When should girls get their ears pierced?

I got my ears pierced at the ripe-old age of 12. It, or the piercing, happened on my birthday and was a big deal. My mom told me about the big plan the night before, so I remember waking up that morning and feeling like I was crossing into something BIG. Womanhood? Hmm. Yeah, maybe that was it. Or, maybe it was the next step from womanhood, or young womanhood. I don’t know. I just knew that getting my ears pierced at 12 was not to be taken lightly.

I remembered my “piercing” day, years later, when a woman at Target asked me if I had plans to get my, then, seven week old daughter’s ears pierced.

“Umm, I hadn’t thought about it,” I said. And, really, I hadn’t thought about ear piercings along with the hundreds of other things on my brain as a new mom.

“Oh, well, I got my daughter’s ears pierced at four weeks old,” she said. I had to because everyone thought she was a boy.” She laughed then and continued to say that I didn’t need to worry about earrings for my girl because she was “pretty.”

I think I said “Uh. OK.”

I didn’t get my daughters ears pierced then and, now at two, she doesn’t have her ears pierced. Neither does her younger sister, who is six months.

My decision to not get their ears pierced is somehow strange to most. Since the woman I first met in Target, I’ve been asked over and over and over again about ear piercings for my girls.

Ear piercings, I guess, are not a big deal. And they are, in the bigger picture of it all, not a big deal. They are what many think little girls should do to embark upon girlhood properly. But, I don’t know, to me, ear piercings are kind of a big deal. At this point in their lives, I have other things on my brain, or managing mealtime messes and potty training.  Oh, and I really don’t want to have to care for their piercings on top of everything else that comes with the territory of motherhood. I’m not ready yet and neither are they. I get “this,” now it’s just getting everyone else to get “this.”

 What do you think about girls and ear piercings? When is the right age to get a first piercing? Or, is there a right age?


  1. Michelle says

    We won’t let our daughter get her ears pierced until she is old enough to care for them herself. Like you said, there’s lots of other things to worry about/do when they are young, so why add one more thing that isn’t necessary? So, when my daughter gets older and she asks if she can have her ears pierced we’ll sit down and talk about. Then if her dad and I agree that she’s responsible enough to care for them with little supervision from us then we’ll do it. If not, then she’ll have to wait a little bit longer.

  2. Danae T says

    I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was in my 20’s my mom said if I would have asked more than the one time she would have let me but I guess I just wasn’t that interested. Now I have two girls age 22 months and 7 months and I have no intention of letting them get their ears pierced until at least 12 years old. My friend had her daughters ears pierced at a very young age because she had basically no hair and was tired of people asking if she was a boy. In my case my older daughter had a ton of hair so there was never a question and now with my younger daughter I find other peoples opinions just don’t matter that much to me any more. With three kids and going back to school full time I have a lot of other, more important things to worry about than what a random person thinks about my children or my choices.

  3. Tania says

    Pediatricians recommend to do it after the two months vaccines.
    I think it’s better to do it as babies as they don’t hurt as much as the cleaning and maintenance
    Is easier and faster healing.

  4. Elizabeth says

    I got mine done when I was younger, I don’t even rem when but I know I asked to get them done. I did the same thing with my daughter, she asked, so for her 4th birthday thats what she got. She has done grat with them, and even reminded me (when they were new) to clean them.

  5. Amanda says

    I too had mine done around age 12 and it was a big deal. I had been asking for a long time, but my parents felt it was necessary for me to be able to care for them myself and make sure I really wanted it done. Now I rarely wear earrings, just for special occasions and my holes never seem to close up. I have three sons and I am very traditional so I hope none of them ask for it. If I had a daughter, I would make her wait also.

  6. Jessica says

    I had mine done around the age of 6, then they hurt too bad and I took them out. We re-pierced them at 8, same story. The cycle continued until I was about 12. I envied the girls who got their ears pierced when they were babies! It was a pretty traumatic chain of events for me and even now my holes close up if I don’t wear earrings constantly. Although, I really can’t say that if I had a daughter i’d pierce her ears right away, but I’d think about it. Like you said, I wouldn’t want to add anything to a long list of things that need looking after.

  7. Kim says

    I my self have have 10 ear peircing, and have a 18 month old so I get asked this alot too. I got my first ear piercing for my 10th birthday. I plan on waiting till 10 for my daughter, possible a little sooner if she askes about it and will be able to take care of them her self.

  8. Tawna Alvey says

    Well I won’t be getting my girl’s ears peirced (ages 2 & 2 mos) until they are 16… religous reasons. I really don’t want to get them done at all but hubby thinks it should be their choice at 16. So I said okay 16 will be the age if they choose to do so. I was 1 yr. old & my big sister had mine done obviously I had no choice, if I were older & had a choice I don’t think I would have gotten mine done at all.

  9. Kristy says

    We also believe that ear piercing is a big event in a girls life and are waiting too. It is weird to me how many people ask if we are pier ing our little ones ears. We got the question with our now 4 year old and we get the question with our 4 month old. I want to wait until my girls ask for them and make it a special day. My ears were pierced at 2 months and I never wear earrings now. They weren’t a big deal to me growing up and I never really wore them. Also, with three kids 4 and under, I don’t want to add ear cleaning to my lst!

  10. Ianina Bognanni says

    I am from Argentina and as Anahi said, it is customary there to have them done while in the hospital.
    My 11 month old twin girls had it done when they were 1 day old. A lot of people here in USA ask me about it all the time.

    I had my second hole pierced when I was a teenager

  11. Ashlee says

    We thought we’d wait til our girls were older to get their ears pierced but we also agreed to wait til they actually asked… Surprisingly our nearly 3 year old has been asking for them since she was 18 mo. So… For her third birthday next month we are going to get her ears pierced, with a professional piercer (no guns or malls for us). Her 4 month old sister… Well… We’ll see, we will wait til she asks.

  12. KA says

    I’m hoping to wait until she’s at least 10 (she’s now 2). I was 8, and I remember having issues of them getting infected or sore, probably because I didn’t care for them as best as I should have. I don’t want to have to care for the piercings, and I want her to be mature & responsible enough to care for them. I know others who have waited until their daughters were 10 – it’s a good way to embark becoming double digits in age! :) Then again, a lot can happen in the next 8 years, so I’ll wait until it’s brought up by my daughter and assess the situation at that point. :)

  13. Erin Harris says

    I got mine done when I was four. I remember it being really special because my big sister didn’t have HERS done when she was four. My mom’s rule of thumb, and I guess mine too, is when your daughter asks, it’s time. If she understands it’s going to hurt, and she still wants to do it, then go for it!!

  14. Anahi says

    My Mom is from Argentina and when she was born it was (and may still be) customary for the doctor to pierce your baby’s ears before you left the hospital. My Mom had her ears pierced when she was 3 days old, I had mine done before 6 months and added my second hole when I was 11. I don’t think there is one ‘right age’ to do it, you should do it when you feel comfortable doing it.

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