Ask the Pediatrician

I’m interested in getting my baby’s ears pierced. What do I need to know?

The most important thing is to find a healthcare provider trained in medical piercings. After that, this is what you need to know:

Age: Although I do pierce many baby ears, I prefer to wait until a child is old enough to want to get their ears pierced and take care of this themselves.

Jewelry: Look for piercing studs made from nickel-free metal or medical-grade plastic to decrease the risk of irritation, infection, and jewelry allergy later in life.

Symmetry: When placing dots, measure from the face outward and bottom and top of the ear lobe. Usually center or just below center of the lobe is a good spot, but look to make sure they appear visually symmetric too as most people don’t have identically symmetric earlobes.

Removing piercing studs: Piercing-stud posts are a little bit thicker than normal earring posts, and over time, the holes slightly contract, so the ideal time to remove piercing studs is two to six months after piercing.

Aftercare: Always wash hands before touching ear lobes. Use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide twice a day for the first month and then after bathing for another month after piercing. When you change earrings, always clean lobes and earrings with rubbing alcohol to prevent infection.

Signs that something is wrong: Infections can occur from piercings not done in a sterile environment, dirty hands touching ears, cheap metal, or too tight earring backings. If there is any soreness, redness, swelling, or pus at the site of the piercing, see your doctor right away.

With a little knowledge and a great medical ear-piercing provider, your little one can have beautiful earrings to last a lifetime.