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Ear Piercing – Do’s and Don’ts

Recently I’ve gotten a lot of questions about ear piercing. Here are my do’s and don’ts for piercing your child’s ears.


-Do wait until she’s had her first immunizations. While piercing should be a sterile procedure, it will leave an open wound that can get contaminated. Being immunized against tetanus is a basic precaution that everyone needs.

-Don’t pierce older infants (in general). If your baby is between 3 and 12 months, you may want to wait. No piercing professional in their right mind would pierce a baby who is as mobile and easily distracted as this age group can be. On the other hand, most toddlers actually do quite well with new piercings, even though they do tend to fiddle and fidget with other things. Once the earrings are in, they likely won’t even notice them.

-Do use a professional piercing studio, preferably one that’s a member of the Association of Professional Piercers.

-Don’t use the kiosk in the mall or even your doctor’s office. Yeah, that’s right. Don’t come to me. Because doctors and the mall kiosk use the same system – the piercing gun. While most ears turn out okay with this method, the bad ones are disastrous. Go with the needle.

-Do listen to the piercing studio’s advice on care, even if it’s different from what the mall kiosk lady told you. They know what they’re doing. Think about it this way – they pierce genitals and can keep that site clean and get it to heal. I think they can handle your baby’s ears.


At the end of the day, ear piercing is cosmetic. For me, that means I have zero tolerance for risk because there’s truly no medical benefit. Just like any cosmetic procedure, be sure to educate yourself and seek care somewhere reputable.

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