Over the past 40 years, the Inverness Ear Piercing System has been used to pierce over 200 million pairs of ears of all sizes in more than 40 countries around the world. During this time, we’ve learned quite a bit about safe and gentle ear piercing care for babies. Following are some of our best tips for parents considering ear piercing for their infant or young child.
Is It Safe to Pierce My Baby’s Ears?
Babies are pierced safely at a very young age worldwide. Inverness recommends that parents wait until after the first DPT vaccination before piercing their baby’s ears. However, this is a personal decision, and we recommend that you discuss your specific situation with your baby’s pediatrician.
Age and immunizations are not the only factors to consider. Before an infant can be pierced, their earlobes must be developed enough to pierce correctly. The ear piercing technician or your pediatrician can evaluate your baby’s ears and let you know if her earlobes are large enough to pierce safely.
Once you’ve decided you would like to have your baby’s ears pierced, here are some tips to help ensure the procedure goes smoothly:
Before/During Ear Piercing
- Make sure your baby is fed, well-rested, and wearing clean diapers before you sit down for a piercing. An ear piercing should never take place when babies OR children are fussy or crying.
- To keep your baby comfortable, work with your ear piercing technician to determine how best to hold your baby during the piercing process. The piercing technician will show you how to hold the baby to support her head and avoid any sudden movements during the ear piercing procedure.
Younger babies can be held over their parent’s shoulder, with a hand on the back of their head for support. The baby will need to switch shoulders for each ear.
Older babies can sit up can sit on their parent’s lap with their head supported gently with a hand on their forehead to help them stay still during the piercing. This is an ideal position for dual piercings.
- If possible, bring along a family member, friend, or older sibling to help distract your infant and keep her calm. Have your helper stay in her line of vision and talk to her or entertain her by shaking keys or holding up a favorite toy.
- To help complete the piercing process quickly for babies, we recommend dual piercing from approximately 3 months of age on up. For babies under 3 months, it is best to pierce one ear at a time.
- Most important: stay calm and expect the unexpected. Some babies cry and others do not. Just like adults and older children, your baby will have a unique reaction to the ear piercing process. She may not like the way she’s being held or the feeling of the cold alcohol towelette used to clean her ears. She might startle when she hears the click of the instrument or feel a slight sting as her ear is pierced. You may also find she has no reaction at all!
- Ear piercing is an exciting milestone for you and your child. Be sure to take lots of photos!
Ear Piercing Aftercare
Note: if you have any concerns about how your baby’s new piercing is healing, consult your pediatrician right away.
Ear piercing aftercare for an infant or older baby is no different than what is recommended for people of all ages. Expected healing time for an earlobe piercing is 6 weeks. Parents should follow the aftercare instructions provided at the time of their baby’s piercing and remember the following:
- Always wash your hands before touching your baby’s ears or starter earrings.
- After your baby’s bath, clean her piercing and piercing earrings with a cotton swab soaked in aftercare solution to remove any soap or shampoo residue.
- Keep baby lotion away from the piercing area.
- Check the earring backs often – especially after cleansing and before bed or naptime – to make sure they are locked into place.
After the Healing Period
- At the end of the 6 week healing period, you may change your baby’s earrings to new styles.
- We recommend wearing simple stud styles with a locking earring back. You may also continue to wear your starter piercing earrings. Inverness piercing earrings are fine-jewelry quality and have the benefit of our exclusive Safety Back™ which locks into place and can’t be squeezed too tight against the ear.
- If you choose to continue using your Inverness starter piercing earrings, we recommend using a nail file to dull the piercing tip. This will make the earring more comfortable to insert when you change styles.
- To remove the starter piercing earrings, simply hold the ornament (front of the earring) and give a firm tug to remove the back.
- If you encounter any resistance removing the earring back, try cleaning the earring and earring back with a cotton swab soaked in ear care solution. Rotate the earring back to help the solution dissolve any soap or shampoo residue that may have accumulated.