When it comes to most decisions about parenting, you have to decide what age is best for certain milestones.
Ear piercing is something that some cultures do when children are very young while others wait until a child is old enough to give consent for the procedure. There’s no perfect age for this to occur.
Your baby should be at least two months old to get her ears pierced. That is the youngest you would want to have this procedure performed. You can wait until your child is old enough to weigh in on this decision, or you can make it for them while they are young.
You need to make the right decision for your baby based on their needs and the desires you have for them.
Here’s some information to help you know what to expect when you do decide to have your child’s ears pierced.
Baby Ear Piercing Age – What’s Best?
There are benefits and disadvantages to getting your baby’s ears pierced, and they change as your baby ages. Let them guide you as you try to decide what age is best.
When Should I Get My Baby’s Ears Pierced?
You should wait until your child is at least two months old to get their ears pierced. If there are special circumstances, your doctor may recommend that you wait even longer.
Newborn Ear Piercing
A child is considered to be a newborn when they are not yet 28 days old. It’s not recommended that you pierce your child’s ears when they are this young.
While some people do not follow this guideline, getting past the two-month mark is what is recommended by most doctors.
Piercing Baby Ears at 3 Months
At three months old, your child is no longer a newborn, and you can get her ears pierced without as much worry about her being hospitalized if she develops an infection.
Ask your doctor what vaccines your child should have before a piercing, and see if your doctor will perform the piercing in the office instead of having it done outside of a medical establishment.
Piercing Baby Ears at 6 Months
By six months old, your baby may be able to sit up and squirm more when you take them in for a piercing. However, they are still so young that they won’t remember the experience when they are older.
Though your baby can get their ears pierced before the six-month mark, there are pediatricians who think waiting until at least this point is best.
Your child should have their 3rd tetanus shot at this age, and that makes complications from infections less likely.
Piercing Baby Ears at 1 Year
At one, your child may be harder to keep still during the piercing, but you may also be able to offer some bribes to get them through the procedure.
Kids this age touch everything, and they will touch their ears after the piercing, introducing germs to the open wounds.
Teach them to wash their hands, and be vigilant about making sure they do to avoid infection.
Advantages of Ear Piercing Early in Life
While it’s a controversial topic, there are some benefits to piercing a child’s ears early in life.
After the age of 11, it’s more likely that your child will have scarring at the site of the piercing.
Your child will also not remember the pain of ear piercing if she is younger when it takes place.
That doesn’t mean it won’t hurt, It will, but your child won’t remember it if they are still a baby.
Advantages of Waiting
For many parents, waiting means giving their child a chance to make this decision on their own.
Ear piercing is a modification to your child’s body, and it’s normal to want them to make those types of decisions on their own.
Your child is also better equipped to take care of the piercing when she is older, so that is less work for you.
Babies are always changing. Keep in mind that your child’s ear shape may change as she grows, so getting a piercing when very young could make the adult piercing look like it’s in the wrong place.
Possible Complications To Be Aware Of
Infections are possible when a child gets their ears pierced. However, if done correctly, the infection risk is low.
If your child is very young and does get an infection, hospitalization may be required due to age.
Ear Piercing for Babies Without Pain
Though some pain is inevitable, there are ways to reduce the amount of pain your baby experiences during ear piercing.
- Choose someone who is experienced with baby ear piercings and knows how to make the process quick and safe.
- Use an ice pack to numb the area.
- Feed your baby, by breast or bottle, as soon as the piercing is over so they can have comfort.
Best Earring for Newly Pierced Ears
Avoid cobalt and nickel when you get your child’s ears pierced.
There is a higher chance that your child will be allergic to those types of earrings, and that can cause a reaction that is uncomfortable and unsafe.
Titanium and stainless steel options are the safest bets for kids when they are getting their ears pierced. Choose a small stud that won’t weigh down your child’s ear.
Ear Piercing Aftercare for Babies
The person who pierces your child’s ears should send you home with aftercare instructions. The general aftercare guidelines are:
- Clean the ears with rubbing alcohol, and apply whatever ointment your doctor recommends. Do this twice a day.
- Dry your child’s ear lobes after they take a bath.
- Gently rotate your child’s earrings every time you clean them.
- Watch for signs of infection.
Baby Ear Piercing Infection
Most ear-piercing infections are minor, but you still need to watch for signs that your child may have one. These include redness, crusting, and pain.
If the piercing site is warm or your child starts running a fever, you need to call your doctor.
This is also true if the redness on your child’s ear starts to spread. A professional should see your child to decide how to best treat the infection.
When Can Babies Get Their Ears Pierced at Claire’s?
Age requirements differ by region and store, but any person under the age of 16 will need an adult with them to get their ears pierced at Claire’s.
If you are taking in a child under the age of one, be ready to provide proof of vaccinations. The adult accompanying a minor should also have valid identification.
Further information and details for different stores can be found on Claire’s website.
Will Pediatricians Pierce Ears?
Yes, you can find a pediatrician who will pierce your child’s ears. It just may not be an easy task, and insurance won’t cover the procedure.
Each doctor gets to decide if they want to perform a medically unnecessary procedure on a young child, and you need to verify your doctor’s stance before assuming he will do it.
Whenever you decide to get your child’s ears pierced, make sure to find the right person to do the piercing and follow all of the aftercare guidelines.
Kristy is the mother of four, including identical twins. With a background in education and research, she is constantly learning more about parenting and raising multiples. When she has spare time, she enjoys hiking into the woods with a great book to take a break.