Is your child ready for ear piercings?

Is your child ready for ear piercings? 

Ear piercing is a subjective topic. I am aware that some cultures choose to pierce ears very early in their children’s lives, but for us, it’s not something that is really done culturally and tends to be more of a “when a child is ready” type event. 

The subject of ear-piercing was avoided for a long time my teen was vehemently against the idea. She was interested because her two best friends at school both have pierced ears, and obviously, so do I and she’s seen me wearing earrings, but thanks to this clip from The Parent Trap, a movie which we’ve watched several times, she was horrified at the whole idea of making holes in her ears, and because I didn’t feel she was ready we have never pushed it. For me, it’s not my body and a child needs to feel they want the peirecing but also, more importantly, can clean and manage their new piercings. 

I had my ears pierced when I was eleven. My mother had always said I would have to wait until I was sixteen, and she herself didn’t get her ears pierced until she was an adult, and we were living in Thailand. I pestered and pestered her, until finally she caved in, and said that if my winter term school report was excellent, then she might think about it and take me to have it done. I worked like a trojan that term and produced the glowing school report (which I still have, my parents, kept all of them, it makes for hilarious reading) so she kept her end of the bargain and took me to the posh department store Central (Bangkok’s equivalent of John Lewis, is as close as I’d describe it) and I had my ears pierced. I don’t remember it hurting, I do remember my mother going a little pale and shaky and one of the sales assistants giving her a seat, though.

I was very proud of my new ear bling, but sadly, wasn’t as good at looking after them as I should have been, so I did end up with infections in both ears, and they were sore and yucky for a good while. They did eventually heal, and I’ve had pierce ears ever since. I have, in fact, pierce my own ears, in a similar way to the Lindsey Lohan/Parent Trap clip, when I decided I wanted more than one hole in each ear, and it did HURT and I think I screamed louder than she did in the clip. I have had no less than 6 holes in one ear and 4 in the other, at different times.

So when she finally decided she wanted her ears pierced, mostly motivated by the fact that two of her friends at school had had it done, and was nearly 10, we decided to let her. We opted to have it done at the start of the long school summer holiday, to give her ears a chance to heal. 

My criteria for her being ready was: 

She is old enough to understand why she mustn’t fiddle with them, or try to take them out before they were healed enough to be changed. 

She is old enough to manage the majority of the cleaning herself with help from me

She is ok with the process and the tools being used and able to stay calm during the piercing (we watched a YouTube video so she knew what would happen) 

She was able to fully consent to what was being done. 

Ear piercings can get infected and if your child isn’t old enough or is going to touch and fiddle with them a lot, or you aren’t prepared to help them keep them clean and safe whilst healing, then it may not be time to get them pierced even if you and your child think it will look pretty. One of my ear piercings became very badly infected, at one point, and had to be removed by a doctor and treated with antibiotics, as an adult. That’s not a nice or safe thing for a child to go through. 

Some children may find ear piercing traumatic and really are not ready. 

If your child isn’t ready, there are plenty of things they can do. Ear stickers, clip-on jewellery, or just reassurance that one day, when they are older and are ready and able they can have it done and that they don’t need earrings. 

It’s one of those things I never really thought about before I had children of my own, despite my memories of pestering my mum about it.

child ready for ear piercings?

Our ear piercing experience was mostly smooth and after a few issues with one of her ears she now wears earrings happily and steals my jewelry often…

She currently wants a second ear piercing in her ears. I am working on her dad being ok with that, and then we shall see…

What are your thoughts on children’s ear piercing?


Posted in Everything else and tagged ear-piercing, earrings, rituals.


  1. Both my girls were 5 months old when I took them to get their ears pierced… they cried a little because of the clicking sound the piercing gun makes (which is not even that loud) and calmed down right away with a bottle. I’ve read a lot of blogs like yours and I honestly don’t know what the big deal is (no offense). The cleaning is for only 10 days, twice a day (at least that’s what I was told with my 2 girls). I cleaned the hole and rotated the earrings every morning and before bedtime… 10 days flew by! My almost 3 yo lets me change her earrings and clean her ears whenever I tell her we have to do it, she doesn’t complain or says it hurts, and it’s low maintenance at this point. I came out of the hospital with ears pierced, that’s how it was done 31 years ago where I was born. Anyway, good luck whatever you decide πŸ™‚

    • Thanks. I think it is a cultural thing, I’ve nannied for families and also nursed for families who have had their babies ears pierced and don’t get what all the fuss is about. Having our ears pierced was a growing up thing for us, a sort of rite of passage, for my cousins and friends, whereas I know a lot of other families do it at a younger age. I have yet to persuade LSH that it’s a good idea, anyway, so we shall have to see. I need to go and check out how long it will take cleaning wise etc. I remember it seemed much longer when I was a child and when I did them myself as a teenager. I think we might wait til the summer next year, when she’s off school and they can heal up nicely but we shall see. Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  2. Here we can have it done at a place called Claire’s Accessories, where they do it with a gun, but to be honest, I’d be happier going to a proper piercing place where they do it professionally and not just over the counter, if you know what I mean? I’ve checked out a few places for getting my nose done, and have found a very reputable place, that we would use, if LSH is happy for me to let her have it done. We shall see, he’s not that keen! πŸ˜‰

  3. My mum made me get my ears pierced when I was about 10 years and I didn’t like it at all, I had to wear plasters to go swimming and do sports at school and it just made me feel weird. I think, if kids are up for it, then they should be allowed. Or if it won’t interfere with the child being able to participate in things at school.

    Maybe things are different now, as this was done about 325 years a go!

  4. I think you’re right it’s very important for them to really want them and be prepared to keep them clean. I got mine pierced when I was 8 and a second hole when I was about 12. My mum and nan both had ear piercings and I always wanted to be like them. I now have 19 piercings across my two ears and love them all x

  5. My ears were pierced when I was a few months old. I guess it is just the culture here, that baby girls have to have their ears pierced when they are still young. I had my daughter’s ears pierced when she was 6 months old.

  6. I have 15 ear piercings and all of them still open. Only 3 were done professionally, the rest were done mostly in maths class. I’m currently wearing 7 earrings this week. Child 4 wanted his ear pierced when he was 5, he wore it for a year only. Over here in Dubai several nationalities take their babies to get their ears pierced as babies. You can only get piercings done here at a medical facility. Thanks for linking with #pocolo

  7. Mine both had theirs done in a proper jewellers when they were little. One daughter was more scared than the other, she almost left with just one ear pieced lol.

  8. My daughters both had their ears pierced at the age of 6 months, in Indian culture this is normal. I took them to a local pharmacy and paid for platinum studs as they can be left without having to change them.We were both of them did not have any problems with them.

  9. I remember having my ears pierced at a jewellers when I was fifteen. I then had two more holes added, in each ear, at a later date. These were done in a department store. My sons never wanted to have their ears pierced but if they had I wouldn’t have minded! #pocolo

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