Baby Ear Piercing : What’s Safe & What’s Not?

Baby Ear Piercing: What's Safe & What's Not?

You may want to see a small diamond stud shining in your baby’s ears whereas the other parent may find the idea of baby ear piercing extremely appalling. Getting your baby’s ears pierced is a personal choice.

Why Do Parents Choose Ear Piercing for Babies?

Most parents choose to pierce their baby’s ears due to many reasons. It is often believed that getting your little one’s ears pierced at a young age would cause less pain and discomfort than if it is done later in life. On the other hand, other parents may choose to pierce their baby’s ears because of their cultural or traditional values. Whereas some parents choose it for an entirely different reason and that is for gender identification in younger babies. A baby with a small stud or earring would not be mistaken for a boy!

Whatever the reason is, many parents around the world choose ear piercing for their babies.

Piercing Baby’s Ears At Birth: Is It Advisable?

In some tradition’s baby’s ears are pierced at birth or some parents may opt for piercing due to other reasons. If your baby’s health is fine and there are no other complications, you may discuss with your doctor about piercing your baby’s ears at birth.

When Is It Safe To Pierce Baby’s Ear?

Piercing your baby’s ears may expose your baby to several risks; therefore, many parents wonder about what is the right baby ear piercing age? Well, whenever you puncture your baby’s ears, there is a potential risk of infection and because your baby’s immune system is still developing, it will be a good idea to wait a little longer. Experts may suggest that you wait for at least for six months to pierce your baby’s ears. But you may wait a little longer and let your little one decide for her.

Who Should Pierce Your Baby’s Ears?

Medical worker doing ear piercing

Traditionally people got their baby’s ears pierced by a local vendor or their family jeweller. You may also ask your child’s paediatrician or dermatologist if they can pierce your child’s ears. You may also seek recommendations from your close friends and relatives for the place they got their child’s ears pierced from.

It is best to get your baby’s ears pierced from a hygienic place such as a doctor’s clinic, body piercing parlour or by an expert.

How to Choose the Right Earrings?

Traditionally people used neem twigs because of its disinfectant properties. The twigs were inserted into the pierced ears of the baby. Many moms may still find neem twigs a good option for their babies.

Baby with ear piercing

If you are opting for metal earrings, it is suggested that you buy gold or silver earrings for your baby.

Choosing the right kind of earring for your baby is very important. Make sure that the earring you choose for your baby is small, flat and round. The earring should not have any sharp edges, and the fastener should cover the back side of the earring. It is recommended not to use any hanging or dangling earrings for your baby. Your baby may easily tug on to the dangling earrings and get hurt. It may even lead to choking hazards which may be very dangerous for the baby.

How to Prepare Yourself and Your Baby for Piercing Her Ears?

So, you have finally decided to get your baby’s ears pierced. The first and foremost thing that you need to consider is your baby’s health. It is essential that your baby is in good health when you plan for the piercing. You may even consult your doctor before getting your baby’s ears pierced. Your doctor may prescribe some painkillers to ease away the pain. Your doctor may apply some ointment that would numb the skin around the earlobes.

You should dress your baby in comfortable clothes, preferably a buttoned-down dress, which would be easier for you to change without hurting your baby’s ears. You may carry your baby’s favourite toy with you for distracting your baby. If your baby is old enough for solid food, you may carry your baby’s favourite snack or food to treat your baby after the piercing is done.

How Should Ear Piercing Be Done & Is It Painful?

Ear piercing is typically done by a needle which is an age-old traditional method or by a piercing gun, which is a modern method. You may choose any method of ear piercing but what is most important is that the piercing equipment should be thoroughly sterilised. Sterilizing the equipment reduces chances of an infection in your baby’s ears.

Baby crying during ear piercing

The ear piercer will identify the spot on the earlobe and will mark it using a pen or marker. Marking the spot not only makes the ear piercing easier but also aids to achieve precision. Refrain from using dyes for marking as they may irritate your baby’s skin. After wearing surgical gloves, the piercing expert will clean your baby’s earlobes by using an antiseptic lotion. You will be required to hold your baby’s head firmly during the process so that the baby does not mover much. The piercing does not take long, but it may take you a little while to soothe your baby. Try to make your baby calm before proceeding on with the other earlobe.

Ear piercing is painful, and your baby may be all tears after the piercing. The pain is not only limited to the piercing rather your baby ears will be paining for a few days, till it heals properly. Though certain creams and ointments can be used to numb the earlobes, none of the methods assures ear piercing for babies without pain.

Potential Complications

Following are some of the complications that may arise because of ear piercing:

  • Infection: Your baby may develop ear piercing infection if the piercing equipment was not sterilised, the earring clasp was too tight, or the earring was dirty. If your baby’s earlobes become red and swollen or baby has a fever, get in touch with your doctor.
  • Formation of Keloid: Your baby’s body tends to heal itself from the ear piercing trauma, but sometimes it tends to overheal itself, resulting in substantial scar tissues called Keloids. Keloids often require medical or surgical intervention.
  • Allergic reactions: Sometimes your baby may have an allergic reaction because of the metal used in the earring. It is suggested to use gold, silver or surgical steel metal for your baby’s earrings. Earrings made from other metals such as nickel may cause infection.
  • Choking hazards: It is imperative that you choose the earrings which do not come off easily. Your baby is susceptible to choking hazards because of the loose earrings. The small parts of the earring may also fall inside your baby’s ears and cause complications.
  • Tearing: If your baby is adorning hooped or dangling earrings, there is a possibility that your baby may pull it out or it may stick on to something your baby may be playing with. This situation may lead to tearing of your baby’s earlobes.

Safety Tips

Here are some safety tips that you may follow when you plan to get your baby’s ears pierced:

  • Make sure the person piercing your baby’s ears is trained or an expert in the field.
  • Make sure the piercing equipment is sterilised.
  • Make sure to choose the right size of the earring (no dangling, hanging or hooped earrings).
  • Make sure to choose the right metal for the earring( gold, silver or sterilised steel)

Is Ear Piercing Very Painful?

Yes, ear piercing is painful for your baby. You may choose a piercing gun or needle for piercing your baby’s ears, but both these methods will cause pain to your baby. The pain from the needle will be more like getting an injection; however, the piercing gun will feel like a stapler pin going through the skin.

How to Prevent Complications After Infant Ear Piercing?

Your baby’s ears will be red, swollen and inflamed after the piercing. You may do the following to prevent any complications after ear piercing:

Baby with pierced ear

  • Clean your baby’s earlobes with antiseptic lotion, antibiotic lotion or alcohol twice a day. You may even rotate your baby’s earrings gently.
  • It is advised not to change or remove your baby’s earrings for at least for six weeks after the ear piercing procedure.
  • In case you notice any pus, swelling or fever, you should get immediate medical help as it could be because of an infection.

You may opt for piercing your baby’s ears, but it is critical to exercise great caution before and after the piercing process. In case you find any sign of infection, you should seek medical advice.