Whenever you talk about a controversial topic, everyone is going to have their own opinion. When it comes to baby ear piercing I was completely against it. I always thought, if my daughter wants her ears pierced it won’t be until she’s like 28. But I recently read something that made me think about it.
In Spain and Latin America it’s customary to do so moments or days after a baby girl is born. In these cultures, it’s believed that it’s more painful for the child if you wait until she’s older.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says there’s little risk at any age if the piercing is performed carefully and cared for conscientiously. But the AAP does recommend waiting until a child is old enough to take care of the piercing herself.
In Latino cultures, however, it’s assumed that a girl will want to wear this traditional symbol of femininity beginning at a young age. Ear piercing is such a deep-rooted tradition in Spain and Latin America that it’s very common to give a new mom gold ear studs for her newborn, and for the baby to leave the hospital wearing them.
I think of this because we recently went to dinner with some friends and their daughter’s ears were pierced. I thought, wow she’s super young. Then I thought, there has to be a reason why they would do it so young—cultural.
Still, I don’t think I would pierce my daughter’s ears at such a young age. I think about all the other painful things those little ones go through, and I know they won’t remember, but I just figure we can wait. But those baby gold studs are pretty adorable.
But if you choose to pierce your baby’s ears, do you know what kind of care comes with it?
After the piercing, don’t remove the earrings for six weeks. Have these people never had little kids? My little ones have pulled anything I put by their ear, let alone inside it. For me, this would be a very hard one to do.
During that time, wipe some alcohol around the ear lobe twice a day, and twist the earrings at least once a day. Don’t press on your baby’s ear when doing so, as that can be painful. After each bath, dry the area around each piercing so it doesn’t stay damp.
Keep an eye out for any signs of infection. These can include pain, discharge, inflammation, and bleeding. If you see any of these signs, take the earring off, clean it with alcohol, and ask your baby’s doctor whether you should apply any medication. Your doctor may recommend that you apply an antibiotic ointment or cream to the earlobe as well as to the earring itself before putting it back on. Ask your doctor if you can buy the cream over the counter or if you’ll need a prescription.
Call the doctor if your baby runs a fever or the earlobe gets very red and swollen.
After six weeks, the ear lobes should have healed and you can put different earrings on. Make sure all new earrings are made of surgical steel or of gold that’s at least 14 karat. Earrings made of other materials, including gold-plated earrings, can trigger an allergic reaction.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you. You are their parent and I will say, it’s super cute seeing little girls with little gold studs. But for me, I think I am going to wait until she’s older and can buy the 14 karat gold earrings herself.