Piercing A Baby's Ears

If you want to have your baby's ears pierced, where should you go and what is the safest procedure to follow?

When you throw out the topic of piercing an infant's ears to a group of parents, you will get bombarded with advice, encouragement and discouragement. Everybody has an opinion on whether or not a baby should get her ears pierced at such a young age. When my sister asked me to take my niece to the local mall to get her ears pierced at the ripe old age of three months, I shuddered. My initial reaction to a piercing on a baby so young was to say, absolutely not. But I took a step back and decided to research a little bit about who pierces infants, how they are pierced and how safe it is.

If you decide that your baby daughter should be pierced, what choices do you have as far as where to go? Many parents will simply whisk their young babies to the local mall where most popular jewelry stores will perform ear piercing with a piercing gun. You might also want to ask your pediatrician if he/she does ear piercing, as many often do. While it may sound a bit silly, you can also take your baby to a professional body piercer (these businesses usually deal in both piercing and tattooing).

Should you decide to take your infant daughter to the local mall to get pierced, you will find that most will simply use a piercing gun. The piercing gun is a plastic instrument which, when pressed up against the ear lobe and shot, causes an ear stud to be forced through the ear lobe. You will be told to turn your baby's earrings to allow the new hole to breathe a little better. While this is probably the least expensive way to get your baby's ears pierced, it is not always the safest. First, you must keep in mind that the people working in these mall jewelry stores can be anywhere from fifteen years old and up. The training on how to use the piercing gun is often done over the span of a few hours. The piercing gun does not get sterilized (as instruments used to poke holes into skin should) and, while the piercer may wear gloves, they are more for the piercer's protection than for your baby's. The chances of your baby getting an infection due to a piercing gun are much greater than if they got the piercing professionally done.

The best thing you can do is take your baby to her pediatrician (be sure to ask your pediatrician if they perform this service) or to a professional body piercer. Both will use needles that have been sterilized and will perform the procedure in a sanitary and sterile environment. Also, both have been thoroughly trained on how to minimize pain and prevent infection. The needle used to pierce your baby, although extremely sharp, will be much safer and a lot less painful than a piercing gun. Since you will be dealing with a professional, the jewelry that will be provided for your baby to wear will also be a lot more sterile and better for your baby's sensitive skin. Granted, you will not get the monetary "bargain" you would receive getting your baby's ears pierced at your local mall, but you will be getting a much more professional service done.

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