Last summer our three-year-old had taken a huge interest in my earrings and started asking if she could get some. I kicked myself for not having taken the plunge when she was a tiny baby. But we did a little crowdsourcing and research and took her to get a little bling after we were certain she was ready. If you’re looking into the ideal time and tips for your child’s first ear piercing, here’s what I learned.
It probably is easiest to do it when your little one is tiny and before they might be tempted to tug at their ears or be exposed to more germs where they could touch the earrings and infect them. One of my closest friends, who is also a nurse and one of my go to’s for mom advice, waited until her daughter had her four-month shots to get her piercings and she had no problem. She nursed her right after the piercings to calm her down and has had no issues since. Plus, no complaints when she cleaned the piercings twice a day. That age is truly a good window. And, babies look so cute with tiny earrings, right?!
Even if you missed that window, don’t stress. Our experience was sweet but it did hurt my mama heart to see her sad from the pain. We chose to go to La Lobe because of how many great recommendations we had heard about their process, which is actually a needle piercing instead of a piercing gun.
They took their time and explained everything to our daughter. You can tell they are experts with any age! They even offered her a stuffed toy to snuggle. And, her favorite part was “the Elsa ice spray” which is a “quick freeze spray” to ensure the piercing is less painful. A few tears came but afterward she was excited once she looked in the mirror and saw her gold studs. Immediately following, we rewarded her bravery with sugary treats at Susie Cakes across the street and she turned that frown upside down.
From my perspective, the good part about waiting is that we allowed it to be my daughter’s choice and part of her becoming a BIG GIRL! The hardest part was seeing her go through a little pain but frankly, she broke her leg in a freak accident when she was two-years-old so I know this kid is brave and quite the trooper. Our biggest struggle was cleaning every morning and night. If your toddler battles the morning or bedtime routine and fights to brush their teeth or taking a bath, you may be in for a struggle when you add cleaning their ears to the list.
In my book, the most important things to think through as you decide the right time to get your child’s ear pierced are:
Safety and Care
Expect 12 weeks for their ears to heal. You’ll need to clean them twice daily until then. 24 karat gold is the best metal to choose from. If not pure gold, allergies or infections are a real possibility. Yes, those posts will be more expensive. But, it’s worth it. Infections can cause fevers and you obviously want to avoid a fever if you are considering piercings for an infant. It’s always a great idea to discuss this with your pediatrician if you want more details or insight into what is right for your little one.
Convenience and Timing
While taking showers is fine, we were told not to go swimming for 3-5 days to avoid any issues. In the middle of July in Texas during our family staycation, that was a bit of a bummer. Take a moment to think through that as well as the next 12 weeks of cleaning. If you’re sending the kids to grandma’s for a week, you just need to ensure the cleaning routine continues.
Know Your Childs Behavior and Temperament
Will the pain be too much for them at this age? Will they want to touch their ears often or tug at their new jewelry? Will they be comfortable with the cleanings or if they are an older child, can they manage the cleanings on their own? Make sure to have conversations in advance so they’ll know the process.
Our little girl has loved her earrings and any inconvenience was temporary. Thoughtfully consider what’s best for your kid’s ear-piercing experience and enjoy a sweet milestone of growing up!