When Can You Pierce Your Baby’s Ears?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on December 21, 2019
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

For some, getting your child’s ears pierced when they’re a baby is a cultural practice that holds spiritual significance. For others, it’s a matter of making that bundle of joy cuter, or that it can be simpler to deal with at a younger age. At what age do babies deal with the act of piercings, the process of healing and the aftercare better? What do experts recommend, and how does the anatomy of an infant affect the piercing process.

When you can get babies ears pierced depends on:

  • Age
  • Cultural pressures
  • Pain precautions
  • Allergies
  • Professional piercer
  • Aftercare
  • Risks

Whose Decision to Pierce?

To begin, what is the motivation behind wanting to pierce your baby’s ears? Many parents and their children undergo family pressure due to cultural rituals and beliefs popular in Latin, Hindu and Islamic cultures. These rites come from ancient spiritual teachings and even anatomical studies. 


In this context, we define a baby to be a child who’s unable to impart their own decision to get a body modification. Legally, there’s no fixed age

Why don’t we just wait until our children can make their own decision? It’s argued that when a child is older than one year, they’re very active. They have full use of their hands, which means they’re likely to touch and fiddle with the area, creating a high risk of infections.

You’ll find it simpler to keep the piercing clean the younger they are. Infants of two years have developed their immune systems — including having most immunization shots — and are still less susceptible to allergies. They can also follow instructions and can partake in their aftercare. 

Pediatricians will suggest that your infant doesn’t get their ears pierced until after they’ve received their vaccines at six months, to prevent the risk of blood-borne illnesses. Other beliefs are to wait until your child is old enough to do the aftercare themselves, while in certain families, the piercing will take place within weeks after birth. 

Cultural Controversy

In Hindu tradition, Karnavedha is a rite of passage performed before the age of one until five, for both boys and girls. They believe it opens the babies’ ears to hear the sacred sounds. Moreso, the earlobes have significant acupressure points — roots of acupuncture — and you activate the mouth, eyes and inner ears by piercing your child at a young age. 

In many cultures, it’s a sign of wealth, and early adornment can signify status in society. In Western cultures, perhaps the main reason surrounds the aesthetics of getting a piercing rather than anything linked to the benefits of European acupuncture medicine, such as anxiety.

Before You Get Your Baby Pierced

Regardless of culture, status quo or the fashioning of your child, you must make sure your baby’s ears are pierced in a hygienic environment. This is along with a suitable metal for them and pain precautions.

Seek the Professionals

You may see plenty of piercing parlors as you pass through town — enquire within and see their experience with babies. Check out the area and make your judgment on their sanitizing practices. You also want privacy for your child, and it’ll help you be at ease to comfort them if they cry — this can also create a trustworthy situation for your baby and the piercer.

An even better option for young children is visiting a pediatrician or a dermatologist. They’re more likely to use a needle, which may not be as quick as a piercing gun, but it’s less abrupt on the skin and tissue, quicker to heal and more sanitary. It’s also possible to find child-piercing clinics where they can do two ears at the same time.

Jewelry for a Baby’s Ears

As babies are still developing their immune system and have sensitive systems, choosing pure gold or silver jewelry is your safest choice of metal.

Always choose a simple stud — hoops can bring the risk of tearing — with no sharp points and long enough to allow for minor swelling.

Physical and Mental Reasons and Risks

You probably posed the idea of piercing a baby to some friends and family, which in return, you received cries of pain and trauma for the baby. The younger an infant is, the quicker they heal, as their immune systems are in high operation as they’re developing, including the common opinion that the holes will heal better.

Although infants have memory, it’s limited, and any shock from the piercing is less likely to develop an emotional trauma. To counteract these worries of pain, simply holding your baby and comforting it while having a partner or friend using a favorite toy to keep it distracted, can make a huge difference. In our experience, most children make more of a fuss from being held still than they do from the piercing.

Piercing can be a painful event, but only for a moment. If your child doesn’t like people touching near their face or you know they have an extremely low pain tolerance or an illness, we advise reconsidering the piercing until they’re older or healthy again.

Choking Hazard

A significant doubt for piercing bubs is that it can quickly become a choking hazard. Any professional piercer will have the correct studs with a secure backing. If you’re concerned about this, you can check the secureness after the piercing is done and carry out regular checks during aftercare. If you ever believe that it’s coming loose, your piercer will help you change this for a secure stud clip.

You and Your Baby

If you opt to pierce your baby’s ears, always pay close attention to:

  • Hygiene and health of your baby before
  • Sterilization of the professional and the parlor
  • Cleaning and aftercare for the healing process

From our expertise, between four and eight months is an ideal age if your reasoning is based on healing and convenience. Even so, the decision isn’t one to make lightly, and consider if you can make the proper aftercare for your child.

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