Infant Ear Piercing Pros vs Cons

Updated on March 03, 2010
D.J. asks from Honesdale, PA
22 answers

Hello Ladies....I have a 5 1/2 month old little girl. I'm thinking about having her ears pierced and am looking for some thoughts from other moms who have had it done. Does anyone have any thoughts about age requirements and also good vs bad experiences. Any advice if we decide to do it?

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answers from Seattle on

Pros: you like the look

Cons: possible infection, scarring, pain, allergies AND you are doing this to a child who has no say in the matter and probably could care less about looking "cute".

Personally I think the practice should be outlawed... but alas, I guess my position is a bit extreme.
Why would you not wait until she can decide if she wants pierced ears? Don't get me wrong, I had and have a lot of piercings - but still, I would never do this to my daughter without her having a say.
Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

I always felt my daughters' ears weren't mine to pierce. They are their ears to do with what they want. It's not my body but theirs.

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answers from Minneapolis on

This is coming from someone who has pierced over 2000 ears in her life and has seen just about everything.

Pros: You get it over with and you have a beautiful little baby with earings.

Cons: You child can get it caught on something and rip a whole in her ear at a young age. Baby's ears are very thin and soft, although the cut will tend to heal well it is not a pleasant or fun experience.
She can have a severe reaction to the medal; Especially if you go cheap and don't use gold.
Can also get nasty infections if you don't keep them clean. Once a week isn't good enough for a growing child.
The holes will most likely be in the wrong spot 10 years down the line and she will have to have them re-done and will have the scars from the first holes the rest of her life. (This is the big reason why I advise against it) Not so pretty later in life.
Young baby's can and have actually stopped breathing from getting their ears pierced from the shock. I had a few little ones go pale white, same thing happens with some adults also so not just babies.

Just a list from my experience. Unfortunately I couldn't say no to any person who came in with a child 3 months or older with current shots but giving them a good idea of what they are putting their child through is all I could do.

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answers from Bangor on

My friend got her little girl's ears pierced, and the little girl ended up ripping them out in her sleep. She had to have her ear stitched up because of it. If I were you, I would wait until your daughter is old to decide for herself if she wants her ears pierced. Also, she should be old enough to take care of her ears herself. Teach her some responsibility for her choices and what not. That's what my mom did with me, and that's what I'm going to do with my daughter. I think it's better to wait until they are older.

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answers from Dallas on

I have a 15 yr old. My opinion is different and some might find take is.....daughter is not "mine". It is her body and I feel like it is her choice if she wants her ears pierced. Her body = Her choice

She did ask to get her ears pierced at 10 and before 11 she lost interest and they grew up. She did it again at 12 and she still has the holes but she does not wear earrings except for special occasions.

Now for her 15th bday in Dec, all she wanted was her belly pierced. After a LOT of thought, I allowed her to do so and I was with her. She has had no issues with that at all.

HOWEVER, as an athlete (Cheerleader) ALL jewelry is prohibited for safety purposes. Think about that as well.

It is a personal decision and you do what it right for you but my belief is that my daughter has the say in what is done to her body.

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answers from Denver on

Pros - you like how they look.
Cons - another thing to take care of. They need to be cleaned and changed periodically. If they fall out, they can eat them...
Maybe I'm the "tom boy" Mom, but I think I'd wait until the child is old enough and responsible enough to care for them herself.
I was 12 when mine were done, and it was something FUN I remember doing. I'd wait. No right answer, just what your preferences.

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answers from Kalamazoo on

If it helps any, I totally agree with Carrie. To each their own, but I definitely see something wonderful in a mommy/daughter experience when the child is old enough to understand the process. I also see that the fear can be avoided if you do it when they're younger. I guess the question is posed: Let them learn from the fear and pain when they're older and hope it develops in to a characteristic of bravery and courage, or shelter them from it as an infant and hope for other lessons and bonding experiences. Either way, I'm sure your baby girl will be beautiful, pierced ears or not :-)

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answers from St. Louis on

Pros: Cute, don't usually mess with them

Cons: Not having the ability for her to choose if she wants them, not having the opportunity to bond with her when she decides to get it done (ie: learn about making decisions, how it hurts, cleaning it, etc - I agree with another poster on a rite of passage), baby can still mess with them, it may hurt or be infected and you may not know or realize until later than if they were older

In my house, once you were five or six and if you wanted them, you could get them (I did). My husband and I decided on the thing for our little girl.

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answers from New York on

Hi D.,
It depends on you. In my family we are four sisters and we all had ours done when we were infants without a problem. So did my nieces, but my daughter was about six months old or a little older when I did it. I did it at the doctor's office and it was very easy. She didn't even cry. I never had a problem with her and they never got infected. So it really depends on you. I didn't want her crying and making a big deal about getting poked when she got older, plus they look so pretty with their earrings matching their clothes :) So just take time and do what you feel more comfortable with.

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answers from Norfolk on

I was allowed to get my ears pierced (one hole each lobe) when I turned 16 yrs old. I wasn't allowed to wear makeup or panty hose before then. My Mom is a firm believer in not growing up before your time. It was a sort of right of passage thing with my family. My husband and I don't think our son should have anything pierced, and so far our boy agrees with us.



answers from Los Angeles on

I think its best to do it now then later. You just have to hold her good and it will be over before you know it. I had ny daughters done at about 6months and it is great. she is two now and there is no way i would be able to do it now. she did not really know they were there wntill she was about 1 she played with them a little but thats it I have had no problems with them.
Good luck.


answers from Charlotte on

3 months is the minimum age and that's when I had my little girls ears pierced. I wanted to do it young because I wanted them to become like an appendage to her so when she got old enough to mess with them, she would be used them being there and wouldn't be as interested in messing with them. I also wanted to do it young so she wouldn't remember it. A 3 or 4 year old little girl may get the first ear done, but knows the second will hurt as bad and refuse to be still. Also a child that age knows she has new earrings and may be inclined to mess with them. Just my opinion.

I've been told on more than one occassion that I should have waited until she was old enough to ask for them and let her decide if she wanted earrings or not. I know adults that didn't get their ears pierced as a child and wish they had. Good luck making a decision, hope this helps



answers from San Francisco on

I had my daughter's ears pierced at 6 months and have had a really good experience. I went to the doctor's office because they put some numbing cream on her ears first and then took a lot of time with placement before piercing. My daughter cried a little (which I was surprised at..definitely less than when she got her shots) when the doctor pierced her ear but as soon as I gave her a hug and kiss she was all done with that. She has had her earrings for 4 months and no infections or issues of any kind. Good luck with whatever you decide.


answers from New York on

I waited until my daughter was a year old. I looked for signs like does she pull on her ears. I also had our pedi do it cause I felt that it would be more sanitary then going to the mall and having some teenager do it. We have not had any problems. She doesn't play with them or even notice that they are there. She has a very small pair of diamonds and they have been there since we were able to change them. I waited 10 weeks just to make sure that everything was healed. When she gets a bath I make sure that I clean around her earrings very well. But I do recommend that you wait until she is a year though. Atleast that is what I did. Good luck in your decision. I also use good earrings (not costume) because I am very sensitive and I am afraid that she will be too. Cheaper earrings tend to burn for me and I don't want to take the chance of that happening for her. Good Luck!



answers from Indianapolis on

We have friends who've pierced their daughter's ears as infants. Our daughter is 23 months, and it's honestly not been something we've even considered.

I was 13 when I had mine pierced (my Mom's rule) which was way too late. I'll probably wait until she's old enough to understand it and wants to do it.



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter didn’t get her ears pierced until she was 10 (I waited for her to be ready) so I don’t have personal exp in getting them done at infancy. My sister had both her girl’s done at 3 months old. Her first daughter’s ears got infected because she didn’t stay on top of keeping them clean. With her second she learned from her first and all was well from the beginning because she was vigilant about keeping them clean. Just wanted to share this to reinforce what Carrie said – keep them really clean =-)



answers from Gainesville on

Hey D.,

I had my daughter's ears pierced after her 1st set of shots. Only because I feel if she got them when she was older then she would be messing with them and if she hadn't had them in her ears this whole time they would take some getting use to. Carrie's idea sounds good too. I just feel it's less hassle keeping them clean, and/or losing the earrings. I started my daughter off with jewlery at a very young age, but that's the Latin heritage. She started wearing a necklace at 1 yrs old and a bracelet @ 6 months. She still wears them til this day and never messes with it.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi. My daughter was four years old. She was thrilled when she was able to do it. She picked the earrings she wanted, pink of course and very bravely climbed into the chair. She climbed down twice before she conquered her fear and got it done.

When she was finished she was so proud and felt so grown up. I would not have changed that moment in her life for anything.

My niece had hers pierced as an infant. I know lots of people do. I just think it is special when the little girls get to participate. Kind of a right of passage. Something to think about.

If you do get them pierced now just keep them very clean. I think that is the standard for all ages.

Good luck.




answers from Nashville on

I had my daughter's ears pierced when she was 4 months old. Minus a little crying when it was first done, she never messed with them. She is 4 1/2 now and loves them. But then again both my husband and i have piercings and stretched ears. At her age, she is already saying she wants to stretch her ears like mommy. I feel that it is your decision though. When they are babies, they are a lot less likely to mess with them - 4 & 5 years olds can't seem to keep their hands off new piercings. Also as a bonus, if you are breastfeeding, it is a great natural healer and our piercer actually recommended it.

That leads me to another asked for recommendations as well. My #1 recommendation is do NOT go to some jewelry store in the mall or even your pediatrician to get them done! Go to a professional, experienced and reputable piercer like those you find in a tattoo shop. Any good piercer has been professionally trained and licensed (mall places just do a quick training to whatever employee and the guns are not properly cleaned, not to mention loud and frightening). Professionals are required by the state to keep the license current. Any good shop is inspected yearly and must pass inspection to stay open. They will use a proper, sterile needle (any good shop will have an autoclave on sight) and will use surgical steel capture ball hoops. The hoops are not only easier to clean, the ball is secure and not easily removed (unlike many regular earrings - my daughter still has the same pair in that she was pierced with and they have NEVER come out). The other bonus, as someone said, a jewelry store piercer may not line the piercing up properly to account for the child's ear growing. A professional is trained on proper placement as well. And they will also tell you to NEVER use the cleaning solution sold at the mall type stores. All that is needed is a little antibacterial soap when you bath the child and sea salt rinse a few times a day (as I said, breast milk works as well since it's so full of antibodies - used it for my daughter). To find a good shop, start calling around your neighborhood or stopping by to see what the place looks like. If you see someone with body piercings, don't be afraid to ask them if they were done locally, the name of the place and if they would recommend them for piercings. Don't be afraid to ask questions when you go into the shop - you are paying for a service and they are there to provide you with the most information possible. You will pay a little more (maybe $35) for it to be done professionally, but its so much better in the long run.

Sorry to make that so long, but I have nearly 20 piercings (and several friends with multiple piercings), both by gun at the mall (as a kid) and by a professional by needle and I would take the professional with a needle any day over the gun!



answers from Amarillo on

Here it goes. I had my daughter's ears pierced when she was 5 months. I felt that I had to care for her it would be easier than later (17). Later in life she has added additional holes in her ears that look great. She also had tattoos down before 18 another story but they are all hidden under clothing.

The flip side I had a friend who had a daughter's ears pierced when she was about 6 and she played and played with them and they became infected. The holes closed up and I don't know if she ever got them done again in life as they moved away (military thing).

So it can go either way as a rite of passage or as a convenience. You are the parent and you must make the decision to do or not to do. Good luck either way, we are all behind you. The other S.


answers from Dallas on

i had my little ear pierced at 2 weeks by myself it was no crying you have to clean every day with alcohol and move the earring once daily for 2 weeks and that's it if she doesnot like it when gets older she just stop using and the hole will close.



answers from Stationed Overseas on

I have two little girls and we had both of them get their ears pierced when they were infants. Our first was at 5 months and our second was at 6 months. The doctor recommended waiting until their second set of shots were done. I always knew we would do it early because I went with my cousin when she got her ears pierced. She was 7. She got the first ear pierced and then it took us over an hour to get her to pierce the second one. It was awful. When we had our first daughter and we took her to get her ears pierced we had to wait for another little girl to get her's done first. She was 9 and was really happy picking out the earrings and seemed totally excited. That was until they actually had to pierce her ears. Her Mother begged and pleaded with her to get them done. It took them 30 min. to convince her and she cried for another 10 minutes after it was done. It was something she wanted to do, until it was time to do it. I always knew I didn't want to have to fight it. Kids are often scared to get them done. It's worse then getting a shot to them. Both my daughters cried right when they were pierced and then they never even realized they were there. My oldest went to sleep not even 2 minutes after it was done. It really is up to you. There is no right answer. But for me, I didn't want to have hold her down. And even though they're "old enough to take care of them themselves" they will constantly have to be reminded to do so. So it won't be all that different if you have to clean them when they're little. Also if she decides she doesn't like them when she gets older she doesn't have to wear them. That's the beauty of it! You do what you think is best! But for us it just seemed much easier to do it when they are infants.

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