5 Tips for Piercing Your Child's Ears Without the Drama

Jeanne Sager | Jun 27, 2013 Big Kid

getting ears piercedI still remember when I got my ears pierced. I was 7, and I cried like an over-sized baby. It was such a disaster that I very nearly walked around with just one ear pierced for the rest of my life. Needless to say, this was the memory dancing around my head when we took our 8-year-old daughter to the pediatrician recently to get her ears pierced.

I shouldn't have been worried. My daughter's ear piercing elicited a few tears, but by and large, it was drama-free ... the very opposite of my first time (yes, I recovered and went back at 16 for another set of holes).

So how did we do it? How did we manage to make this major milestone a happy moment instead of the sobfest it could be?

Careful planning! I'd like to say it was all just pure dumb luck that kept her from throwing a fit, but nope ... my husband and I put a lot into making sure big moment went smoothly.

But hey, it paid off! We're more than a week in, and she's still over the moon that we let her get her ears pierced, and they're looking healthy.

Have you let your child get her ears pierced yet? What are your tips to make it go smoothly?


Image by Jeanne Sager

  • Tips for Piercing Kids Ears Without Drama

  • Let Them Beg for It


    We probably could have pierced our daughter's ears years ago (I know some families do it when their children are just a few days old), but I'm convinced waiting so long was a big key to our success.

    Not only was she old enough to understand what was going on, but she'd been asking to have her ears pierced for over a year now. In fact, we were really at the pediatrician for her yearly visit and I almost forgot to ask him about piercing. She was so excited, she reminded me that we needed to ask him.

  • Make Them Earn It


    This doesn't have to mean financially! We paid for our daughter's piercing.

    But one of my biggest fears was that she'd get her ears pierced happily but not be able to deal with the six weeks of upkeep that comes after the fact, especially because she's rather ... messy. We wanted her to show that she is able to maintain something.

    So we made a rule: you can't get your ears pierced until you've kept your room clean for two straight months.

    This did double duty. It prepared her to maintain something and also made the payoff for doing a good job that much sweeter.

    Oh, and her room is also a heckuva lot cleaner.

  • Go to the Pediatrician


    I've heard horror stories about the mall piercing from parents over the years. The scariest one came from a mom who said the piercing gun used at the mall kiosk jammed when the earring was only halfway through her daughter's ear! The clerk didn't know what to do, and her daughter was traumatized.

    Using our pediatrician was a lot safer, and I didn't have to worry about him bungling it. If something DID happen, we knew a medical professional would be best to deal with it. 

  • Choose a 'Shaped' Earring


    The pediatrician said to do one half of a turn twice a day. Thank goodness we opted for heart earrings, because the shape actually allows us to gauge whether she's done a "half" turn or not. A round ball would make that pretty much impossible.

  • Get a Piercing Gel for Cleanings


    The actual piercing isn't the only drama zone. A typical ear piercing has to be cared for to ensure it heals properly.

    We're more than a week into the six-week-maintenance regime, and I've found cleaning gel is a godsend. The cotton balls of alcohol we used back in the day ended up getting stuck in the stud and often stung. A little dab of gel is easy to apply, doesn't require actually touching the earring, and is pleasantly cooling.

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