There’s nothing cuter than tiny baby ears all dressed up. If you have made the decision to get your daughter’s ears pierced as a baby, or are considering it, this is the ultimate guide for you.
Ear Piercing for Babies- Making the Decision
Ear piercing for babies is a controversial topic in the parenting world. There are many reasons why one may choose to pierce her daughter’s ears. There are cultures where early ear piercing is the norm. It is considered a ritual and tradition. For Americans, it's usually an aesthetic preference. No matter what your reasoning, it is a personal choice for you to make, just as with all parenting decisions.
When to do it
Why is it a good idea to pierce your baby’s ears so young? Some common reasons for ear piercing for babies are that babies are not able to remember the pain, it’s less likely for a baby to touch the earrings which can cause complications, and babies are more likely to cooperate with post-piercing cleaning and care. In general, it’s recommended to wait until at least your baby has had two sets of vaccines (around 2 months old). Also keep in mind the size of your child’s ear lobe. If it is really small, you may need to wait a while longer.
Where to Go
Today there are a handful of places that do ear piercing for babies. Some pediatrician offices provide this service. There are also medical ear piercing clinics available.
- Choose a place that is clean and safe.
- Make sure the technicians have lots of experience with piercing baby’s ears.
- Consider choosing a place where they use a sterile needle or a no-touch cassette system instead of a piercing gun.
- Some places offer topical numbing cream for your baby if you’re interested.
- Also consider finding a place where two technicians can pierce both ears at the same time. It’s less stressful for baby and over quicker.
Do some research and find a place where you feel comfortable.
What to Expect
- On the big day, make sure your baby is happy, healthy, well-fed, and rested. Bring a favorite toy along for comfort and security.
- Pick out a pair of earrings.
Find a pair that are well proportioned for a tiny ear lobe, and that are hypoallergenic and nickel-free. Choose a high quality medical-grade metal, such as 14k gold or titanium.
- Hold your baby on your lap. Ask the technician to make sure they place the earring center on the lobe and not too low (to allow for centered placement as the ear lobe grows).
- Hold your breath as your daughter’s ears are pierced! It should feel just like getting a shot at the doctors office to her.
- Hugs, kisses, and cuddles, then you’re done! Immediate nursing sessions may also help soothe her pain.
Caring for New Earrings
You will be sent home with educational instructions and antiseptic solution. Follow these instructions carefully! Most complications arise from improper cleaning, and not from the procedure itself.
- ALWAYS wash your hands before touching your baby’s ears.
- Use a clean Q-tip to apply the solution or witch hazel to the piercing site, pushing the earring gently forward and backward, swabbing between the ear and the earring. After cleaning, rotate the earring to prevent it from sticking to the skin. Check the earring back to make sure it is secure. Do this twice a day for 4-6 weeks.
- Do not remove or change the first earrings for 6-8 months. Baby’s skin heals quicker than adults, so the hole will close up very quickly if the earring is taken out before 6 months.
Once your baby’s earrings have been in for at least 6 months:
- You should consider removing them overnight, for naps, and for bath time. As babies get older and more wiggly, those backs can sometimes slip off, resulting in lost earrings and a possible choking risk.
- Buy extra backs. Safety backs and silicone backs are your best bet for decreasing the chances of them falling off. But, it will happen, so stock up!
- Never let her go without earrings in for an extended time. You don’t want those holes to close up and have to go through all this again!
- You can change them!
My First Earrings are just right for baby, made with sterling silver, shorter posts so they don’t poke the skin, and silicone backs that are don't slip off easily. Consider having more than one pair, in case you lose one, and because accessories are better in bulk!
We love Dickenson's Witch Hazel, because it also contains a bit of pure alcohol as well, and it's all natural to boot! It's the perfect product to apply after a piercing and for routine cleanings down the road.
Now you can be confident and well-informed in your decision on ear piercing for babies to give your baby some bling!
Want to learn more about witch hazel? Check out this post on Witch Hazel’s “Magical” Powers