Ear Piercing


Is 4 weeks old to early to have my daughter's ears pierced? My Grandma thinks I should wait until she's 4-5 months old so she won't pick at them. I think that at 4 weeks old, she doesn't have a clue as to where or what her ears are, as opposed to a 4-5 month-old baby, so I would rather have it done now.

Dr. Greene's Answer

I wouldn’t be concerned about a 4-week-old pulling at her ears. Nevertheless, I am a fan of waiting just a bit for ear piercing. My reason?


Even though the disease is not very common (thanks to immunizations), the tetanus bacteria is everywhere. It usually enters the body through puncture wounds.

I would prefer that a baby have at least one (better two) tetanus shots behind her before her big day. The first tetanus shot is usually given at the 6 to 8 week old checkup; the second at the 4 month checkup. Waiting until then would put the event at 3-5 months old for most kids. Also, babies are better able to handle the more common minor skin infections they might get once they are more than 3 months old.

Last medical review on: May 14, 2008
About the Author
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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