When To Pierce Baby Ears

Simply put, you can either choose to Pierce your baby ears shortly after birth or wait for the child to get a little older. In any case, it’s your choice.

However, while some parents agree with the notion of baby piercing, some are completely against it—it’s all about preferences, usually motivated by cultural and religious beliefs.

And while I am not here to define a specific period as the best time to pierce baby ears, or make a clear stance on baby ear piercing, I must give you all the necessary facts that’ll help you make the right decision yourself.

That said, the right question is:

What Is The Best Age For Your Baby Ears To get Pierced?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that a child shouldn’t be pierced until he/she is old enough to handle piercing-aftercare on their own.

But they went further to concede that piercing is safe at any age, provided that it is being performed with sterilized equipment, following a proper aftercare to ensure the piercing heals smoothly.

On the other hand, some specialist in the field recommends that the best time on when to pierce baby ears is after the baby must’ve received two tetanus shots and that’s about 4 months old or thereabouts.

Risks That Comes With Having Your Baby Ears Pierced

There are possible risks parents have to consider before having their baby ears pierced. These risks ranges from allergic reaction, ear tearing, auricle deformity, development of Keloids etc.

Fortunately, most of these can be avoided if the following procedure is in check:

  • Using only sterilized equipment for the piercings.
  • Always cleaning the piercing site.
  • Do not use tight earrings.
  • Don’t change the earrings before the piercing heals.
  • Avoid piercing from the wrong angle (if you’re not very good with piercing, get a specialist to help)
  • Avoid touching the piercing site with dirty hands
  • Always remove the earrings before going to sleep (after they’re healed)

For situations like Keloids development, things are not really certain. However, if you and your partner don’t have a family history of Keloids, then it is less likely for the baby to have Keloids from piercing.

Not just that; recent survey shows that Keloids are less probable when ears are pierced below the age of 11 than after 11.

How about if your family has a history of Keloids? Well, experts recommends you should avoid piercing your baby ears. But if you really want to have it pierced, consider doing it at early childhood rather than infancy. This way, you reduce the risk of developing Keloids.

Best Way To Have Your Baby Ears Pierced

The best play here is to ask either a doctor or a nurse to do the piercing—they tend to be more experienced in such regard.

You’ll also make sure that the piercing is conducted with the right technique—pierced from the correct angle, with sterilized equipment to avoid unintended effects.

On a very important note, ensure the piercing is done with gold post earrings—this helps to reduce the risk of skin reaction to metal and other possible infections.

Not only that; avoid dangling earrings—they have a 60% chance of getting caught on something (especially in the case of infants), which increases the risk of tearing your child’s earlobe—yikes! You definitely don’t want that!

Lastly, use screw-back earrings so they don’t choke or injure your baby.

After a successful piercing, the next important step is the aftercare procedure:

Cleaning The Baby Ears—The Aftercare

If not handled properly, this is the phase where most infections and other defects springs from. The aftercare is also what determines how well the piercing heals as well as how long it’ll take.

On that note, the following procedure is one of the recognized means of ensuring proper aftercare for baby ear piercing:

  • Using a cotton wool, apply antibiotic ointment on the piercing site, twice a day.
  • Rotate the earrings twice daily.
  • After piercing, don’t take off the earrings for the next 4-6 weeks.
  • Avoid touching the baby’s ears with dirty hands. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly—even the tiniest of germs could infect the piercing. Stay cautious.

Like I pointed out initially, a proper aftercare will prevent a whole range of possible infections, that is why you should keep a close watch on the baby every step of the way.

Do These If You See Signs Of Infections

Infections are very likely to spring from ear piercing, that’s why you have to be prepared. The following paragraphs will serve as a guide to help you handle any situation of infections.

On that note, if you observe the following, chances are, your baby piercing might be infected. They include: warmness to the touch, redness, swollen site, oozing, a temperature of 38°C or higher etc.

Facing any of the above mentioned signs, quickly use a saline solution to clean the piercing site. Continue cleaning the piercing site back-to-back, also rotating the earrings as well. If the earrings can’t rotate, that’s also a call for attention—infection might be the case.

If symptoms persists after 48 hours, please consult with the pediatrician to understand what to do next. This will definitely improve the overall situation.

Tips To Reducing The Pain Of Piercing

You want your baby to feel as less pain as possible and for a very short time, whether it’s during or after piercing.

It’s that simple: approach a professional piercer who can carry out the procedure swiftly….and as well as being very careful in the process. Demand a cold pack be applied to the piercing site before and after the process to numb the piercing site.

During the aftercare, be gentle with the whole process. Piercing pains don’t last when adequate care is being provided to the piercing site.

Also, a bit of distraction that’ll serve as entertainment to the child is a welcome idea. This will help distract the baby from the pains, which in the long run, enhances the healing process.

Recommended Types Of Earrings For Babies

Not every earrings is suitable for infants and to that effect, the American Academy Of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended only gold post earrings that are small, round and flat as possible for your infants’ first piercing.

This is because gold post earrings (14 karat or higher) are very unlikely to cause allergic reactions as opposed to mixed-metal earrings that usually contains nickel—the devil’s copper.

Wrapping up

At this point, whether you choose to pierce or not doesn’t matter to anyone. Like I said, it’s all about preferences, maybe religious or otherwise.

In other words, there are no laid down laws that compels you to pierce your baby or not. Follow what works best for you.

However, if you ever choose to pierce, ensure it is done properly, using the ideas on this article as a guide. The aftercare phase is not exempted as well.

Good luck.

Christine Heather
Christine Heather
Christine Heather is a veteran mom, skilled in parenting, and blessed with three cute lovelies and a supportive husband. With expert experience in child psychology, Christine has successfully navigated the labyrinth of children's behavioral patterns.

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