Ear Piercing for Infants/toddlers/older Children---please Advise

Updated on August 16, 2012
L.F. asks from Petaluma, CA
37 answers

Hello:

I would like to know if you got your daughter's ears pierced, what age did you do it? Did you do it as an infant? or wait til she was older......Also, what type of earring did you do? Gold/silver posts or diamonds?

What made it easier--doing one ear at a time or both at the same time? Did your child play with their ears after? Any infections/problems?

Thanks so much!!!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for sharing your opinions and experiences. We are still very much on the fence and have decided to talk to the doctor to get their opinion. Thank you.

So, I talked with my baby's pediatrician and they said I could do it now if we wanted to or we could wait---but that they don't do it in the office and they don't provide numbing cream. That was enough for me. I decided that as much as I would love to see her in beautiful earings---I respect my baby enough to let her decide when she is of age. If she decides at 2 or 3 that she wants her ears pierced like mommy, then she and I can go make a special trip out of it. But I am going to let her decide. My other reasoning behind it is I just can't stand to see her go through pain so I am going to wait until she really wants to do it. Thank you all for your stories and helpful advice.

Featured Answers

L.B.

answers from New York on

Personally, I don't care for it when infants and young children get their ears pierced. My daughter was 10 when she got hers done. Besides, if you pierce their ears when they are so young you don't get to experience their excitement about getting pierced ears. My daughter was so excited I would not have wanted to miss out on that!

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J.M.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter is three and we have not pierced her ears. I feel that she should be allowed to make the decision to have pierced ears for herself, that it's not my decision to make.

My son who is now 17 has his ears pierced. He decided he wanted earrings and we told him he could have them when he was able to take responsibility for his piercings - cleaning, soaking etc. He had them done when he was 10 or 11 (I forget). We took him to a piercing shop in Berkeley. He picked his jewelry himself (really butch looking hoops). He was very conscientious about taking care of his ears.

I had mine done when I was ten, at the mall. I think I had silver posts. They got infected and I had to let them close up, then redid them when I was 15. I honestly think diamonds are rather over the top for a baby or young girl. If If you want a diamond look, do CZ. Good luck.

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L.A.

answers from Boca Raton on

I did my daughter`s ear at 10 months old..
we did at claire`s.. they didn`t do both the ears at once at that age..

We bought the earing from claore`s only..
My little one didn`t play with her ears & no infection at all :)

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

A.L.

answers from Nashville on

I have my ears pierced but we decided that we would allow our daughter to make that decision. She is 18 and never wanted her ears pierced.

6 moms found this helpful

A.M.

answers from Kansas City on

in our family we don't take it upon ourselves to alter someone else's body. many in our family chose to do it as a 10th birthday present. several women in my family chose not to have them at all. i don't believe it's right to decide something like that for someone else.

ETA...aaah always a hot topic. to the mom that stated hers don't have scars - well mine do. so to say "they can just let them grow out if they don't like them" is naive and uninformed. you don't know how each body will react.

6 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I am in the camp that it is my daughter's body therefore her decision. I don't think parents would put a tattoo on a child and alter their body, so why alter your child's body with piercings, because "I like it, I want to, etc. Get my point "I, I, I? Yes, I know the holes can grow up.

Personally, I hate seeing babies with earrings. My body=My decision

My 17 yr old daughter wanted to get her ears pierced at 8. After discussions, we did it at Claires, both ears at once. She happened to have some reaction to earrings and constantly had oozing even with top notch care. She opted to let them grow back at that time.

At 11 or so, she wanted to try again. So we did. This time she still had some reactions, still does, but she routinely wears her earrings daily. She can't wear the extra cheapos for a long period of time so she has a few very nice pairs of earrings and will occasionally wear some cheapos for a short time only.

As for me, I was in the 6th grade when I chose to get my ears pierced.

Bottom line, it is your child, your decision. We don't "own" our daughter, therefore we would not make any decision that would alter her body. It is her decision if she wants piercings, etc.

ETA: Hello???? I am NOT comparing a piercing to a tattoo, Good Grief.... What I am saying is.... we do not "own" our children.
YOUR body = YOUR decision, not mommy's decision to pierce, etc because mommy likes it and thinks it is cute. There was NO comparasion to tattoos, I just said you wouldn't tattoo a child so why alter their body with holes they didn't ask for. GEES......

5 moms found this helpful
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B.L.

answers from Boston on

My daughter is 7, and currently doesn't want her ears pierced. She says she thinks it's silly to put holes in your body to hang decorations from. I respect her for that, and have told her that if she changes her mind, she can have them done just before she turns 13 -- enough time before her Bat Mitzvah so that she can change the earrings for it. I figure at that age, she'll be able to care for them completely on her own. I also feel that it is a kind of grown up decision to be making about one's body, and since a Bat Mitzvah is very much a coming of age ceremony, it makes symbolic sense to allow her to make that decision at that point in her life.

Neither of my sons have voiced any interest in pierced ears, but I would also allow them to do it at that age.

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V.P.

answers from Columbus on

I can never understand the rush to pierce babies' ears. I know it is part of some cultures, but that doesn't seem to be the case for you or you wouldn't be asking. I waited until my child made the decision herself. Babies pull at their ears when they have earaches, toddlers are learning to pull shirts over their heads, young children can play roughly. All those things can compromise the safety of the piercing and risk getting earrings lost. Plus, people seem to think the only pain is the moment that it happens, but for weeks after the ears need to be cleaned carefully and the child needs to be able to sit quietly for that. It can be uncomfortable, especially if there is an infection to deal with.

I know people do it successfully at young ages all the time, so clearly there are ways of dealing with all these issues, but for the life of me, I can't understand the rush. Why can't they just be little girls and feel pretty without any extras. They'll be pressured by society soon enough -- they don't need to have it from their parents so early. To each their own, but that' s just my two cents.

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G.W.

answers from Dallas on

I am going to answer your question without scanning the other responses first becauseI have seen this question many times over the years and boy does it bring out some passionate answers! I chose to do my daughter's ears when she was about 7 weeks old. She slept through the entire process and her ears healed up quickly because obviously there was no messing around with them. Lots of old ladies at church gave me funny looks but I always figured if that was the most abusive thing I ever did to her, then she would have a pretty good life LOL. Anyway, most of my playgroup friends at the times attempted to do piercings on their daughters around 3-4 and all of them (and my sister too) had to let the holes close because they got infected. My daughter just turned 14 and has never said she wished I had waited, infact, she is trying to talk me into a second hole that I will probably let her get at Christmas if her first semester grades as a freshman are good :-) Best wishes on your decision.

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V.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

My daughter was 10 when she decided she wanted to have it done. She did not have any infections, but there was some occasional soreness, particularly if she wore them too tightly or slept too hard on one side. That was after she had removed the piercing studs and was in "regular" earrings.
She had gold piercing studs, only they had colored gemstone looking flowers on the front, not just a gold/round ball.

I have always viewed it more like a rite of passage, and a reward for growing in maturity, if the child decides they want it. Not something a parent does TO a child for the parent's own personal preference.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

My girls got them when they were mature enough to take care of their ears themselves, at 8 and 9. The only rule was no dangly earrings while they were still in elementary school (I didn't want any playground accidents.) I took them to the local piercing place and they both got the basic silver studs to start. They have never had any problems other than minor irritations here and there, they are now 13 and 16.

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M.P.

answers from Houston on

I had my daughters pierced when she was 3 months old, the doctor would not do it before. Where I am from usually the girls come out of the hospital with earings so for me it was natural and important to have it done as soon as possible... but it is a cultural thing.

The girls at that age will not remember the pain. They do not play with their earings and that helps to avoid any type of infection. You do have to do two things.... move them, like twist them a couple of times a day and clean with alcohol.

They do both at the same sesion, use a "gun" which is very very fast so is most the shock of it than the actual pain (they tend to get a little scared) and they come with a particular kind of earing, that is cover with gold but is something "surgical", the end is very pointy, helping to make the hole and the back is not that easy to remove.

google : ear piercing gun: and you will find a lot of images of it.
Good luck with what every you decide... as always everything is what you want, like and choose, never right or wrong.

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L.U.

answers from Seattle on

My daughter is 19 months old right now. It KILLED my husband, who is Mexican, that we didn't pierce her ears right away. I had enough on my plate after her birth, I didn't want to add earrings to that!
When she is old enough to take care of them herself without my constant reminders then she can get them pierced. I have a feeling that will be around 9 or 10.
L.

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

I did it when she was four because she asked for it.
I also warned her that it would hurt for a moment, and pinched her earlobe to show her what it would feel like and make sure she wanted to go through with it. She did and they were done one at a time. Had she decided to stop after the first one, that would have been okay too.

The only problem we had was AFTER her ears healed and we changed her earrings. That was when we learned that she was allergic to nickel.

I would not make unnecessary modifications to my child's body without his/her consent.

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

I had my daughter's pierced at 6 months. I didn't realize I had a set of earrings with me until I had left the hospital or they would have been done then.

My reasoning what that I took care of her body at that age so I would just go ahead and do the ears. I had a friend who had her daughter's pierced at 5 and she was so excited that she played with them constantly and they became infected.

But each momma and culture has their own interpretation of when to pierce the female ear.

I had mine done when I was 21. In order to wear any pretty earrings I had to screw them on so tight that my ears would go to sleep because my ear lobes were so small and thin. At the time when I grew up I remember many girls having fights and the first thing they would go for were the dangling earrings so I always wore posts which are harder to grab and get out and tear the ear.

Good luck with what you decide.

The other S.

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B.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I find it interesting that parents that wouldn't think of "hurting their kids" with a spanking would force metal rods through their children's body.

I told my girls they could get their ears pierced when they graduated from high school.

Some say they waited until their children are old enough to decide . . . at 5 years old. Really. Parents think their children have the maturity to make mature decisions at 5 years old?

Good luck to you and yours.

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J.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

I didnt want to decide for my daughter. I'll wait until she asks. I agree with 8kidsdad that if she asks at 5 she doesnt have the maturity to completely understand, but I'm find with doing it as long as it's something she wants since it is minor. I wouldnt let her make maor life deicisons at 5 but earings sure... but when she decides not M.. I don't think people are horrible to do this to little babies but I J. dont think it should be my decision. At 5 she still doesnt think its worth the needle/gun/ few seconds of pain

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M.E.

answers from New York on

I pierced my daughter's ears at 4 months. Her dr recommended waiting until her 3 month immunizations were administered. That extra month was me making sure I wanted to do it.

My husband didn't want to do it. Felt is was like torture. I know better...anyone who has had their ears pierced knows better.

In my family, that's just what u did if u had a girl...pierce the ears.

I went with gold starter studs and cleaning with a dab of alcohol was no problem. We pierced one ear at a time. Btw, it was her dr who did it. She cried for less than a minute and it was never an issue after that...if u want to call that an issue.

She's 6 now and loves her earrings :-)

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J.A.

answers from Indianapolis on

You should ask your child's Dr what they suggest. I was told any time after the 12 month shots would be fine. And then go with what YOU want to do. We all have our own personal experiences and beliefs. I had my ears pierced at 5. As an adult I choose not to wear earrings. Doesn't affect me one bit. My daughter is 20 months and we will be going to Claire's to get her ears pierced soon.

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

My parents let me decide and I was 5 when I asked for earrings. They took me for my birthday, and we got tiny pearl piercing studs. I had no problems letting my mom help me keep them clean, it didn't hurt either. I personally don't like seeing tiny babies with ears pierced. What if it's not something they want? I'd let the girl decide on her own, whatever age that is.

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K.M.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter was 8 weeks when she got hers done we've had no issues. She is now 8 and has not worn earring for the last 4 months. Her choice. We did 14k gold posts and they did one ear at a time. She never played with them.

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S.H.

answers from Des Moines on

I did my daughters at 4 months and she only cried when I was holding her tight. I had her in the baby bjorn front pack too so she couldn't squirm. Did one at a time and had no problems. I kept piercing earrings in for about a year and went to something cheap. Immediate issues. Because piercing earrings are usually gold and they have the safety snap and are just don't come apart as easy...she has been in those since. You can get cute piercing earrings on eBay....in the mall...and at sally beauty supply. She is 4 now and there are no issues whatsoever . I'm glad I did it!

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T.P.

answers from Indianapolis on

I had my dd ears pierced when she was 3 months after her shots. They pierced one at a time. She fused for not even a minute with both and then she was facinated with the lights and forgot all about it. I've never had a problem with her ears. She is 5 and insists on having earrings that matches her outfits.

It's up to you on when you should have her ears pierced. You are going to get a lot of opinions here so do what you think is best. I've never met a woman who had regrets about having her ears pierced. I had mine pierced when I was 12 and was mad at my mother for not piercing them when I was a baby. Good luck!!

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

my boys decided to try it as teenagers. i was fine with it. they were old enough to take care of it themselves, and it was a cool rite of passage.
so not all about piercing babies and tinies.
khairete
S.

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C.R.

answers from Dallas on

When we were pregnant and found out it was a girl we were all for getting her ears pierced when she was a few months old. But we talked ourselves out of it. We decided that it was her body and she should get to decide. We didn't set an age or anything, just said that when she was consistently asking for them to be done, we'd let her. So at 7 1/2 she finally convinced us she was ready. We took her, she chickened out. A week later we took her again, and she chickened out. We waited 2 months and took her again and she did it. She was so proud of herself. She did a great job cleaning and turning the earrings and has learned to change them out herself.

I am really happy that we waited and let it be her decision.

I will say, some of the cheaper earrings do cause a bit of redness and the backs don't stay on as well. Good luck with your decision.

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J.T.

answers from Dallas on

My 3yo got hers done a few days ago... I did some research and knew for sure I did not want "the gun"! Found a great little place in Dallas, La Lobe, that pierces by hand with a needle. I got an RX for Emla cream from her DR, and it went perfectly. She had been asking for several weeks and climbed right up in the chair and sat still while they did one ear at a time. We did diamonds in white gold.

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A.V.

answers from San Francisco on

I personally think that you should wait until they are able to talk, that way if it's uncomfortable or the earrings are bothering them they can say so!
I think sleeping with the earrings is very uncomfortable!!!
It's just for looks any way, it could wait until they are about 3 years old.

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S.E.

answers from New York on

my daughters too young yet shes only 3 weeks but my parents had mine pierced when i was around 9 months old.. they had gold posts put it, they did it at the doctors office.. my mom says it was easier at that age i only cried for a minute and didnt play with them... i never had any problems with them no infection or anything like that

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M.B.

answers from Tampa on

My daughter was 3months old, and she didnt make a peep when they were done. She has white gold cause I hate yellow. We've had no problems with them because I know they get cleaned properly. And she doesn't mess with them. My 6 year old son has showed interest in getting his done so we will do that this weekend on my husbands day off.
Those who compare tattoos to piercings are rediculious! Tattoos are perminant where piercings can be taken out, I've had plenty that I've taken out and they have gone away leaving no scars or holes.

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G.K.

answers from San Francisco on

To each their own, but I personally remember how bad my ears hurt for a couple of weeks after I got them pierced, and I was 12.

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D.B.

answers from Chicago on

I was 12 when I got my first set, 16 when I got my second set, 18 for my third set & 23 when I did the top of my ear. The top hurt like a SOB! Lol long story short, that only lasted 6 months. Now, I only have my first original set.

My daughter is nine and had plenty of friends that have their ears pierced. I told her that she could get them at 12. I want her to be responsible in every way when it comes to her earrings. That means cleaning them herself and keeping track of her earrings and not losing them. I have super sensitive ears and can only wear real silver or real gold. I am afraid she will end up the same way and the last thing I want is her losing expensive earrings. Yes, she will have her studs for a while, but honestly at her age she is going to want to change them. I resently told her that she could get them done, if she stops biting her nails! Well, let's just say, they are not getting pierced anytime soon. :)

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V.T.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter can get it done when she is old enough to take care of them herself. It will be more of a maturity thing than an actual age. I wasn't allowed until I was 18 and the novelity of it wore off by then and I never got it done. I've heard both ears at the same time is easier to get done. I've also heard a little baby getting her ears pierced in the mall. It was heartbreaking to listen too. I know the babies won't remember and she was probably screaming more about being restrained, but the sound of her screams was enough to turn me off of doing it younger. As for the type of earrings she will have when she gets it done will be 14K gold or sterling silver. I don't know if it's heritary or not, but every girl in my family had problems with cheaper earrings and getting infections, so I will avoid cheap earrings.

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M.J.

answers from Milwaukee on

My daughter just had it done when she turned 5. She asked about it and made the decision herself. We went to piercing pagoda due to a recommendation from this site. We did both at the same time. Went with the starter earrings that she choose. Actually her 2nd choice because her 1st had real diamonds and were 140 dollars! She finally got to change to a new pair a couple of weeks ago and was thrilled (grandma sells Lia Sophia and gave her a pair). We have had no problems or infections.

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C.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

Ok I have a slightly different reason why I got my daughters ears pierced. She was about 3 1/2 to 4yrs when she got her ears pierced. She has a condtion where her hair was barely growing. She is my youngest I have 2 boys. People would just assumed I had 3 boys. She was starting to notice. Plus her cousins and little girlfriends all had long hair. For us it help people stop calling her a boy. Its werid because when they would call her a boy. She would have a skirt most times with butterflies and rainbows or some girlie combination.
Its now been over 2 yrs. I had to get hyper allergic earrings. The starter earrings were great. The next pair she got a nasty pussy infection...rather quickly. Now she is wearing hyperallergic earrings.

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C.R.

answers from Kansas City on

My oldest and my youngest got their ears pierced at the age of 3. I made sure that I did the cleanings twice daily and turned the earrings at that time. Neither one of my girls ever got infections. I kept their original earrings in their ears until they are able to change them by themself. My middle daughter is 6 1/2 and has decided that she wants to get hers done. We just got her ears pierced last week and she loves them. My girls never played with their ears after they were pierced. We did not have a choice to have them done together because there was only one person working at the counter. We did the starter earrings in 14K gold which worked great for us!

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J.G.

answers from Cleveland on

I was 13 yr when I got my 1st & 16 yrs when I got my 2nd set. My oldest was 13 yrs when she got hers done... but she had lots of issues with hers (she lives with my in-laws... I was very young when I had her) My middle daughter got hers done last fall when she was 7 yrs old... boy did that cause an issue with the older daughter. But honestly in some ways the now 8 yr old is more responsible then the almost 18 yr old.

My 8 yr old hasn't had any infections or problems. We, well I cleaned them 2x a day for 2 mo. then she started to do the evening cleaning and I did the morning for the next few months. They have been in for about 10 mo now... we still clean the earrings everytime she changes then. That way we know we are putting something clean in the whole. Daddy says no dangelies till she is older though... we don't use "cheep" earrings in her ears though only gold and the earring for sensitivities... that way we have less issues.

The baby will be waiting a few more years... she is 9 mo old. It won't happen till she askes or maybe till she is 7 or so - depends on how responsible she is.

L.M.

answers from Dover on

I had our daughter's done when she was almost 3. She saw me wearing earrings (which I rarely do) and asked. Once she asked, both her dad and I were ok with it. We did white gold posts...I like white gold/silver and felt it goes with more.

We prefer alcohol to the cleaning solution.

Definately do both at one time if you are having a child 5 or under done. Otherwise, they won't sit for the second one.

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