Should I get my baby’s ear pierced? Everything you should ask before getting your child’s ear pierced.
By Rebecca Olvera, M.D. and Natalia Hanson, M.D.
Dr. Olvera and Dr. Hanson have been piercing ears as part of their clinical practice within the Cook Children’s Network since 2016. They both use a medical ear piercing system only available to pediatricians and medical providers.
When should I get my baby’s ear pierced?
This is truly an individual decision. If you decide to pierce your baby’s ears, we only ask that they have received their first set of immunizations at age 2 months. Dr. Olvera and Dr. Hanson prefer to pierce ears from 2 to 9 months and then after age 4 years. Piercing a child’s ears between the ages of 1 to 4 is the most difficult age in terms of cooperation. It is important to understand that most children will cry when getting their ears pierced.
As far as age, some parents prefer to wait until a child can make the decision for themselves. Again, no judgment here. For some, the decision is a cultural one. In some countries, such as Spain, infants' ears are pierced right after birth. Dr. Olvera had her ears pierced at age 8, so she offered the same for her own daughters. Many families have the tradition of waiting until age 10 or 13 to have ears pierced. We respect all decisions!
Where should I get my baby’s ear pierced?
Again, this is a personal choice. More and more pediatricians do offer this service to their patients. First, ask your pediatrician if they offer the service. Some families will choose to go to a local tattoo parlor or the local mall. We recommend that you do your research on the place you choose and determine the age groups they serve. Make sure that you know families have had a good experience at the place you decide to go to.
Dr. Olvera and Dr. Hanson provide medical ear piercing to everyone in the Cook Children’s Network, even if your pediatrician does not offer the service.
What earrings should I use?
With the system that we use, the earrings are provided. You will have a choice of either medical-grade titanium or medical-grade plastic earrings. The earrings used for piercing are only designed to stay in for 6 weeks. You are asked to remove the earrings after 6 weeks and replace them with earrings of your choice. This step is important as the earrings used for piercing have thicker posts. We caution patients to stay away from costume jewelry for the first year. It can take up to a full year for the holes to be completely healed. If a patient has very sensitive skin, we recommend buying replacement hypoallergenic earrings to use for the first year. The medical-grade plastic earrings are excellent for patients with sensitive skin.
How do I take care of my ears after piercing?
The medical ear piercing system we use requires no special cleaning agents. The company recommends cleaning the piercing site (around the earring) with soap and water twice a day. Older children should be reminded to not touch their ears with dirty hands.
What sites do you pierce?
We do traditional ear piercing, usually single lobe piercing on each side. However, we are also comfortable offering second piercings on the lobes to preteens and up. We do not offer cartilage, nose, or belly button piercings.
Do you pierce boy’s ears?