Is it Safe to Pierce Baby’s Ears? Facts and Myths


How to Safely Pierce Baby’s Ears?

In India, there are many communities, in which, not only baby girls but baby boys get ears pierced too. Though it’s usually on 12th day of birth according to the Hindu belief, doctors tell parents to wait till the age of 3 months to pierce the ears (i.e. after first DTP vaccine). As baby’s ear piercing is a prevalent practice in Indian culture, let’s try to understand what is the safe method and time to pierce baby’s ears.

Why do Parents Pierce Their Babies’ Ears?

In Indian culture, Karnavedha (ear piercing ceremony) is an ancient Ayurveda practice, which has both religious and health-oriented significance. As far as its religious significance is concerned, it is believed to be one of those 16 samskaras or sacraments that one should attain to symbolize cultural heritage and proper upbringing.
If we take its health benefits into consideration, it is a great practice to improve intestines’ health and reduces testicle swelling in baby boys. 1 in every 10 boys suffers from the swelling in testicles that leads to complication, later in their lives. This simple practice may help prevent it.
Other than this, ear piercing promotes proper brain development. As per Acharya Sushruta, our earlobes have meridian points. Meridian points are the points, where the left and right hemisphere of the human brain gets connected. Piercing activates them and helps in promoting right brain functioning.
These facts has got their medical backing as well.
Acupressure therapy supports the practice to pierce those meridian points to stimulate proper brain development.

How to Safely Pierce Baby’s Ear?

As we all know by now, ear-piercing is an ancient Indian practice, which has its own cultural and health benefits. The next big thing that comes to our minds is – How we should do it. Let us help you to find this out.
Usually, parents pierce their children’s ears on the 10th, 12th, or 16th day after the birth. However, doctors recommend performing it only after three months. Whether you are doing it after 12 days of birth or after three months of birth, the child is still an infant and more prone to get any sort of infection instantly. That is why, one should be conscious enough to choose the right method for baby ear piercing. In general, there are two ear piercing methods that can be used for babies:
Recommended Read: My Kids’ Experience of Ear Piercing.

Traditional Method

In this traditional ear piercing method, the jewelers use coconut oil over a thin gold wire. In the course of the procedure, they put coconut oil all over the fine gold wire and directly pierce it into the baby’s earlobe. As by 10th, 12th, or 16th days the ear lobe skin is very soft, it is pierced after little pressure leaving the baby crying because of the pain.
In some cases, the child gets swelling and puss around the ear lobe for 5-10 days. In recent years, after the discovery of sanitizer, they started sanitizing the gold wire. However, it is still not 100% safe and is not supported by doctors and scientists.

Safe and Modern Method: Ear Piercing Instrument

With the advancement in technology, this ancient practice has also got a modern makeover. Nowadays, ear piercing instruments or piercing instruments are better options for ear piercing. These are less painful, sterilized and doctor-recommended devices, which does the ear piercing in babies without any discomfort and infection. These days, leading pediatricians and ENT specialists use this device for baby ear piercing.
When my 2nd child was 4 months old, in Mumbai, I got his ears pierced by a pediatrician. The doctor used an ear piercing instrument called Studex. Studex is most popular safe ear piercing instrument. Its imported from USA.
studex baby ear

Some Myths about Baby Ear Piercing

Myth 1 – Ear piercing in babies is not harmful.

As it is an ancient practice in India, some people believe that it is not at all harmful. But, this is a myth. When not done properly and without medical supervision, baby ear piercing may leads to infection. Bleeding, infection and ear pain are the common issues with baby ear piercing with tradition piercing methods. Some babies may get swelling. Tenderness and drainage are other issues with the traditional ear piercing method as the sterilization is not so detailed and effective.

Myth 2 – You do not require any medical assistance for it.

Bound by customs, parents forget to seek for any medical supervision for baby’s ear piercing. They considered it more of a customary procedure rather than a medical procedure. However, it is not true. The fact is – this procedure also requires medical supervision to avoid any sort of infections. The ear piercing instrument on kids should only be used by a doctor with all proper safety measures.

Myth 3 – Medical science also supports it.

No. Medical science does not support ear piercing practice in babies as it doesn’t find any health benefits of doing so. However, it supports using the right aid to all those who are doing it.
Have we missed answering any questions related to ear piercing in babies?
If you think so, send us your question in the comment box. We try our best to clear your doubts related to this practice.
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About Author


An IT professional, a mom of two, Sapana had belly-only pregnancies in her life & has lost 15Kg weight twice. Along with fitness, Sapana is an expert in Indian names & has helped scores of Indian parents to shortlist suitable baby names by virtue of her years of expertise in Sanskrit origin names & logical approach towards cultures & trends during the name research. Drop a comment to get help from her.


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