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Ear Piercing in Babies: Should You Pierce Her Ears?

babies and ear piercingThe baby ear piercing debate is a hot button topic. It ranks up there with the breastfeeding versus breastfeeding debate, or the controversy over cloth diapers vs. disposable diapers. Everyone has his or her own opinion on this topic. Some parents are appalled and disgusted that you would even think about piercing an infant’s ears; others think those little diamond studs in your baby’s ears are cute.

Whether it’s due to cultural reasons or family traditions, some babies’ ears are pierced. If you’re thinking about piercing your child’s ears, you may be wondering,

How old does my child have to be? Is it safe to pierce a baby’s ears?

Why Choose Baby Ear Piercing?

Parents choose to pierce their baby’s ears for a variety of reasons. Some parents pierce their baby’s ears because they believe it’s less painful at such a young age. Others pierce for more practical reasons – It solves gender identification problems in girls. Plus, strangers on the street won’t mistakenly assume a girl baby is actually a boy. The little diamond studs tell it all.

Since it only causes a few moments of pain for the baby, and your child will quickly forget it, some parents don’t see the harm in baby ear piercing.

There’s also a cultural element to baby ear piercing. In some cultures or communities, it’s customary for a baby girl’s ears to be pierced. Infant ear piercing may also be a family custom.

You may want to choose baby ear piercing, since older children might be more hesitant to allow you to clean the ears or change the earrings. Babies may not notice that the earrings are there, making it easier for you to care for the newly pierced ears.

Why Choose to Wait Before Piercing?

On the other hand, you may decide to wait to pierce your daughter’s ears.

Ear piercing is sometimes held off so that it can be a special memory for mother and daughter to share. It’s also a rite of passage for girls. There are parents who want the decision of ear piercing to be the child’s choice.

Another reason you might want to wait – your baby’s ears haven’t completely grown yet. Piercing a baby’s ear can cause the hole to look lopsided. Maybe it’s too close to her face, or too far away. Waiting for the ears to grow just makes common sense for some parents.

What’s a Good Age to Pierce Your Daughter’s Ears?

Since this is such a controversial topic, everyone has her own opinion. Some parents are perfectly fine with piercing their newborn baby’s ears. If there’s no medical reason to wait, they don’t see what the big deal is.

The official word from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is that parents should wait until their daughter is old enough to care for the ear piercing herself. Plus, the AAP doesn’t recommend you pierce your baby’s ears, since there is a higher risk of an infant accidentally swallowing the tiny earrings.

If you are dead set on piercing a baby’s ears, the AAP recommends that you try to wait until two weeks after your baby has her first tetanus shot (which occurs at two months). So, if you want your baby to have gold studs, wait until she’s at least two months old.

Some pediatricians do recommend that you wait until all rounds of tetanus are given. (Infants are given tetanus shots as part of their regular vaccination schedule at 2, 4, 6, and 15 months old.)

How Old Do Babies Have to Be to Get Their Ears Pierced?

If you’re dead set on getting your babies ears pierced, I would highly recommend that you wait until she is two months old (or older). By this time, her immune system may be strong enough to handle mild infections that may occur. And she should have already received her first round of vaccines. (The tetanus vaccine is really important. Just in case the ear piercing equipment isn’t sterilized properly.)

Talk to your pediatrician about whether he or she performs ear piercings. If not, call around and find an ear piercing business that has the right equipment to handle working with babies. See my safety tips below.

Safety Tips for Parents

If you decide to get your baby’s ears pierced, you’ll want to keep a few safety rules in mind.

First, not all ear-piercing businesses have the proper equipment or staff that is trained in working with babies and young children. For example, ear-piercing guns aren’t recommended for piercing babies’ ears, since they cannot be sterilized. If your child is pierced with a gun, there’s a higher risk for her to contract hepatitis or another type of infection.

Some pediatricians will pierce your baby’s ears at their office (usually with a sterilized needle), or they may give you a recommendation to someone they trust. However, there are pediatricians are totally against ear piercing in babies. So, when you ask the pediatrician for his advice, just be wary that his answer can go either way.

When having your baby’s ears pierced, make sure that round gold earrings are inserted. The gold (14 karat) will lower your baby’s risk of having an allergic reaction or inflammation. All parts of the earrings should be gold, including the backings.

How to Care for Your Baby’s Pierced Ears

Your baby will cry and wail after having her ears pierced. Just be aware that this will happen. After her ears are pierced, her body will sense that it is no longer whole and will try to heal the affected site. As a result, there may be some swelling, redness, or inflammation around the near gold stud.

Once you get home, it’s up to you to care for the newly pierced ears to reduce the risk of infection and to quicken the healing process.

  • At least twice a day, make sure that you gently rotate the earrings and clean the front and back of her ear lobes with rubbing alcohol, an antiseptic product, or an antibiotic ointment.
  • Do not remove the earrings for at least six weeks. This allows the ears to heal. After six weeks, you can change out the earrings. However, experts recommend that babies wear gold posts for the first year to prevent any infections.
  • If the area around the piercing becomes red or tender, this is a sign of an infection and you should call your doctor right away.

Potential Complications from Ear Piercing in Babies

There are medical complications that may result from piercing your baby’s ears.

Infection – After you get your baby’s ears pierced, you’ll want to pay careful attention to any signs of infection. This is the most common problem that parents encounter. Your baby’s ear lobes can get infected if the equipment used was not sterile, if the earrings used have dirty posts, or if the earrings are clasped too tightly. You can avoid infections by cleaning your baby’s ears with rubbing alcohol or antibiotic ointment on a twice a day basis.

Always contact your doctor if your baby’s ear becomes red, there is pus around the piercing, or your baby develops a fever for no reason.

Allergic Reactions – Sometimes, an allergic reaction to the metals in the earring can cause the earlobe to become infected. Nickel is typically the most common culprit of allergic reactions. For this reason, it’s important that you choose nickel-free earrings. Surgical steel and 14 karat gold are the recommended metals for a baby’s ears.

Keloid Formation – After the ears are pierced, the body will try to heal the area of trauma. You might notice redness or swelling near the hole, as a result. Keloids occur when the body over-defends itself and goes overboard, leading to large scar tissue. Keloids are often removed with the help of surgery or medical treatment.

Keloids tend to be genetic, and African-Americans tend to be more prone to them. They can, however, affect all ethnicities.

Choking Hazard of Earrings – If you decide to get your baby’s ears pierced, it’s important that you choose earrings that don’t fall out easily. Earrings are one of the top items removed from children’s ears. The sharp posts can accidentally fall inside the ear lobe and need to be medically removed. There’s also a choking hazard of earrings. Your daughter may “lose” an earring, and you later discover that she has swallowed it.

Tearing of the Earlobe – When a young child wears dangling or hooped earrings, she’s at higher risk of tearing her earlobes during play. The earring can easily catch on something she plays with, and this can lead to tearing. To prevent this, make sure that you only use stud earrings for your baby or young child.

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About the author: DP Nguyen is founder and editor of Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies. She’s an expert pregnancy and women’s health blogger. She is NOT a medical doctor and does NOT offer medical advice. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

{ 161 comments… add one }
  • Christa April 18, 2018, 3:25 pm

    In the Philippines, baby girls’ ears are pierced after being born and we never have any health issues

  • K Sisko January 4, 2017, 11:50 am

    I’ve worked for 12 years in a store that pierces ears. First thing: DO NOT CLEAN YOUR EARS OR YOUR CHILD’S NEWLY PIERCED EARS WITH ALCOHOL OR PEROXIDE. The alcohol is too harsh on the skin and can dry out the tissue in the ears. The peroxide can strip the top layer of metal from the earring. The place you go for the piercing should supply you with ear care antiseptic.
    Another thing that people don’t seem to understand: The ear piercing gun never touches the customers ears. We the clean the gun with alcohol just in case but the earrings come sterilized in a cartridge that fit into the ear piercing gun. I have never in my 12 years had a gun touch someone’s ear.
    I personally don’t think you should pierce a child until they are old enough to know what’s going on and till their ears have grown some (but I do it because it’s my job and not my child). I have seen some majorly lopsided holes from doing it that young and it makes it harder to give them even 2nd holes and so on.

    • Janaya June 2, 2017, 9:58 am

      THANK God you mentioned the alcohol thing. I don’t think people should give advice on how to care for something unless they are a professional. Alcohol is a big no-no.

  • Rachel Smith, RN October 21, 2016, 2:15 pm

    As a Registered Nurse and owner of a piercing studio in NYC that specializes in baby and children’s ear piercing, I wanted to add that your advice on the aftercare is a bit dated. Alcohol wipes are only used to clean the ears BEFORE the piercing. Never use alcohol on broken skin as it is way too drying and irritating for a baby’s skin. Also, using antibiotic cream as part of routine care is not advisable. Antibiotic cream should only be used in the event of an infection (which, btw, is extremely rare in baby ear piercing). Lastly, our earrings are made of medical-grade materials therefore they do NOT need to be rotated (one less thing for mom to think about!). We advise parents to use a gentle soap and water rinse in the bath once a day, and then pat dry. The only other thing we recommend for cleaning is a sterile saline solution, usually found in the form of a product called “wound wash”. I’d also like to add that after piercing thousands of babies, I can confidently say the piercing is very similar to getting a vaccination. In other words, the babies cry for about 10-20 seconds and are back to their normal and happy selves literally within minutes of the piercing.

  • Tiffany June 7, 2016, 1:54 pm

    I’m conflicted because on the 1 hand my own mother had my ears pierced when I was a baby and I’m glad she did because I like having pierced ears and I’m too much of a weenie to be able to convince myself to get it done as an adult. But on the other hand, I don’t think I’d have my own daughter’s ears pierced because it is her body and her choice and I don’t want to infringe on her bodily autonomy…especially since she may not grow up and enjoy having pierced ears and then it would have been for nothing.
    And for those shouting ‘abuse’… it is definitely not abuse!

  • Windmillbox April 29, 2016, 11:55 pm

    Hold on, “It solves gender identification problems in girls.”

  • Karinne March 28, 2016, 6:57 pm

    My mom got my ears pierced when i was 1 month old and I didn’t have any complications. As well my daughter, she is 2 years old and I pierced her ears when she was 5 weeks old she didn’t cry, just a little whimper 🙂

  • No, I wont pierce my baby daughter eard February 28, 2016, 5:26 pm

    And fuck the society and its crappy traditions. xD

    • Janaya June 2, 2017, 10:00 am

      Good for you.

    • Srikanth Nadigottu January 28, 2018, 7:15 am

      Awesome man

  • Liz February 5, 2016, 3:08 pm

    I have 2 daughter’s, 3 yo and 3 wks old, and my husband and I decided not to pierce their ears. Both of us come from a cultural background where piercing an infant girls ears is the norm, so it was hard for many in the family to understand why we decided to go against tradition.
    Personally, I’m afraid to expose my child to unnecessary risk for aesthetic purposes. I would never forgive myself if something happened to her as a result of it. The most common argument people present when I ask why they believe I should pierce my child’s ears is “so people know she’s a girl”. But I can easily accomplish that by dressing her in pinks, purples and pastels, pretty dresses, and adorning her hair with barettes, bows, and colorful bands. Some people say that its better to do it in infancy so that the child doesn’t remember the pain. Well, I’ve been pierced twice in young adulthood, and the pain was nowhere near severe. It’s not like circumcision, where waiting until adulthood to do it would be far more painful, greater risk for complication, and increased recovery time. For me, waiting to pierce just feels like the right thing to do. I look forward to the day my daughters decide they’re ready for a piercing. It’s an experience I look forward to sharing with them. I don’t judge the parents who choose to pierce their babies ears. My parents did it to me, and I don’t resent them for it, nor do I believe they loved me any less because they did. I’m just making a different choice.

  • Anne January 19, 2016, 3:33 pm

    I will not put a hole in another human being without their permission. It strikes me as quite unethical

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  • I don't understand May 6, 2015, 3:30 pm

    Just a question. Why does it feel like getting ear piercings are mandatory if you’re a girl? It’s just for feminine aesthetic purposes, so there isn’t much purpose for it. There are things that a parent could do other than punching a tiny hole in an infant’s ear lobe in order to show that the baby is female, such as putting them in feminine colored/styled clothing. There’s no true purpose in doing it (outside of aesthetic reasons), so why bother with it?

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  • Tina March 16, 2015, 8:26 pm

    Any mother that would willingly make their baby scream in pain and suffer for the sake of something ‘looking cute’ should question their love for the child. It’s equivalent to abusing them!

    • Elle July 9, 2015, 3:25 pm

      Tina, comparing parents who pierce their children’s ears to abusive, uncaring parents is a step too far. Just outrageous, very close-minded, and absolutely judgmental. we recently saw a mother on the news forcing her child to drink beer…that’s ABUSE. But ear piercing? I think not.

      There are many cultural and family traditions that some people follow which includes piercing a daughter’s ear from the get go. It does not mean these parents want to subject to children to pain. Just think about, many young boys gets circumcised. It’s not because there parents wanted them to be in pain. Just a choice the parents made due to personal of traditional reasons. Many parents allows their children to ‘cry it out’ when sleep training, but these parents are certainly not doing it cause their children pain.

      While my husband and I are waiting for our daughter to be a little older before getting her ears pierced, we very much support those parents who choose to do it earlier.

      • Monique July 14, 2016, 12:58 pm

        Elle, I couldn’t agree with you more. You hit the nail on the head. 🙂

    • andie December 18, 2015, 10:14 pm

      That’s a shame you think that way… to question the love fir my daughter? She gives me purpose and was the best thing that ever happened to me. I’m guessing your against vaccinations too….it might be the equivalent to abusing them

      • jenny November 13, 2016, 3:18 am

        Andie, your argument re vaccinations is not a logical one. Vaccinations have a therapeutic purpose which could prevent the child from becoming ill later. Piercings do not.

    • legitthoughts May 11, 2016, 10:28 am

      Your an actual idiot

    • Mama August 3, 2016, 3:32 am

      Don’t ever say something like that! You are an extremely judgemental individual! My 3 year old is very intelligent and he wanted a piercing I explained to him that it would hurt etc and he still wanted it done so he got it done and loves it I got my other sons ear pierced when he was 2 he didn’t cry he was very excited and was saying cool look mama!so don’t you ever judge other people for getting thier children’s ears pierced and say they should question thier love for the child who do you think you are. I would die for my baby’s and do anything for them I am a good mum I don’t expose my children to alcohol smoking or anything like that I educate my children and protect them and always will, and I love my children to the moon and back. I think it is a personal decision just like breast feeding. I got my ears pierced when I was young I do see both sides to this debate and I agree with both but your comment is just nasty. Hiwever all the posts etc did make me think after they had them done when seeing all the posts I didn’t realise it was that much of a topic because if was just normal for my family.

    • Jen August 15, 2017, 9:47 pm

      It’s just a pinch, it’s not like they are doing a surgery without anesthesia… You sound very ignorant. Putting piercings on baby girls’ ears is in many cases a cultural tradition. It is done in my culture and family. It was done to me, and of course I don’t remember any of it, LOL. Btw, it is still a choice of the girl if she wants to wear them or not when she grows up. If she wants to wear them she already has the holes, if she don’t then she don’t wear any. I haven’t worn earrings in months, though I want to buy gold ones to wear earings that last a long time and I don’t have to change or take off.

  • Debbie March 15, 2015, 9:04 am

    I think it is up to the parents if they decide to have their daughters’ ears pierced when they are babies. I have two daughters and both had their ears pierced on the day when they were three months old. They had it done at my local hairdressers where the woman that does the ear piercing encourages all her cutomers who have little girls to let her pierce their ears once they have reached three months old. They had tiny gold studs fitted which they kept in till they were about five years old. We have had no problems with them at all and some of their friends who do not wear earrings are very envious of their friends who do. If you are seriously thinking about having your baby’s ears pierced, I would say go ahead and do it – you will not regret it afterwards. If you do not want your baby girl to have pierced ears, then do not do it.

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  • Tammy January 6, 2015, 11:28 pm

    I did not sift through comments, but I did want to mention that some of this information is incorrect (twisting of the earrings for example is damaging healing tissue). Please if you think you should have your babies pierced take some time to check out safepiercing.org you wont be disappointed, they are the APP (Association of Professional Piercers , very educated, and informative. I am a body piercer who chooses not pierce babies.

  • tiffany January 2, 2015, 11:49 am

    I personally do not think you should pierce a baby’s ear. This is because hardly anyone likes having something poked through their skin. I have gotten my ears pierce 3 times in my entire life before the fourth time, which finally stayed in. So, the first reason is that no mother would want to have their baby cry of pain just because they want the baby’s ears pierced. The second reason is that you would not want to risk the baby’s ears getting infected. This comment was brought to you by a 14 year old girl.

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  • Alicia August 30, 2014, 10:54 pm

    I think a lot of it is also a cultural thing. In most Latin American cultures, baby ear piercing is the norm and your first baby earrings are a very sentimental item. My parents had mine done when I was a day old. They said I gave a little cry but was over it in a few minutes. As for people who say it’s “cruel”, I’d be interested to see how many with this opinion also oppose male circumcision (at least then they would be consistent). Personally, I’m glad I had my mine done as a baby and don’t remember the event. If anything, in having a multi-cultural background I was actually surprised when I learned that it *wasn’t* the norm to have your ears pierced from the get go. At the end of the day it’s different strokes for different folks and I don’t think there’s any need to get judgmental over anyone’s approach to ear piercing: be it getting them done as an infant or waiting until their older. I see reason in either method.

  • Roxanne August 29, 2014, 9:35 am

    I didn’t decide my children’s religion for them, as that is a very personal choice that should be made by the individual – just the same as putting holes in your body – it should be up to the individual who will live with the holes. When my daughter wanted hers, she was 12 an I only agreed once she had done research to understand how it would be done and the care involved after. She felt it was her first, somewhat grown-up decision and was very proud. Why would you want to steal that from your child?

  • Katie Sears March 11, 2014, 12:02 am

    I have four daughters and I let them decide if they wanted their ears pierced or not. Three of them did, one of them didn’t. They are all grown now and the three who did, still wear earrings and the one who didn’t, still doesn’t. I remember how excited my first two were when they got them done. They couldn’t pass a mirror without admiring themselves with their earrings in. I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world. I think mothers who pierce their baby’s ears are selfish. You rob them of their own memories. The other day, while shopping, I saw a new mother loading her beautiful little newborn girl into the shopping cart. We spoke for a few minutes. I asked her if she was going to have her baby’s ears pierced. She said, “Why would I do that? They’re not my ears.” I though that was an excellent answer.

    • Brie March 14, 2016, 8:40 am

      If you already knew you were against it, why would you ask a random mother at the store if she planned on doing it? Sounds like you may be the type of person who looks for moments to judge others. Either way, I really can’t wrap my mind around how judgmental people are. Who cares? It doesn’t affect you so why would you make another person feel bad about their own parenting?

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  • Just STFU already February 18, 2014, 10:04 pm

    It’s sad how people can be so vicious and judgmental about something so small as ear piercings. Berating other parents for their decisions just shows how you are being a mommy/daddy bully. The whole “it’s child abuse/ you’re vain/ you’re taking away their autonomy & she should decide arguments are getting old.

    • Lori March 4, 2014, 2:21 pm

      If people are going to say it’s barbaric to get their daughters ears pierced, than they better not get their child vaccinated or circumcised. That would totally make them a hypocrite. Doing those things are more painful than a quick click in the ear. I got my ears pierced when I was a baby. I don’t remember it and I was excited to buy different styles as a child. I do recommend the child wearing high quality earrings because of the toxicity of some metals and paints.
      When I was a teenager I went to get a second hole and I remember it not being painful at all. If she decides she doesn’t want earrings when she’s older, she doesn’t have to wear them. People don’t notice when I don’t wear earrings.

    • Greg March 5, 2014, 8:50 am

      Any alteration to the body is not necessary. It’s a selfish thing when a parent will decide if she or he will alter the body to make the baby look the way she or he likes. Wy can’t the child decide when he or she get’s older.

      • Katie November 11, 2014, 11:28 am

        My parents had my ears pierced when I was a baby. The doctors were the ones who recommended it, because they said that it is the best time to do it. I’m glad they did it, because at 13 when I got my second hole done I couldn’t keep up with taking care of it and ended up letting them close up even though I wanted them. My parents didn’t have it done with the purpose of having my ears look cute as a baby. They did it to save me the struggle of taking care of them later on. If someone gets their ears pierced when they are a baby and doesn’t want earrings later on they can just not wear earrings. I know that I went through a phase when I was in elementary school where I never wore earrings and I didn’t mind that the hole was still there. It is very unnoticeable without an earring in it. I recently got both the second hole and the cartilage done on both my ears at the same time and with how much care instructions go with it I am so glad that I didn’t have to do all these care steps with my first piercing. It is a lot of work. I do respect everyone’s opinions and understand the points they are making, but these are just my personal opinions based off my own experience.

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  • Heather October 23, 2013, 1:59 pm

    I think its funny when people claim its ok to pierce a baby’s ears for cultural reasons….because I know more than half of those people would say that a Muslim girl being forced to wear a hijab (head scarf) is being oppressed and should be stopped. You are making a permanent new hole in a person and sticking metal through it WITHOUT the consent of that person if they are too young to even talk!!! Its barbaric to do this to a person no matter their age without their consent and should be outlawed.

    • Crystelle January 2, 2015, 9:59 pm

      I agree with you Heather.

    • Cris April 20, 2015, 7:47 pm

      And I think you’re a moron Heather 🙂

  • bianca September 25, 2013, 5:57 am

    For me it’s a cultural issue and it seems that there isn’t much sensitivity to that here. It’s part of my culture to do it and most likely my daughter will be raised the same way.I love my daughters more than anything and my now five year old loves when daddy buys her new earrings for special occasion. To each his own have home respect for culture.

  • nickel-allergicmom July 5, 2013, 7:51 am

    I’m in my fifties and have never had my ears pierced. Thank goodness for that since I discovered years ago that I have a severe allergy to nickel. As a result of trying to wear clip-on earrings and developing terrible infections on my earlobes, I now have a huge, ugly keloid scar that I plan to get surgically removed. I am so relieved that my mother did not pierce my ears when I was younger, or I would probably have suffered worse damage from major scarring by now. (By the way, I cannot even wear the “whisper pads” to keep the earrings from making contact with my ears. I still develop terrible rashes on my lobes. In fact, the only metal I can wear is platinum!) No one else in my family has a metal allergy; therefore, young moms do NOT assume that your baby girl will not have any problems with nickel allergies. Do NOT pierce the ears of young ones. Wait until they are older and see if they have any allergic reactions to jewelry before piercing their ears.

    • Annia February 28, 2015, 1:05 am

      Well, that’s why babies should get gold…no cheap nickel…

  • V July 1, 2013, 12:23 am

    Y’all keep saying that the hole will close that is NOT TRUE! I am 27. I still have the hole and the marks to prove it.

  • Maternity Photography Charlotte NC April 25, 2013, 10:40 pm

    This is a topic that is close to my heart…
    Take care! Where are your contact details though?

  • badparent March 25, 2013, 1:30 pm

    I think about getting my baby a tattoo because i think it looks great maybe later some eyebrow piercings and a swastika symbol on here head you because i feel like it. Parents who do such thinks to there baby are no better then cultures who mutilate baby genitals for there religion. But hey who am i to judge. But if you do, please never say anything or have any opinion bout anything because you lost that right. Bye now

    • NoSarcasmHere September 29, 2013, 11:47 am

      You don’t have to be a nazi about it. You’re a bit too narcissistic to be normal.

  • Elise March 25, 2013, 12:46 pm

    My parents waited until I was twelve years old to bring up the subject of ear piercing. I wish I had been able to do it sooner, but I am in no way damaged because they waited. That said, I do think it is a parent’s personal choice on whether their child has pierced ears. I want my daughter to have her ears pierced when she is young, though it is something I will discuss with my husband when we have a girl. I don’t think it is evil or damaging to a child to pierce their ears. I have a cousin who got her ears pierced at almost two years old, and she loves them. She’s five now, and darling. She loves changing her earrings, and picking them out each morning. I do not think her mother emotionally scarred her, or made a bad choice. She is happy with her ear piercing.

    Everyone on here is putting each other down for opinions or decisions. People make different decisions. Just because you wouldn’t choose that, does not make it a bad thing. Everyone has a right to thier own opinions. So why don’t we all clamly state our opinions without being rude to people with different ones?

  • jessica March 21, 2013, 1:49 pm

    creo q amitambien coando era muy niña

    • Misty December 14, 2016, 11:43 pm

      As Charlie Sheen says, this article is “WNI!INGN”

  • brie November 10, 2012, 7:36 pm

    So what if i want to pierce my girls ears as a little one. Its my decision, its an ear. People are ridiulous. As a mother we make all decisions for them until they can do it them selves. I dont see any differnce in this dicision. Its individual prefrence. Who is anyone else to JUDGE you for doing it. Its very feminine. And I love the I pierce my girls when they were eight Weeks. If they dont want them later they can take them out. Its not life changing. If an accident happens were it does, deal with it n move on. Theres many things in life more memorable than piercing your babies ears. Personally I think its more traumatic when they are older because they can remember it.

  • April October 26, 2012, 11:49 pm

    I had mine done as an infent and 2 more times as a teen and I don’t remember the first time, my mom said I didn’t cry and I know it didn’t hurt as a teen. I can see also see the point of it being “her” choice, but most people vac babies maybe they didn’t want that injected in their bodies. I think to each their own. As long as you take care of it!!!!!!!

  • Luz October 5, 2012, 1:10 am

    well… there are risks… and scarring could happen… google keloid scars and you will find lots of images of keloid scars. they are very common on ear lobes and are caused by ear piercing. it looks like a pink lump that grows out of the skin and it can look REALLY bad and the worst thing is that they are very hard to treat. it often happens that it grows back again and again after it’s been removed with surgery… however, keloids are not very common in kids… but you never know……………………

  • Kristina October 4, 2012, 11:03 am

    In my family, ear piercing was as important for baptism for little girls. My dad’s side of the family lived in Mexico for much of his and his 8 siblings’ childhood and my grandmother fell in love with Mexican culture, including piercing her daughter’s ears. When my mother refused to pierce mine, she was left in tears. She tried to steal me away to get them pierced when I was 3 and was to be a flower girl at my uncles wedding, but my mom caught her. I couldn’t be the flower girl because I screamed for an hour because I wanted earrings. I finally got them pierced when I was in 4th grade but I had to pay for the procedure myself, all $40 that I’d saved for weeks.
    I think it really all comes down to the situation. You have to remember that although this is an iffy subject in many places, in some cultures, girls could be made fun of and it could effect their lives NOT to have them pierced. Also, who looks at your ear lobes anyway? Who cares if there’s a scar or mark? I’m pretty sure everyone has bigger things to worry about…and you should too.
    If you’re standing up against infant ear-piercing, you should really consider standing up for routine infant circumcision. Ear lobes are useless pieces of tissue, but the foreskin contains 3/4 of a boy’s sexual nerves, serves numerous sexual functions, and many cut it off without question and for only minor health benefits. Just something to think about.

  • jen October 3, 2012, 8:37 am

    I can totally tell none of you are from Miami! My mother pierced mine when i was a baby. Very grateful for that by the way. When my daughter went in for her 2 month shot, the doctor asked “are we piercing her ears today?” it’s not even a debate where i live. If you have a baby girl….you pierce her ears. People actually look at you diffrent when you don’t.

    • Leane September 18, 2013, 7:30 pm

      Here! Here!

      I was shocked when I see how many women are anti-infant-ear-piercing! I thought it was what you did when you had a daughter! At this point I am guessing it truly is a cultural thing, and living in Miami it is a must. I asked my daughter’s pediatrician and she said she would happily pierce them in her office with special equipment when she turned two months! They even GIVE you her first pair of earrings!

    • Greg March 5, 2014, 8:57 am

      I live in Broward one county away from Miami I wouldn’t be so proud

  • Peter McMahon September 23, 2012, 3:34 am

    Why force an innocent baby , who has not yet had a chance to make a decision for herself, to have the sex appeal of her ear lobes destroyed because YOU like the look of pins though HER ears. If you like pins through ears so much, go and get some more through your own, not her’s. It’s HER ears , not yours. SHE is the one who will have to live with it for the next 90 yrs or so NOT YOU. So BUT OUT & let her maker the decision.

    • Autumn September 28, 2012, 11:38 am

      Peter, why are you still even writing on this post? You have nothing new to say so peace out, brother.

      Just like anything else you do to/for your child, this decision is up to the parents. Yo those who say, “wait until she asks,” would you have that opinion when you take your 6 year old and she starts SCREAMING and refusing to allow the second ear to be pierced after the first is done? You may regret not doing it when she was an infant, when her cry would have been milder and only lasted minutes or even seconds.

      • Tina March 16, 2015, 8:30 pm

        If your 6 year old is screaming at you to not pierce her second ear, don’t do it! Bloody hell it’s not like it’s necessary for their well being.

  • Gina September 11, 2012, 9:02 pm

    I can’t understand folks getting so upset over a little ear piercing. In many cultures it is tradition to pierce a baby’s ears. What is wrong with following a beautiful age long tradition? Its considered a rite of passage. Plus……most kids nowadays are mutalating their darn ears anyways with those giant spacers. Talk about irreversible damage!

    • Dave March 16, 2013, 8:14 pm

      In some tribal cultures, it is traditional to remove a girl’s clitoris and labia and sew her vagina closed. And in those cultures, this female circumcision / infibulation is considered a beautiful, age long tradition… by some, at least.

      I honestly challenge you to lay out, point-by-point, exactly how different the two traditions are. It strikes me that there’s not ultimately a whole lot of difference, really.

      One person’s “beautiful tradition” can be another person’s abuse and oppression, wouldn’t you agree?

      Here’s an idea: do what you like to your own body, and grant others the respect to do the same. Crazy thought, huh?

      • Lori March 4, 2014, 2:31 pm

        Sexual organs are way different than ear lobes. That is not a good comparison. I can see comparing circumcision, but piercing ears is not the same kind of pain.

  • Carly August 22, 2012, 11:22 pm

    Only one point to make here.

    Just because the child is not complaining that does not mean it is not in pain. I know a 3 year old who’s “tummy hurt” but really their appendix was ruptured and most people would be screaming in pain. They do not know what to do when they are in pain, people do not always show signs of pain, especially if they are in constant pain as they get used to it and do not find complaining a constructive way of caring for it.


    You are not the one getting your ears pierced, and if you were it would hurt. Children do not feel less pain they are just worse at explaining that they are IN PAIN

    • Jessica February 4, 2013, 8:55 pm

      They feel the pain but seem to get over it much more quickly than an older child. Just like with getting shots… the younger ones don’t fixate on it and carry on. They don’t get the build up of anxiety either. I haven’t decided if I am going to pierce my daughters ears or not… she is 8 weeks old. I do wish my parents had done mine because doing it later was traumatic for me even though I wanted them so badly!

    • Janaya June 2, 2017, 10:01 am

      You must not have any piercings? It’s an ear piercing not open heart surgery. It’s tender for a little then it’s fine. Don’t be so dramatic

  • Marisa July 27, 2012, 5:07 pm

    The controversy is so interesting. I think there are kids everyday getting abused by their parents. Ear piercing to me is not a big deal. My five month old’s ears are pierced because I wanted to pierce them. Simple as that. If that makes some think I’m a selfish or horrible mother that’s fine with me. I dont look to other people to validate me and the choices I make for me and my child. If my daughter grows up and hates me for piercing her ears when she was a baby that’s my problem and I will deal with it. If your child is well cared for and is healthy and has his or her basic needs met, I have no criticisms of you as a parent.

  • Jo July 3, 2012, 8:53 am

    I hate seeing little baby girls with earings in. It’s not necessary for a baby to wear jewellery and in my opinion it looks gross.

    Saying that it hurts less if you have them done young versus having them done as a teenager or whatever, at least a fifteen year old knows it may hurt and can choose accordingly and it’s not like it’s something that ever NEEDS to be done anyway so you’re not protecting them from the pain in later life by doing it young.

    Also, it burns for a good week after having your ears pierced and the alcohol runs and drops you use sting like hell. And then there’s the twisting, numerous times a day every day for a couple of weeks. That doesn’t feel good either.

    If you must get your child’s wars pierced then fine. But don’t justify it by saying it doesn’t hurt because it does.

    • Karinne March 28, 2016, 7:54 pm

      If you are disgusted to see a baby girl with earings then you shouldn’t come to my country. Every single girl. EVERY. Had their ears pierced. I find it very cute to see a little girl with earings because I’ve grow up with the concept that every girl should have their ears pierced. I think it’s the parent decision and I don’t think is abuse either.

  • Chrissy May 27, 2012, 11:48 pm

    Actually, piercing guns aren’t a whole lot different than using needles. The earrings come in sterile, one time use cartridges. The posts have needle point ends to do the actual piercing, and the gun itself never touches the ear. In the “olden days,” the earrings they used had blunt ends, yes, but those haven’t been in use for at least a decade. Also, the guns were spring loaded, unlike the current hand press ones, so people would often startle and jerk at the sound, which would pull on the earring and irritate it right from the start.

    The cleaning solution does not dry out the piercing, but there are other options, such as saline. Alcohol, however, will dry it out and slow healing.

    If a parent chooses to have their daughter’s ears pierced, it’s THEIR DECISION. They need to do their research and go to a reputable place. You may not agree with their decision, but guess what, it’s not your choice or your kid.

    In my experience, as someone who used to pierce babies’ ears and who has a daughter with pierced ears (done at 4 months), it doesn’t really make a difference what the age, but there are benefits to doing it younger rather than later.

    • Katelyn September 8, 2013, 5:16 pm

      I had my ears pierced when I was 3 months old and I wish my mom didn’t do that. One of my lobes is stretched and nearly ripped because when I was 2 years old, I ripped my earring off when my mother wasn’t looking. Also, I have a severe allergy to fake metals and I can only wear real 14kt gold and therefore I don’t wear earrings because I don’t have the money to buy 14kt gold earrings. I don’t believe in imposing gender roles. I used to pierce ears at a mall (unfortunately) and the number one reason I heard for people stabbing their daughter’s cute ears was because “people mistake her for a boy”. Who cares? People used to think I was a boy as a baby even with my ears pierced.

      Also, don’t think that piercing guns are safe, they are not. Yeah the earring is sterile but the gun is dirty and germ-ridden. The girls who do the piercings get at most two weeks of training before they start piercing ears. Mistakes happen often because the guns are hard to line up to the dot and her earrings could be crooked because of it. If its really that big of a deal, take her to a body piercer. My body piercer does infants as young as three months. Most states allow you to get ear piercings at a professional body piercer at any age, it just depends on the preference of the individual piercer. Body piercers use sterile needles (which are sized correctly and have more accuracy) and have months of training and are certified by the Department of Health. Please do research before you hurt your child in a way you didn’t want.

  • caroline seguin May 9, 2012, 12:32 am

    All the points made her are fine. I think it’s a parent’s decision. I also think that in our society and you are a girl, you will want, soon, to be able to ware earrings. If your ears are not pierced, it will be annoying and very hard to find earrings with clips and the clips hurt after a while. I think that when the babies are young it doesn’t hurt them as much (for some reason). My daughter was 8 when we had hers done and it was pretty painful and harder to take care of it (no infection, etc…) Took longer to heal as well. If it was to do over again, I would have had her ears pierce when she was a baby. As for me, I had them done in my 20s and had tons of problems. But again it’s a parent decision I think. Peace <3

    • Samantha May 26, 2012, 12:36 am

      I disagree. I am very glad my ears are not pierced, and I would be angry if my parents had them pierced.

    • Jessica February 4, 2013, 8:51 pm

      I wish my parents had done mine when I was a baby… I got them done when I was like 10 and then had a huge fit when it was time to clean them and they got infected. I ended up having to take them out. Then I wanted them so badly but was too scared it was going to hurt bad… it is not that bad. I ended up having to get them redone 2 days before my wedding! Both of my sisters got their babies ears pierced and I have an 8 week old right now…. I don’t think they feel less pain but they do seem to get over it faster and not fixate on it like older kids will do. They also don’t have the anxiety that many kids, like me, get when older. I get the whole ” their choice” thing but they close up if you leave your earrings out… it still is their choice.

  • tattoo parlors Charlotte NC March 12, 2012, 2:13 am

    Piercing your children’s ears is a choice to be made by parents. It is just important that in doing so, safety of your child must be your main concern. Thanks for sharing your delightful insight regarding this matter.

  • Anna March 6, 2012, 6:15 pm

    “Others pierce for more practical reasons – It solves gender identification problems in girls. Plus, strangers on the street won’t mistakenly assume a girl baby is actually a boy. The little diamond studs tell it all.”

    This is complete nonsense. Who says girls have to be ‘girly’? What if ‘she’s’ actually trans or genderqueer? You’d be damaging the child by forcing one particular gender identity upon her, especially from such a a young age. And who cares what others think? Does it matter if someone else you’ve never seen before and you’ll never see again doesn’t know what gender your baby is? Chances are, they won’t even care.

    And many men/boys wear piercings in their ears (and other places) too, so I really don’t see how it even signifies gender.

    Aside from that, babies don’t want their ears pierced, so why would you want to pierce them? When your 6 months old, you want food and sleep and to play with your parents, not to look fashionable. Children are not dolls, or fashion accessories, and should under no circumstances be treated as such. And not many people would let a young child choose to get a nose or lip piercing, so why ear piercings? I think that it’s pure selfishness on the parent’s part, unless the child is old enough to have considered why they want piercings, the risks, and to have clearly stated that they want the piercings. I personally feel that about thirteen is a good age to allow your kid to make these kinds of decisions – it shows trust in your child’s judgement and decision making skills, and gives them an amount of responsibility over their own body.

    And in response to somebody’s comment above me about no-one ever complaining about being pierced at a young age, I know one person who had to have minor surgery due to a piercing done on her when she was about four, which she states that she didn’t really like at the time, and several other people who have had ear piercings that they never wanted because their parents pierced their ears when they were very young. Most took them out at some point, and only one of these people has re-pierced her ears.

    I’m not saying that people who get their kids’ ears pierced don’t love and care for their children just as much as anyone else, I just dissagree with the practice and the reasons behind it.

  • Danielle March 4, 2012, 11:53 pm

    Those of you bashing mothers for getting their infant daughter’s ears pierced make me sick!!! You bad mouth, curse, accuse, and talk these caring women down as if you are perfect, as if you have never made a decision in your life that hasn’t affected someone besides yourself without first consulting the other person. You are all immature, and it saddens me that none of you can at least attempt to see things from our point of view. My mother pierced my ears when I was only 8 weeks old and I am so grateful she did so!!! If she chooses she does not like them she can take them out and the hole will close and
    after a little time will show absolutely no evidence of there ever being a piercing! You all have your opinion and we have ours and everyone is entitled to that. You can say what u want but its really unfair and childish of you to claim we are abusing our children because that is not even close to the case! As for me I love my children more then anything in this world and would never in any way shape or form abuse my children!!!! I raise money, volunteer time, set up and run events to raise money for battered and abused children and women so maybe you are the ones with issues physical, emotional, or mental, but you really should keep your comments mature and in check!!!!
    With that said I would like to get my 14 month old daughters ears pierced, does anyone have any suggestions as to where?

    • DP Nguyen March 5, 2012, 4:30 pm

      Some pediatricians will do it, and there are special ear piercing places that advertise that they pierce baby’s ears. I would Google it and read reviews. Plus, call around in your town.

    • Amy July 10, 2013, 2:49 am

      It’s not about you. It is about the child. Who cares if you volunteer when you are a child abuser.

    • Adam September 20, 2013, 3:07 pm

      So let me get this straight. You think others are badmouthing…yet you call those same people “immature,” “unfair and childish,” and “the ones with issues physical, emotional, or mental.”

      Take a good, long look in the mirror.

  • Clari February 16, 2012, 1:34 am

    Hey, for those of you who are cometely against this, I would just like to point out one very small thing: have you ever in your entire life met a person who absolutely hated having peirced ears? I mean, I’ve never heard anyone say “god, I hate having this tiny little mark on my earlobe and screw my parents for doing this”. And, you’re all talking about how this is something they have to live with forever and stuff and how they don’t have a say, but then you’re going on about how it’s okay to allow a girl in the third grade to decide that she wants it done? I mean you’re going on about how they need to decide for themselves and understand the consequences, and you’re saying a seven year old understands those consequences? Supposedly we can even fully grasp the effects of our actions until our brains fully developed (I’ve heard that’s when we’re about 21 years old…?) so I don’t think that saying you should wait for a girl who’s seven years old to call the shots is a very valid argument… And honestly, why wouldn’t someone want peirced ears? In full honesty I cannot think of a single reason… My mom wanted to pierce my ears when I was an infant, but my dad wouldn’t let her, and in full honesty, I would have preferred that he had let her go ahead and do it, so I wouldn’t have to deal with all the drama of it later (I was in the 2nd grade and I kept freaking out about the pain, but I didn’t want to go home because I wanted little diamond studs so baddly). I’m sixteen by the way.

    • Samantha May 26, 2012, 12:35 am

      Think again.

      I am nearly 21 years old and I don’t have my ears pierced. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and it would bother me like hell to have that little hole in my ear. I have screw-on earrings, which are generally vintage, cute, and wearable without having to have that stupid little hole that I would feel all the time.

      Please stop making generalizations about people.

    • Dave March 16, 2013, 8:01 pm

      Yes, actually, I have met such people – several in fact. I have perhaps 3-4 adult female friends who never wear earrings in their holes (which have only partly healed up) and wish that their parents had left their ears alone. Those are the ones who have brought it up in conversations with me – conversations which I didn’t initiate, by the way. So maybe there are even more who are silent about it?

      It might be what you’d have preferred yourself, but that’s not a particularly good reason to force it on anyone else.

      Even if a 7 year old can’t fully understand the implications, at least they can refuse the process if they don’t wish to do it, and if they do, it’s a decision made for themselves, not forced upon them.

      Seriously, why isn’t it a total no-brainer to give people the respect to allow them to make their own decisions about non-essential, non-medically necessary alterations to their bodies? Evidently a lot of people have a radically different set of ethics to me, which take no issue whatsoever with the non-essential alteration of children’s bodies? Personally, I can’t even see how we can have a rational discussion about such an odious question! (And in fact, maybe that’s the crux of the issue: this is not a rational debate, but an almost entirely emotional one, on both sides!)

      Almost nobody would find it ethically acceptable to discuss whether it was OK to rape children, would they? Even if those children would forget about the pain / everyone else was doing it / it was normal in our society, and so on. Personally, I think that modifying children’s bodies for non-medically essential reasons without their consent, and raping children, are much the same ballpark of activity. To anyone who disagrees with me there, I challenge you to lay out, point-by-point, how much they actually differ.

    • FTM June 16, 2014, 1:54 am

      As a female-to-male transgender person, I hate that my ears were pierced when I was a baby without my consent. I hated having pierced ears because it was just one more reminder that people saw me as a girl, not the boy I knew I was.

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  • Jenn February 12, 2012, 8:39 pm

    Just so you all know, piercing guns cannot be sterilized properly. The best that can be done is a wipe down with an alcohol swab, which is not nearly enough to kill any pathogens living on/in the gun.
    Piercing equipment needs to be sterilized in an autoclave, which heats the instruments to hospital sterility. What this means is that gun they use to pierce an infant’s ears can be harboring anything from the common cold to hepatitis C. Along with this, the conditions in which most children are pierced are deplorable. There’s no guarantee of sterility in a mall, at a Piercing Pagoda or Claire’s. They are hotbeds of infection.
    Piercing guns also cause blunt force trauma to the ear. The end of the stud RIPS through the ear, causing uneven tearing and scarring. A needle is much less painful, and makes for easier maintenance of the piercing.
    The cleaning solution they give you contains an ingredient which will actually make the healing process harder by drying the piercing out. Twisting the piercing doesn’t help it heal.
    ABOVE ALL, if someone held you down, as an adult, and forced you to get your ears pierced, it would be assault. How is that any different from holding an infant down and forcing them to get their ears pierced?
    Bottom line: Want your kid’s ears pierced? Wait until they’re old enough to want it, instead of forcing your choices on them. It’s bordering on assault. Go to a tattoo shop to get them done, they’ll heal quicker and there’s next to no chance of infection. They use surgical steel, guaranteed to be hypoallergenic.
    And if your wouldn’t do it to the family pet, WHY WOULD YOU DO IT TO YOUR KID?
    Sincerely, a ticked off Step-mom.

    • Jess February 12, 2012, 8:56 pm

      I was totally appalled when I read this article, you said things I’m too pissed to type. Well said.

      P.S. I didn’t clip my dog’s tails and I won’t be forcing earrings on my kid.
      But if I did, I wouldn’t be hitting up anywhere that uses a gun. Those things are foul and they don’t know what they are doing.

      • Chrissy May 27, 2012, 11:49 pm

        Actually, piercing guns aren’t a whole lot different than using needles. The earrings come in sterile, one time use cartridges. The posts have needle point ends to do the actual piercing, and the gun itself never touches the ear. In the “olden days,” the earrings they used had blunt ends, yes, but those haven’t been in use for at least a decade. Also, the guns were spring loaded, unlike the current hand press ones, so people would often startle and jerk at the sound, which would pull on the earring and irritate it right from the start.

        The cleaning solution does not dry out the piercing, but there are other options, such as saline. Alcohol, however, will dry it out and slow healing.

    • Cindy December 27, 2016, 12:59 am

      Unbibeevalle how well-written and informative this was.

  • Peter McMahon January 17, 2012, 1:51 am

    Gee, it’s good to see they are giving her a choice in the matter. She is the one that will be living with it for about the next 90 years. What if she doesn’t want daggy holes through her ears. If she doesn’t, I hope she sues you and the place that did it for the cost of restoring them.

    • amy mummy March 11, 2012, 7:24 pm

      oh peter, change the record! you been saying the same things all over this page! and as 4 the swearing on here. if u speak to people online like that, with that temper, i’d hate to think what YOU do to your child ! MY GIRL HAD HER EARS DONE AT 2 MONTHS! best way, she doesnt play with them, and they give her no jip at all!!!!!!!

  • Candra December 22, 2011, 11:27 am

    I am a mom of a almost 1 yr old little girl. I would LOVE to get my little one’s ears pierced. (mine were done at 6 months) but I cannot find any piercing artists that will do it before the age of 5. I have been told by almost everyone I’ve called about the terrible things that can happen when a gun is used, but that seems to be the only places that will do it. Also, I asked my pediatrician if she would- and she said that it’s not common for pediatricians to do that- especially in this area (Colorado). Any advice/tips on how to find someone (reputable) that will do it? If not, I guess we’re waiting until she’s 5.

    • DP Nguyen December 22, 2011, 12:31 pm

      I’m sorry you can’t find anyone to pierce your baby’s ears. Maybe you should call around at other pediatrician’s offices and see if anyone else does them. You could always call others out of state, maybe in a neighboring state near Colorado. I’m sorry about your trouble. You may have to wait until she’s five.

  • Blake Thomas November 17, 2011, 8:14 am

    I have been a professional body piercer for 10 years now, and this subject is something I deal with almost daily. My stance on this is wait until they can ask for it and understand the process and potential consequence. Another thing that I would like to add to the risks of piercing guns is that they CAN rupture ear drums. If you make the decision to pierce your child’s ears, find a reputable professional body piercer in your area. I could go on all day about the risks of piercing guns for any piercing, as well as the jewelry inserted by them, but I will keep it (relatively) brief. I whole heartedly disagree with the use of typical stud earrings for piercing. They are often times too short to allow adequate room for swelling, the butterfly backs are an excellent location for bacteria to grow, and the materials are often unsuitable for piercings. I prefer using a fixed bead ring (bead stays attached) to start them off with, this jewelry is available in various diameters to allow a snug snag free fit. As for materials, I’m not a fan of 14k gold, it is quite often alloyed with nickel which will likely cause reactions. Spring for 18k solid gold without a stamp on any wearing surface. Although stamping is used to identify it’s grade of gold, it can cause issues with healing since it is not a smooth surface. I also suggest ASTM f138 316LVM surgical stainless steel, as well as ASTM f136 Ti6al4V eli titanium. I would most strongly suggest the titanium as it is an inert material assuming it is of the proper grade, and substantially lighter than steel or gold which will greatly reduce strain on healing tissue. Aftercare is also something to keep in mind. I don’t suggest alcohol, peroxide, or ointments for aftercare. The peroxide and alcohol actually kill off new forming skin cells and prolong the healing process. Ointments collect dust, dirt and other types of debris as well as increase risk of abcess. Sea salt compresses, or sprays are my preferred method. I am willing to share any information with anyone who is interested. Feel free to contact me at zthomas78@gmail.com with any questions you may have.
    To the author; this was probably the best article I’ve come across on this subject in quite some time. Well written.

    • DP Nguyen November 17, 2011, 10:19 am

      Thank you Blake for your insightful comment. Very good advice for parents who are interested in getting their babies ears pierced.

  • Rina November 15, 2011, 10:59 am

    I find it humorous that some people speak of piercing infant’s ears as such an injustice to the baby. What about circumcision?! The AAP does not advocate circumcision for any health benefits and actually takes a neutral stance on the subject. The only reason circumcision can be unhealthy is if proper hygiene is not followed which can lead to issues. Talk about something unreversible where a baby has no choice!! And although I see the reasoning behind waiting for a child to ask to have her ears pierced I remember having mine done at 5 years and mine were done separately so after the first I was terrified to let them pierce the second lobe. I will have my daughter’s done at 5 months before she will remember the pain or irritation that may arise. Every parent is allowed to make their own decision but I think there are much worse things to do to your child than pierce her ears!

    • Dave March 16, 2013, 7:41 pm

      Yes, what about circumcision? That should be banned too, unless there is a genuine medical case for it – which there rarely is, since alternatives exist such as the “dorsal slit and reconstruction” which fixes the problem of phimosis (tight foreskin) and leaves the entire foreskin there, with only the tiniest scar on it. Or the removal of the phimotic ring only, rather than full circumcision, which again, leaves almost the entire foreskin there, apart from the problematic bit.

      So I suppose what I’m advocating is a bit like saying that it’s unnecessary to chop off your entire hand simply because you have an ingrowing fingernail… and particularly that it’s not necessary to pre-emptively chop off baby boy’s hands, just in case they at some point in life get an ingrowing fingernail! Even if that’s what everyone else in your culture thinks is “culturally normal” or “painless” or “he won’t miss it anyway” or some other euphemism for outright mutilation of children without a damn good reason for allowing it.

      By the way, circumcision is (supposedly at least) for medical reasons, so at least on paper (if not in reality) it’s a pretty bad analogy for ear piercing.

      I love love LOVE piercings on women, and I have several of my own, but little girls should be free to decide whether or not to get THEIR OWN ears pierced, when they are old enough to make that decision. As a point of note, my wife does not have pierced ears, and even though I sometimes wish she did (and have tried to persuade her to on several occasions), I would still rather she didn’t have pierced ears at all if that’s her wish, than that her parents did it without her consent when she was little. And pretty much the first thing I notice about women is if they are wearing earrings… that’s the level of my earring fascination! But still I say, let them decide for themselves!

      Back to circumcision: As a man who has not been circumcised (most men in the UK and Europe in general are not), all I can say is how glad I am that I have my foreskin. It does a great job of protecting my penis, and improves sex for everyone involved.

      I would sooner have a finger removed than my foreskin, and that is honestly no joke! Don’t underestimate the importance of a foreskin.

      Chopping off such a wonderful body part without any medical necessity, for vanity or “so he’ll look the same as his daddy / others in our society” reasons is the epitome of insanity!

      Please give your boys the wonderful gift of an intact penis – it’s a lifelong benefit, and all you have to do is not interfere with nature!

      Oh, and please let your babies decide for themselves whether they want their ears pierced – you may have created “your” children – but you are their guardians, not their owners!! (Another analogy: The trustees of a famous old building can’t just redecorate the place because it would “look nice” – they look after the building, but they don’t own it. We hold our children in trust, not ownership.)

  • LM October 25, 2011, 7:36 pm

    I personally think it is a really unfair thing to do. One could argue that it is against the childs human rights – they will never be able to undo what you have done to them (the keloid scarring (holes) in the ears is permanent). It’s really sad that a mother can think that their child is not beautiful in it’s own right without being pierced.

    Don’t get me wrong, I really like ear piercings but I don’t think it’s fair to take an individuals right to choose away.

    For that reason I think it’s something that needs greater legislation. There is a petition that you can sign here if you are a UK resident:

  • Letty September 18, 2011, 10:21 am

    This stress and freaking out should’ve been enough (for me anyway) to realize piercing an infant’s ears was not a good idea. I’m totally against this and right up there with Emmy on why. I personally think its horrible and immoral regardless that its been going on for so long. So have abortions. Sacrificing fellow humans went on for many thousands of years and shockingly recent in remote cultures but that doesn’t make it right. No one will come near my daughters with a piercing needle until they are old enough to make that decision and understand the consequences and care needed. There is no beneficial gain for baby and if anything the disadvantages of possible infection, mis-piercing, choking, and more outweigh any reason for getting them done. I got sick and had to walk out of a local claire’s when I saw a man restraining his infant daughter as she screamed in fear and pain. I can only think it was a traumatic experience for her and I had NO respect for that man or anyone else who would force a poor, innocent baby to get their ears pierced to look “prettier”. Babies are a miracle far more gorgeous just the way they are and when I see a baby with her ears pierced, I don’t think “pretty”, I pity the poor thing because its something the parent “wanted”.

  • bellas mama September 4, 2011, 8:21 pm

    Ok I need some help here,please! My daughter is 12 months old, and as ALL girls in our family (part of our family back round) she had her years pierced 3 days ago. Everything had been going great, she would let me clean them 3 times a day like I was told to, by Claires in lakeside mall (michigan). Today while at the store someone told me “excuse me miss,did u lose an earring backing” at that moment my heart sank. So I instantly looked at bellas ears & noticed sure enough one missing, after a closer look the only piece that was still in her ear was the piece that actually is in ur ear that long gold piece, the face of the earring fell off . Even if I did put that backing back on,there was nothing to hold it into her ear. So now its 4 hours later, claires is closed, aswell as bellas newly peirced ear. What should I do now? How long will it take to totally heal up, to get it redone? Should I leave the other earring in? Tomorrow is a holiday so the mall will be closed,and I thought these “stud piercing earrings” were NOT supposted to come out easily,yet alone fall part while in my daughters ears??? She didn’t cry or fuss or pull or tug, nothing got stuck in her ear, it just fell part on its own. I spent the extra $$ to get what they (claires) call their “best of the best earring” I spent $75 ,which when in comes to my daughter its not the money I’m worried about, but when I’m told I’m paying for the best there is ,and the so called best quality and it falls out just outta the blue,that upsets me. I trusted them & basically trusted my life in their hands, my daughter is my world, what it she would have found it 1st & tried to eat it like she does everything right now, do u have any idea what that stud would have done to her mouth & belly if she swollowed it, omg I’m stressing myself out & making a short story into a long one! So anyways does anyone have any suggestions on what to do?thank u so much!

    • Xander February 13, 2012, 11:55 am

      I happen to live around you, as the Lakeside mall is the closest available mall, and your biggest mistake was to take her there.

      My opinion on the matter is wait until SHE is old enough to take care of them and knows the responsibility. A baby cannot consent to a piercing, and therefore shouldn’t be pierced. Babies are nasty little things anyway, they touch everything and to think that they won’t play with the earrings is just makes you a fool.

      If you’re going to be selfish enough to pierce your daughter’s ears, I don’t give a damn if the ‘family tradition’ says you should, that her SEX, not gender because your gender can be the opposite of your sex organs, is obvious. if you’re going to pierce them, wait until she’s had her shots, because you risked her life doing otherwise, and take her to a professional, licensed body piercer who is willing and has experience with children and they’ll pierce her ear lobes with a hollow gauge needle.

      Those saying this will hurt more, are highly mistaken. Because needles are very, very, VERY sharp and slide through the skin basically, while piercing guns PUSH through the skin and cause a lot of trauma to the piercing.

      it will take 4 to 8 weeks for the piercing to heal, and soak the piercing in a saline solution, not rubbing alcohol, peroxide, bactine, Claire’s after care solution, ect. Saline soak recipes are easy to google. Do not rotate the piercing or pick the dead skin or crust around it, should it develop, off, let it fall off after soaking..

      Honestly if you’re going to pierce your daughter’s ears, you must research! I shouldn’t have to say all of this and if you pierced your daughter’s ears, and didn’t know this stuff, shame on you, because you’re risking her life.

      • Kacie June 27, 2012, 10:57 pm

        At twelve months old a baby has had its tetanus shot, so no one’s life is in danger. And the creed on gender versus sex was unnecessary seeing how the woman never wrote either word. I really do not understand why all you people are so against piercing, but then ridiculous things like the gender statement and autonomy and sexism pop up and it is clear. I have nothing against women, I am one and very happy to be, and I also am glad to live in a time where I can be independent, have a job, etecetera so do not try and lay some guilt on me. The simple fact is that for some reason people, especially women, feel the need to judge other women’s decisions and put one another down while claiming to want to prop each other up. It’s an EARRING, it can go away, calm down wolves.

  • Emmy June 11, 2011, 1:01 am

    A selfish decision on any mother’s part. I don’t care what “reason” you come up with, if the child is not old enough to tell you SHE wants her ears pierced, then you are doing it for you.. because YOU want her ears pierced. Pure selfishness. When she is old enough to ask for it, be a parent and teach her about the responsibility of caring for it and help her to remember how and when to do it. I’ve lost count of how many self absorbed mothers whine about how much it hurts them to see their baby cry when she gets shots or is in any other kind of pain, then they turn around and pierce her ears without her even having the ability to give her consent. VERY hypocritical. “So people will know she’s a girl”? Umm.. WHO CARES what gender strangers think your baby is. If the opinions of random strangers is so important to a mother… more important than the child’s comfort and freedom of making the decision themselves… then buy her a pink outfit and gather up her fuzz in a little bow – BAM, everyone will know it’s a girl. Or better yet.. if someone asks- simply tell them “HER name is ____”. There is simply no GOOD excuse to pierce your baby’s ears. Period. I chose to have mine done when I was in the 3rd grade. Back then, almost no one’s mother forced them to pierce their ears as a baby- almost all the girls made the choice themselves. I, along with 4 or 5 other friends decided to do it together. I got to choose the exact spot I wanted them pierced and my mom got me some earrings that I got to pick out. She discussed the responsibility I would have, and I took very good care of them until they were healed. All the other girls (which were the majority of girls my age) had their ears done around the same age, and I never heard a girl complain about infection or anything. She’s your child, and I guess that makes her your property and if you want to do it, she’s too little to stop you. But at least admit to yourself that you are doing it for you, not her.

    • Emmy June 11, 2011, 1:04 am

      Oh… also you are placing your baby’s safety at risk if you let some ditz at the mall do it with a gun. If you simply must force your daughter to have her ears done, go to a professional piercer and have them use a piercing needle – not a gun.

    • Kacie June 27, 2012, 10:49 pm

      Wow, just wow. Simple plain fact is that HAVING a child is your choice. Go figure out how to make a child create itself and choose if it wants to be alive or born in Asia or have a parent who will die when she is ten and then tell me I can’t decide to pierce my child’s damn ears.

      • Nanner June 28, 2012, 10:19 pm

        Kacie, you’re an idiot.

        Yes, she may be “your” child, but they’re HER ears, NOT yours.

  • Caitie's Mom May 30, 2011, 2:12 am

    I pierced my daughters ears today and it wasn’t so bad, I was more upset than she was. She cried a little at first by time we left the store she was fine. That was around 5pm and I have yet to twist the earring for fear its too fresh to tamper with. I’ll wait at lease 24hrs to treat it with alcohol and twist the post 3x a day for about a month.
    BTW she looks adorable! Can’t wait to for her first birthday so she can receive her first diamond studs!!!

  • Luvin My Lil Monkeys May 24, 2011, 2:30 am

    I just wanted to add that I don’t look down on anyone that pierces their babies ears, after all YOU are their Mother! =] If I happen to find a trusted place to pierce my baby’s ears (if I ever have a girl) I just might do it, you never know…. I do think it looks adorable so it might be hard to stick to my guns about this one!

    • DP May 24, 2011, 11:19 am

      Thanks for your great comment. I definitely think it’s up to the parents and what they think. In my family, the children’s ears are pierced early but I can see why other moms think its good to wait.

  • Luvin My Lil Monkeys May 24, 2011, 2:20 am

    Wow great post! Although I have 3 boys, every time I became pregnant (and hadn’t found out the sex yet..) this was a big question from my in-laws. They felt it was less painful to get them pierced at a very young age and that the holes wouldn’t close up so quickly when the baby got older. I felt that there wasn’t a lot of experienced people out there that specialize in piercing infants ears and I wasn’t going to let some 17 yr old mall worker put holes in my baby’s ears. If I ever do have a daughter I’ll probably wait until she is old enough to decide… even though I’m sure she’ll want to. For me it’s more of the principal behind the whole thing… I’d like her to earn piercing her ears just like anything else and let her see that it takes at least a little effort to get things you want in life. Maybe it’ll just be keeping her room clean for a few weeks or doing her chores, but even something small could help teach her that a little work goes a long way.

    • Samantha May 26, 2012, 12:44 am

      You can’t be sure she’ll want to. I never did.

  • martha May 24, 2011, 12:59 am

    hi, tx for the note at bloggy mums. I’ve disconnected that by the way. As for piercings..I’ve two girls, but have no intention of getting their ears pierced anytime soon. I think I’ll leave that to them to decide.

  • Mandi May 23, 2011, 4:37 pm

    Hi! Thanks for the bloggymoms comment! Following you now and you can find me here:


    By the way, I pierced my daughters ears at age 1 year and ended up taking them out soon after. She had ear infections terribly and since she had tubes in her ears, well, it was messy. Sorry if TMI!!! She’s 5-1/2 years now and I think now that we’ve waited (albeit the second time around) it will be fun because she’ll remember the occasion.

  • Beth C. May 23, 2011, 4:00 pm

    Hey, found you through Bloggy Moms. I’m over at http://intothedigitalnegative.wordpress.com/

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with piercing an infants ears. If I have a daughter I plan on getting them done when she is an infant – before she can remember it.

    As long as you take care of the piercings then I don’t see what the big deal is. They give you a cleaner or you can use a cotton swab with a little peroxide. Twist the stud like they say. If you have to you can take them out. There are far worse things that a parent can do to their child!

    • Samantha May 26, 2012, 12:45 am

      The big deal is that it’s your choice and not hers.

      • Kacie June 27, 2012, 10:43 pm

        This argument regarding children makes no sense; she has no choice in what to wear or eat for years, why are earrings any different than a haircut?

        • Nanner June 28, 2012, 10:14 pm

          Because not having a choice on what to wear and what to eat is completely different than BODY MODIFICATION. A haircut and piercing the ears of an infant aren’t even in the same league. Bad comparison.

          Would you also tattoo your child without her consent?

        • Jacklyn December 13, 2016, 6:15 pm

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  • Amy Swor May 23, 2011, 3:26 pm

    First, I don’t think your’re crazy wanting your dd’s ears pierced. Admittedly, I know a lot of people have strong feelings when to pierce a child’s ear. “Let them decide” is being replaced by
    parental decision when mommy intuition knows, “earlier is better” from either personal or
    friend’s experiences of unpleasant childhood ear piercing. I think it just depends on your own personal choice whether or not you wish your baby or little girl to have pierced ears. Some feel perceived gender of their child is important while others find it a cultural tradition where all infant girls have pierced ears.

    Second,I pierced our oldest daughter’s ears when she was six weeks old and our youngest at just
    days old. We found an experienced individual where they specialized in infant piercing following
    some suggestions from our ped who encouraged me to go ahead early.She had her dd’s done at
    Piercing Pagoda and recommended them due to their professional training and experience with
    infant ear piercing.

    Third, my mom pierced my ears when I was 2 days old as and I’ve loved it….I think earrings on
    little girls are adorable! If you don’t know how she’d look at any age, then hold up a pair of
    your studs to your daughters ear and decide for yourself. Many moms including myself like the
    look of earrings on babies and little girls for no specific reason, but like how light plays off a simple gold ball on a bald baby girl or small gold hoop poking through the hair of a toddler.

    Fourth, cerebrally, as mothers of girls of all ages, we know it celebrates their femaleness and femininity. After all, they are little girls, right?

    Lastly, if any moms are thinking about it as infanths, then their mommy intuition is telling you earlier is better to pierce your dd’s ears now.

    If your on the fence, but can’t stop thinkg how cute your dd would look with little earrints, then write me an e-mail if you would like our ped’s suggestions for moms having their dd’s ears



    • DP May 23, 2011, 3:33 pm

      Thank you, Amy for your thoughtful comment!
      Can you please explain to me what DD is short for? I’ve never heard of that before…

      • Luvin My Lil Monkeys May 24, 2011, 2:23 am

        DD – “Dear Daughter”

        • DP May 24, 2011, 11:18 am

          Thank you for explaining that to me! !!!

    • Peter McMahon January 18, 2012, 9:22 pm

      Gee, it’s good to see you gave her a choice in the matter! She is the one that will be living with it for about the next 90 years, not the family fucking pet to be modified according to your whim. What if she doesn’t want daggy holes through her ear lobes. If she doesn’t, I hope she sues you and the place that did it for the cost of restoring them after you treated her like the family pet and modified part of her according to your whim.

      • Gray January 20, 2012, 8:47 am

        Peter, strong language here. Maybe you were treated like the family pet, however, ear piercing is not a life changing procedure, like the tail that wont grow back. The piercing, in case you did not know, closes over time if not used. I had my ears pierced when a few months, there is no sign of that. I sure wish there would be. Watch you language

        • Peter McMahon January 28, 2012, 7:47 pm

          True, it does close up, but the you can still see the entry hole, and feel the lump of skin or scar tissue through where it was. If you want to modify something to suit yourself, get a dog or a cat. Don’t do it to a human. That, to me is child abuse. She is the one who has to live with for about the next 90 years (about 30 more than you will be around), so it should be her choice NO ONE ELSES!

          • Kacie June 27, 2012, 10:41 pm

            And not only do I not have scars, but there is no lump of skin there either. Your human dog analogy is awfully repetitive too. If you don’t want your daughter’s ears pierced, fine. If other people want to pierce their kid’s ears who the hell cares? Find me one infant who remembers this awful experience.

        • Stella March 7, 2012, 11:58 pm

          Actually, the holes don’t always close up. My mom took me to get my ears pierced when I was 9, although I wasn’t really sure I wanted it done. I did not like wearing earrings and only wore them occasionally for the next few years (mostly to get my mom off my back). I am now 36 and the holes are still there. There is no way I would do this to any child of mine. I also didn’t circumcise my son because I believe in leaving the choice to permanently alter one’s body for cosmetic reasons up to the actual person who is having the procedure done.

    • Samantha May 26, 2012, 12:46 am

      How ignorant.

      “I think it just depends on your own personal choice whether or not you wish your baby or little girl to have pierced ears.”

      And what if she doesn’t want them when she grows up, or she turns out to be transgender?

      • Kacie June 27, 2012, 10:42 pm

        Then she or he doesn’t have to wear them. And boys can have pierced ears too, so no one is being ignorant here.

        • Amy July 10, 2013, 2:31 am

          Except you.

  • Brooke May 23, 2011, 2:35 pm

    Thanks for the comment on bloggymoms! I will follow your blog! You can follow mine at http://lifeasamotherwifeandstudent.blogspot.com/

    Thanks again!

  • Patti D. May 23, 2011, 8:57 am

    I’d say go ahead and pierce the baby, she won’t feel a thing and it’s something reversible so no harm done, sometimes we overprotect our kids too much.

    • Peter McMahon January 18, 2012, 9:11 pm

      That’s right! Get the dog’s tail cut, get the cat de-sexed and get the kid’s ears pierced. She is not the family fucking pet, to be modified according to your whim. She is a human, who will be still living with it for about 30 years after you’ve gone! If you did it to your daughter I hope she sues you and the place that did it for the cost of restoring them if she doesn’t want her ear lobes spoiled.

      • Samantha May 26, 2012, 12:47 am

        You are wonderful.

      • Son January 6, 2013, 6:02 pm

        Well said!

      • Erica March 20, 2013, 2:15 pm

        Are you ok? Breathe

    • Stacie May 6, 2012, 2:26 pm

      Reversible my ass! There is nothing reversible about the trauma inflicted on a screaming baby that trusts you for comfort and safety. Also the scars left on their ears are not reversible. Scarring a child any other way is considered abuse and so should ear piercing a infant.

      • Kacie June 27, 2012, 10:37 pm

        How is it not reversible? And traumatic? I had my ears pierced as an infant, they fell out later and the hole closed, but no scars and certainly no life long damage or even slight memory. CHILD ABUSE? People are absolutely nuts.

        • Amy July 10, 2013, 2:28 am

          Is piercing a baby’s ears child abuse? If you deliberately hurt a child for no reason other than vanity then how can it be anything else?

  • small Kucing May 23, 2011, 8:07 am

    mine was done when i was 4 yrs old

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