There is nothing more adorable than a baby girl wearing a beautiful dress with pierced ears. As soon as they are born we’re dying to know when you can get a baby’s ears pierced. There is no right or wrong answer.
If you’d like to get your baby’s ears pierced as soon as they come home, you should be fine. However, most pediatricians recommend waiting until they have received certain vaccines before getting their ears pierced.
In this article
- Pediatrician Opinions Vary On When It’s Best To Get A Baby’s Ears Pierced
- Things To Consider When Getting A Baby’s Ears Pierced
- How To Help Your Baby With The Discomfort
- Provide Proper Aftercare To Help Prevent Further Discomfort And Infection
- Signs That Your Baby’s Ears Are Infected
- In Conclusion
Pediatrician Opinions Vary On When It’s Best To Get A Baby’s Ears Pierced
Some pediatricians will recommend waiting until your little one has had at least two tetanus shots, which will be when they are about four months old.
Other pediatricians claim that a child needs one DTaP shot (this is a standard vaccination), which typically happens at eight weeks old.
If you’re interested in hearing your pediatrician’s advice, give the office a call to ask. (Some pediatricians offer ear piercing as well, so you may be able to get it done at an office visit.)
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers no specific advice on when it is safe to pierce your baby’s ears. As long as the piercing is performed with sterile equipment, and proper aftercare is done by the parents, the risk of infection is minimal.
Things To Consider When Getting A Baby’s Ears Pierced
Before you rush out to get your little one’s ears pierced, there are a few things that you need to consider. You’ll want to make sure that they have the right earrings. Parents will also want to consider the piercing techniques that are used, among other things.
Screw Back Earrings Are Best
These earrings have a back that screws onto the post. When you use these, there is almost zero chance that the earring can fall out. This is especially important with babies because it can pose a choking hazard.
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Avoid Dangly Earring Or Hoops
While these are cute, they are not a good idea for babies. It can make it a hassle to get them dressed, and babies might accidentally pull on them. Earring can also get caught in blankets or other things.
This happened to my sister when we were younger, and it ripped her earring out. It is not something you want your child to go through.
Ignore Myths About Babies Being More Likely To Have An Allergic Reaction
Some people still claim that when a baby has their ears pierced they are more likely to have an allergic reaction to certain things, such as the metal the post is made out of. There is no scientific evidence to back up this claim.
I had my ears pierced as a young child, and have to use hypoallergenic earrings. My daughter had her ears pierced when she was much older with the same result. It doesn’t matter what age your little one gets their ears pierced.
Some people will have to use real gold or hypoallergenic earrings and some simply won’t.
Use Real Gold Earrings
When you first get your baby’s ears pierced, you won’t know whether they will have an allergic reaction to the metal. Some people that have an allergic reaction are also not able to hypoallergenic earrings.
Because of that, it’s best to use real gold earrings. You know that the chance of your little one having an allergic reaction is very small.
Consider The Piercing Technique
If a piercing gun is used, your baby is not instantly going to get an infection. However, they are more likely to. This is because this can be less sterile than when a needle is used.
Most piercing places and kiosks use a piercing gun to pierce ears. If you’d prefer that someone use a needle, consider asking your pediatrician if they can do it or know someone that does.
How To Help Your Baby With The Discomfort
Your baby is going to be too little to understand what is going on when they are getting their ears pierced.
Because of that, it’s important to have the procedure done by an experienced professional that can do it rather quickly. There are a few other steps you’ll need to take, and some behaviors that you can expect from your baby.
Ice The Ears Before Getting Them Pierced
While it’s impossible to numb the portion of the ear inside the ear lobe, icing the outside can help numb the skin. That means that it won’t cause as much discomfort for your baby.
Granted, your baby will still feel a tiny pinch of pain, but it’s nothing compared to what they’ll feel without you numbing the earlobe.
Consider Icing Them After Getting Them Pierced
After your little one gets their ears pierced, they are still going to feel some discomfort. Ice can help numb the area again. Your little one might not like the cold feeling during the process, but they will definitely appreciate it when their earlobes are numb again.
Have Distractions Ready
As their ears heal, your little one might be fussier than usual. Have plenty of distractions ready. Make sure that they are appropriate for their age.
Most pediatricians recommend not letting little ones have screen time, but letting them watch a cartoon on a short-term basis while your little one is fussy is not going to cause long-term damage. You can also pick up some new toys to keep your baby fascinated.
Make Sure Your Schedule Isn’t Packed
Because your little one is going to be fussier, the smallest things might set them off. Some babies simply won’t want to be carted off to run a lot of errands because they are not comfortable. Your baby might also need a little bit more cuddle time than they normally would.
Provide Proper Aftercare To Help Prevent Further Discomfort And Infection
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After your baby gets their ears pierced, you’ll need to make sure that you provide proper aftercare.
Some people insist that children should wait until they are old enough to care for their piercings themselves, but as long as someone is caring for the piercing your baby will be fine. To care for ears after they are pierced you’ll need to:
- Make sure that you don’t change the earrings for six weeks
- Put an antibiotic ointment on the ears twice a day
- Turn the earrings in the ears 2-3 times daily
- Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap or use hand sanitizer before touching your baby’s ears
Keep in mind that this can be uncomfortable for your baby during the first week after they get their ears pierced. Because of that you’ll need to be extremely gentle and have that distraction ready to help them get through it.
Signs That Your Baby’s Ears Are Infected
Even if you provide consistent aftercare, and wash your hands every time, there is still a chance that your baby’s ears will get infected. It simply happens sometimes.
Don’t let mom guilt make you feel bad. Instead, watch for signs that the ears are infected. Signs of infection include:
- Red or inflamed skin
- Pus oozing from the ears
- The piercing doesn’t turn easily
- A fever
Some babies will experience only one sign that their ears are infected. Most babies will not get a fever, but it is known to happen so I felt it was important to mention it.
How To Treat Infected Ear Piercings In Babies
If the site of the piercing gets infected, take a deep breath. It doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong. Continue to provide aftercare as you normally would, especially turning the earrings.
Do not take them out to clean the site. Use a saline solution to clean it thoroughly twice daily in addition to what you are already doing.
Continue to use the antibacterial ointment as well. Avoid using rubbing alcohol or other harsh products. Babies have sensitive skin, and these can irritate their skin.
Contact Your Pediatrician For Advice
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Any time that you are concerned about the health of your baby, you should reach out to their pediatrician for advice. Pediatricians can inform you about a lot of things, including proper care for infected piercing sites.
They may also be able to prescribe an antibiotic ointment, tell you how long it should take for the infection to clear up, and will see your baby make sure that they are okay.
Your pediatrician is going to be one of the most important people in your support system as your children grow and go through many things. Utilize that.
There is no definite answer as to when you can get your baby’s ears pierced. Some believe that you should wait until children are older, but this is merely a personal opinion.
There are no increased risks of infection or allergy if you choose to get your baby’s ears pierced when they are younger. Speak with your pediatrician to determine which shots your little one should have first to be on the safe side.