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Baby Earrings: Is infant piercing safe?

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Hazel Caingcoy · Updated Mar 31, 2023

    Baby Earrings: Is infant piercing safe?

    Piercing the earlobe is a cultural practice for us Filipinos. You can even trace it back to our ancestors. It’s done so that earrings can be attached to the earlobe. It is a common practice for parents to pierce the earlobes of their children while they are still babies. It is more common for baby girls to undergo piercing than baby boys. Although piercing is relatively not dangerous, doing it on babies has sparked some controversies on whether or not it is safe to do so. Are baby earrings safe?

    Piercing is the practice of putting a hole in the edge of the ear or on the earlobe so that earrings can be attached. One usually usually do it with the use of a piercing gun or traditionally, a needle. 

    Baby Earrings: Risks of Piercing 

    Piercing a baby’s ears depends on the parent. They can choose to have the baby’s ear pierced as early as 4 months old. But they can also opt to do it later.

    Before choosing baby earrings, here are some things to consider:  


    Piercing is safe if done correctly. But if you do it in the wrong area of the ear, or when the tools are not clean, then it can pose a huge risk on the baby.

    Complications of baby earrings or piercings include:

    Contact Allergies

    The baby might be allergic to some metals present in the jewelry and might lead to them having allergic reactions. Allergies to nickel are the most common. 

    Bloodborne disease

    If the equipment used in the procedure was not sterile, it might lead to the baby getting infected with bloodborne diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, and tetanus. 

    Skin Infection

    Bacteria can enter the wound if you do not treat it properly. It can then cause irritation or even infection. If a baby gets a fever from the piercing, admission to the hospital might be necessary.

    Time of Healing 

    A piercing takes about 6 weeks or more before the wound heals. The parent has to take care of the wound to avoid any infection. At this point, the baby might also experience pain and irritation from the wound.

    Benefits of Piercing a Baby’s ears

    Piercing is risky especially if one did not do it correctly. But there are some benefits to piercing a baby’s ear other than aesthetics.

  • They won’t remember the pain – It will be painful for the baby but it is not a pain that they will remember as they grow older.
  • Easier to get pierced – It is easier to bring a baby to have their ears pierced than to bring a child who might already be aware of the pain that they will go through. If you do the piercing at the age of 3 and above, they are most likely going to fear the procedure. They will also be fully aware of the irritation brought by the piercing.
  • Less prone to later infections – Compared to babies, children are more likely to fiddle with their earrings with dirty hands which makes them more prone to later infections. 
  • Tips on Safe Piercing

    If parents do decide to have their baby’s ear pierced, here are some tips to remember:

    • Have it done by a professional – Have the piercing done in a sterile and safe environment possibly by a healthcare professional or experienced technician. Some medical clinics offer ear piercings. Make sure that the tools are sterile and the person doing the piercing is using gloves. Avoid doing any traditional methods of piercing on a baby such as manual piercing as these methods are very risky. 
    • Use gold or any hypoallergenic baby earrings – To lessen the likelihood of allergies, using sterling silver or gold stud baby earrings is the best option. Avoid using earrings with nickel as this can commonly cause irritation and allergies. 
    • Do not get your baby pierced if they have autoimmune disease – If the baby has a weak immune system or a disease that might worsen if they get sick, avoid getting them pierced. It would be best to consult a doctor first before piercing your baby’s ears. 
    • Clean the baby’s ears – It takes about 6 weeks before the wound heals. While it is still healing, the parent must clean it with soap and water. They can apply antibiotic ointment on the earlobe without removing the baby earrings upon the advice of the doctor. Parents should do it especially during the first few days after the piercing.
    • Rotate the baby earrings every day – It is advised that the first pair of earrings should not be removed for at least 4 weeks to avoid the piercing from closing. During the 4 weeks, rotate the baby earring every day to keep it from adhering to the skin while it is healing. And keep them wear the initial pair for 6 months. 

    Key Takeaways

    Piercing is a traditional practice that enables the attachment of the earrings to the earlobe. This is a practice that is done not just in adults but also in infants. Piercing is generally safe. But it can be risky especially when you do it to a baby. It is because they cannot take care of the wound by themselves.

    Having a profession do the piercing and doing it in a sterile environment significantly reduces the risk of infections. Parents should also take time to clean the ear and provide a good pair of hypoallergenic earrings to avoid any infections or allergic reactions. 


    Learn more baby care tips here. 


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jezreel Esguerra, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Hazel Caingcoy · Updated Mar 31, 2023

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