What is a good age to pierce a girl's ears? My DD is currently 7 weeks old, and I'm not running to do it tomorrow, but would like to know what is appropriate health-wise, and what precautions, and things to do b/f and after.
I'd wait. My mom waited and I asked for them when I was 4. She squirmed more at the piercing place than I did! My parents had to make sure I took care of them, but you would have to do that with a baby as well. I've never had a problem with them. That's what we're planning to do with all our kids.
Not all kids want them, though. I have a friend whose mom kept trying to convince her to pierce her ears but she just had no interest in it- she's in college and still doesn't.
I know in many cultures it is pretty normal to pierce a baby's ears (to make them look more feminine??). I think my cousins had theirs done as infants (European born). My husband is from Central America and it is pretty standard there as well. He said he wasn't really into it, if I wanted to wait and let our daughter decide...so we did...and believe me, a lot of people thought she was a boy because she had no hair until she was almost 3! Weird because she has the thickest head of hair now! He kept asking if she liked earrings and she said she wanted it done around age 4. I took her to the mall and she freaked out, so we waited. A few months later she said it again, so we did it. She cried pretty bad. I could tell one hurt more than the other because it got really red. I got some ice to put on it, and she was fine in a few minutes. Honestly, I think she was a bit young. They aren't balls, they are little flowers, and they do get caught on things occasionally. One time while rough-housing with cousins, one ripped out, but the ear didn't bleed or tear. She was so freaked out that she didn't want to put it back in and it was a major drama. No one is allowed to touch her earrings and she says she will never take them out. We have never taken them out to clean them in the two years she has had them!! Yuck! So far, no irritation or infection, so I guess it's OK to never take them out??? I got mine when I was 7 and they got infected and closed up. I may have tried to get them pierced one other time shortly after that...don't remember. A friend of mine had a piercing gun and did them for me when I was a teen, and I think that was the last time I had them done. I keep the same studs in every day and rarely take them out to clean them. I'm just not a big jewelry person.
I'm horrible at taking mine out to change/clean them, I've easily left them in for years at a time, and have never had a problem. There's some residue (no idea what it is) that builds up on them over time, but it's a tiny amount that you have to look for to notice. If she ever does change them, make sure that you clean the earrings before you put them away. Definitely keep an eye on them to make sure there's no signs of problems, but that should be okay.
I got my daughter's pierced when she was 5 - because she asked. Big mistake. She wasn't old enough to take care of them herself, and the weeks she was with her Dad, they didn't get taken care of. One was taken out, had to be repierced. I finally left it alone until she was older (12ish?) and she could take responsibility for it herself.
You could ask your pediatrician. Some docs are willing to do it and it's better than getting it done with a piercing gun (which can damage the tissue). Or you could call a professional piercer (who doesn't use a gun).
My nine year old daughter is planning to get hers' done for her tenth birthday; we have a friend who used to work as a piercer who is going to do it.
I had mine pierced as a baby, and I never considered it a problem, in fact, I loved being one of the first girls in school with *real* earrings. However, I also noticed that as I grew older, the holes migrated to the point were they were uneven and waaay too close to my head. Most people probably don't notice, but it still bugs me because when I wear certain styles, it scratches my skin behind my ears. In my culture (El Salvadoran latino) it is very common to do to babies, and all my cousins pierced their daughter's ears.
I think I will wait until she is older though, like maybe 7 or 8.
Either way, NEVER use a piercing gun. They are impossible to sanitize properly, and as someone pointed out earlier, often wielded by inexperienced retail clerks. Go to a doctor who uses a needle, or to a professional piercer with a good reputation.
I think I was 7 when I had mine done and I think that was a good age for me. My mom waited till I pestered her about it for a while and she felt I could follow the care instructions. Me and two of my girlfriends at the time went to get ours done together, it was a very neat experience, made us feel all grown up. I think it's a good idea to wait until the child can wait and ask for it (if they do).
Also, stay away from piercing guns if you can, getting it done with a needle is much better (sterile and by a professional, of course!).