Baby Ear Piercing: When Should You Pierce Her Ears?

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!

Comments

  1. says

    Wow I had my ears pierced when i was about 16 months old. I had no idea that it was considered a “Hispanic thing” until my husband mentioned that it was. My mother is Puerto Rican so I guess that makes sense. But she always told me it was because my hair was short and I looked like a boy…so I think it’s a bit of both. I don’t really see it as a bad thing since I was raised that way, but my husband is pretty adamant that if we ever have kids, “they aren’t doing that” lol.

    -Brittany Ruth

    • says

      Hi Brittany! Haha that’s so hard to have that disagreement. I totally see both sides. My husband and I are kinda the same- I was ok with it and he wasn’t- and by the time I wanted to it was too late!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Tiffany

  2. says

    This is a very insightful post. I had my ears pierced by my grandmother when I was less than a month old. She has pierced every baby girls ears in our family since she was 20 years old. My grandma is now in her 60’s we are also Dominican. So far no issues have arised from the baby girls in our family getting their ears pierced young. It’s a tradition for us, I pray to have a daughter so that she can pierce her ears too. I am 26 and both of my ears have even small holes. But all of this is certainly good for thought.

    Charity
    The Word of A Nerd

  3. says

    This is an awesome post! My parents believed it should be my decision whether I wanted my ears pierced or not and I finally got them pierced before I went into the 7th grade. Growing up I had always wished my parents had just gotten them pierced when I was a baby since I was terrified of needles but as I got older I am so glad they waited and let me make such a big decision. It made me feel so grown up to make such a decision on my own. So hopefully one day your daughter will thank you for letting her make this decision too!

    • says

      Thank you! You are so kind to leave this comment. That is awesome. I loved reading this because this is how I felt about the situation. So thank you for sharing this! 🙂

      Tiffany

  4. says

    We also agreed to wait though it never occurred to us to even consider piercing our daughter’s ears! I didn’t know it was a thing until I saw tiny babies with earrings. I got my ears pierced while in middle school, but even then my ear lobes weren’t fully formed. So I had to get them re-pierced since the holes were lopsided! But besides that, I felt getting my ears pierced was a rite of passage and while it was a tad painful, I’m glad I can remember the experience! I was proud to be able to make the decision myself and I think your daughter will too.

  5. says

    Was searching for my GF’s blog and came across your interesting one. Started reading and came to your asking moms about the best age to have her ears pierced.

    Well, I did my first daughter after asking my ped at six months and the second girl at six weeks. Earlier turns out easier for mommy and baby if want her ears pierced. I remember getting mine done when I was five and it wasn’t a positive experience. I wanted it done so bad since all my friends had earrings, but the scared me so much, I cried even before having it done.

    Learning from that situation told me that I didn’t want my girls facing the same thing. Doing it as an infant, they will grow up earrings thinking it is a part of them.

    My two girls never played nor messed with them. They are now 3 an 4 yrs old and proud of showing their earrings to their friends. Almost all the other little girls wish their moms had done theirs as an infant.

    They are now struggling with what I faced at their age, i.e., the angst and fear of getting their ears pierced.

    What is the right age? Well, to each their own. I don’t think there is any wrong answer. Everyone has there own traditions or rules. I also think if you wait for a child to want it or be responsible it could be at different ages. Since every child develops at different ages.

    After receiving some info from our ped where to have it done, type of earrings to choose and OTC meds to minimize any discomfort, I followed her tips and it was a good experience for all of my girls.

    Any moms wanting some info or on the fence, “…to pierce or not to pierce,” then drop me an e-mail and I will send our ped’s tips to you.

    amyswor@hotmail.com

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