you see any signs of infection call your pediatrician right away! Redness or soreness are the most common signs.
I hope this helps you make your decision!