So every mommy has their own opinion on this matter. Should you wait until your child can decide for themselves? Or have their ears pierced when they are too young to remember?
My opinion has changed slightly over the years. This due to personal experience. I used to think it was unnecessary. Not child abuse, just unnecessary to put your little baby through that pain for your own personal preference. But after my first daughter was born, I was practically forced by my (lovely) mommy-in-law to have her ears pierced when she was just two months old. It broke my heart to hear her cry like that, but after literally one minute she calmed down and snuggled back to sleep.
I remember when I got my ears pierced (at 8 years old) it was very traumatic. Ok.. I might be over exaggerating, but still. So there I was, sitting in the chair in front of a large window for everyone to see. Looking at this scary looking gun that was ready for action. The thought of what was about to come was already giving me a cold sweat. But I knew it would be over soon. And BANG.. it was done! But instead of the lady then backing up to proudly look at her work, she started to yank at my ear because the machine had gotten stuck. This went on for a few minutes, but best believe the swelling and pain lasted for a few days.
Luckily everything went the way it was supposed to with my oldest. And I definitely had no regrets. So when my youngest turned three months we decided to get her ears pierced too. She also cried (very loud) for a minute or so and then calmed down. The healing went smoothly and she now looks even more adorable with her little diamond studs.
And more importantly she wont remember anything and she’ll never have to fear ‘the gun’.
Below you will find some tips and precautions you should keep in mind when deciding to pierce your child’s ears. These contain pure facts, but this is ultimately a personal decision that both parents should make together.
1. Where & how should you have your child’s ear pierced?
Always go to a reputable person to have this procedure done, this will insure a truly sterile environment and process. Ask you friends about their experiences and where they would recommend.
In the Netherlands where I live, the ears can be pierced in certain jewellery stores. But wherever you end up, make sure the technician washes their hands and puts on gloves. The immune system of small babies is still developing and creating an open wound leaves a slightly greater chance for infections if not cared for properly.
2. What material should the first earrings be & how long should these be worn?
It’s advised that your child’s first set of earrings should be 14 kt gold or surgical stainless steel. These metals are less likely to cause infection and swelling. Many people have allergies to other metals, such as white gold.
Keeping the first set of earrings in for at least 6 weeks will give time for the wound to heal completely.
3. How should you care for the newly pierced ears?
It is important to keep the child’s ears and earrings clean by cleaning them twice a day with a cotton ball dipped in either hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. The earrings should also be softly turned at least once a day to ensure a good shape of the wholes.
Never remove the earrings unless you have a replacement pair, because the wholes will start to close immediately.
It is advised to avoid swimming during the first 6 weeks, especially in lakes, public swimming pools and the ocean. This is to avoid any type of infectious bacteria getting into the open wound.
If you do decide to have your child get their ears pierced when they are old enough to want it themselves, I have a few tips for you to get them in the chair without being too terrified.
1. Bring the BFF
Having your child’s best-friend there might boost their confidence and there’s no way they’ll want to look like a big baby in front of their friend.
2. Prepare to bribe
This is one of those situations where parents have full liberty to bribe their child. Whether it be some new accessories to match the earrings, or dinner at their favourite fast food place. Whatever it takes to get the job done right?
3. Be honest
Explain the procedure to your child so they know exactly what to expect. Tell them they will feel a pinch when the piercing happens, but that it will only hurt a bit. Never lie and say it won’t hurt at all. And remind them that the pain is short lived, but the beauty will last forever!
And lastly, if your child isn’t allowed to have her ears pierced yet (or doesn’t dare), there are other options for them to jazz up their ears.
You could try self-sticking body jewellery. They come in lots of colours, shapes and sizes. But do keep in mind that they will only last a day (if that), so it’s probably best to get a bunch of them.
An other alternative are clip-on earrings. These can be rather uncomfortable after a while, so definitely advised for older children or teens. They can either gradually get used to them, or rock them for a short period of time to see if they like the look enough to actually get their ears pierced.
A great site for my dutch readers to find trendy clip-on earrings is deletterkraai.nl. They have a fun collection for different ages and at affordable prices.