Thinking about piercing your baby’s ears?

Our nation is somewhat divided on the subject of baby ear piercing, whilst in other cultures, or countries, it is seen as completely normal and even necessary to pierce a new born baby girl’s ears. Ear piercing is such a deep-rooted tradition in Spain and some Latin American countries, that it is the custom to give a new mother gold ear studs for her baby girl, as a symbol of femininity. She might even be wearing these before she leaves the hospital!

Cultural tradition aside, it is also a matter of personal taste, as some think babies look attractive with earrings and others really prefer them without. Maybe you feel it’s better for a child to make the choice themselves when they are able to understand what it is involved.

My Professional Policy is this:

As a professional ear piercer, I have given all of the above a great deal of thought and I respect the range of feelings that parents have and also that there is often a strong cultural pressure to pierce a girl’s ears just as soon as possible. The vast majority of parents who enquire about baby ear piercing are originally from other parts of the world.

I will not pierce the ears of a newborn, or a tiny baby. I think little babies are busy settling into the world and this is unnecessary; they are also very small with tiny ear lobes, which can actually make it impractical to carry out.

I believe that there is a window of opportunity between approximately 5-11 months of age (partly depending on the size of the baby), when there are some advantages to ear piercing. Hygiene and aftercare is very easy, because the parent can keep the piercing clean and the baby is not likely to be fiddling with their own ears. Carried out at a very young age, before they are very conscious of what is going on and also when they have zero apprehension about the process (unlike a lot of older children) means that this does not seem to cause distress.

I do not pierce older babies, or toddlers, as they are aware of what is going on and this will be distressing for them. There is also the added risk of small children being more likely to touch and fiddle with their ears, which of course will increase the chance of infection and irritation.