You’re ready to pierce your baby’s ears, or maybe you already have. Before you swap her earrings out for one of the many adorable styles there are to choose from, you need to find the best earrings for babies. As a parent, for the health of your baby, you want to ensure that your baby’s piercing is done safely and properly cared for afterwards to keep any discomfort at bay. This starts with understanding and finding the right type of baby earrings to suit your little one.
In your search, remember that there’s a little more to it than just cute shapes and colors when looking for baby earrings. You also want to focus on kid-friendly features and the type of materials used.
So, if you’re ready to adorn your baby’s ears in style, here’s a quick look at what to search for when choosing your baby’s earrings, and why we recommend genuine gold or silver earrings for your baby.
Why baby earrings are not the same as adult earrings
The best earrings for babies are designed exclusively for a baby’s ear. First, you’ll see that they are noticeably smaller than earrings for an adult. They generally have shorter posts because of the size of your baby’s ear, are lightweight so they don’t weigh little ears down, and have backings designed with extra measures to keep them in place for a more secure fit.
The differences help to prevent babies from having discomfort because the earring is too heavy, or the post scratches them, or they pull it apart and it gets lost. Direct supervision is always a good recommendation with any type of jewelry for children under 3 years of age, the small parts can create a choking hazard.
So, as you can see it’s important to ensure you get earrings that are designed just for babies. Here’s what to look for.
What to look for when selecting your baby’s earrings
There are three things you should focus on when buying your baby’s earrings, whether it’s your baby’s first earring or not:
- Material - hypoallergenic is best
- Size - petite and lightweight
- Design - screw back preferable
Let’s delve in further to understand the importance of these key factors.
Materials: Precious Metals. Why you should buy gold or sterling silver earrings for your baby
We highly recommend earrings made using precious metals with a higher gold content, specifically 18k or 14k gold earrings for a baby or rhodium-plated high-quality sterling silver earrings. Your baby’s ears are sensitive, and only premium quality earrings should be used.
Understanding hypoallergenic metals for baby jewelry
Understanding the metals used in jewelry making is important when it comes to choosing earrings for babies. And here in California where we are based, there are regulations governing jewelry making for babies. It covers the types of metals and other components allowed in earrings made for babies.
In California, the CA Department of Toxic Substances Control ( DTSC) summarizes the lead, cadmium, and other requirements for baby earrings contained in the CA Metal-Containing Jewelry law. It specifies the types of materials allowed for jewelry making and restrictions for lead and makes special provisions for children’s jewelry. For example, lead, nickel, and cadmium are toxic at certain levels and will likely cause an allergic reaction in your baby’s skin.
The post and base of the earring sit directly on your baby’s skin. So, these parts of the earring must be made from hypoallergenic metals to avoid an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, many inexpensive earrings may contain higher levels of nickel and even possibly lead or cadmium in the post and base. These materials, specifically high amounts of nickel, will likely irritate a baby’s – and even some adult’s – skin, causing the skin to become red and inflamed with a painful and annoying itch. This is called contact dermatitis, where they have an allergic reaction to the materials.
So, it’s a good idea to be sure that the type of jewelry you get does not contain these substances or at very minimal amounts at the very least. Wherever you plan to buy your baby’s jewelry from, make sure to check that they are adhering to at least the minimum standards for your baby’s health. Precious metals with a karat gold content of 14k or higher and sterling silver are a safe choice to avoid these issues.
Apart from the use of toxic substances, certain types and grades of metals are better suited for a baby.
Types of hypoallergenic metals for baby earrings
The best types of metals for baby earrings are the ones that don’t irritate the skin. These can include gold, sterling silver, or surgical stainless steel.
Gold Earrings: Gold earrings should be of high quality. The higher the karat content, the less likely there will be other components that will cause irritation or an allergic reaction. 14K earrings for babies is an excellent option. It has usually has enough karat gold to avoid reactions mixed with the benefits of other metals for durability. For very sensitive skin you may want to consider 18k gold.
Sterling Silver: Silver is another precious metal considered to be hypoallergenic and makes a good choice for baby earrings. As with gold, silver alone is a soft metal. Sterling silver is made up of 92.5% silver – look for the 925 hallmark stamp – and typically will not cause skin irritation for most people. Yet, silver is prone to tarnish and will require a little maintenance to keep it looking nice. For our children’s silver earrings, we use sterling silver coated with a rhodium layer to prevent tarnishing – giving the earrings lasting shine.
Stainless Steel: A durable and hygienic material often used for ear piercing jewelry. Stainless steel can be a hypoallergenic metal and a lower cost option you may consider for your baby. However, this metal can be made up of several different metal alloy combinations so just make sure it doesn’t contain a high amount of nickel as it is not uncommon in some stainless-steel jewelry.
Titanium: A very strong metal often used in piercing jewelry as well as medical implants. Titanium is a hypoallergenic metal that does not contain nickel making it a good choice for those with ultra-sensitive skin. This metal is less expensive than precious metals such as gold but the design choices are a bit limited.
Size of the earring
What size earring should you buy for a baby?
They should be lightweight and not too heavy for your baby’s ear. Earrings for babies are also much smaller as you may have noticed. Typically, earrings with sizes ranging anywhere between 3mm-4mm makes for a better fit for babies and toddlers. Another important thing to look are the size of the posts as well! This is often overlooked, earrings designed for babies and children should have shorter posts then those designed for adults. Shorter posts combined with covered earring backs are much more comfortable for little ones.
Design of the earring. What makes an ideal design for babies?
SCREW BACK VS. BUTTERFLY BACK
Butterfly backs, also known as friction backs or push backs, are popular because of the ease with which you can slide the back onto the earring’s post. They’re easily recognizable because the backing loops back onto itself like a butterfly. If you are looking for ease and convenience this style may be considered, yet they are not as secure as a screw back style earring. So, what exactly is a screw back earring and what should you look for?
Screw back earrings are made so that the earring back twists onto the post which has a threaded design. This allows you to screw the earring back into place where it stays firm and secure making it very difficult for babies or toddlers to remove. A great design for little ones, right? Absolutely! But not all screw back designs are created equal. For example, some screw back earrings do not have a covered back which leaves the earring post exposed. This type of screw back earring may poke your baby behind her ear. The more preferred screw back style for baby earrings is designed with a covered earring back so it protects the earring post from causing any discomfort or irritation behind your baby’s ear. Our screw back earrings are all designed with covered screw backs and is not at all uncomfortable.
Screw-back earrings are the most popular types for babies for a reason, and especially covered screw back earrings. Let’s recap some of the pros of screw back earrings.
- Difficult to remove: This is a very good thing for babies and toddlers who may play with their earrings. You want to make it difficult for them to remove it on their own.
- Hard to lose: You know how often you lose a butterfly or push-on earring back and how annoying it is trying to find another one. With a screw back, your baby won’t accidentally lose a back very easily while it’s in. Although they should still be checked regularly to be sure they secure.
- Added safety: Covered screw back earrings are one of the safer choices for baby jewelry. When screwed on properly, it’s difficult to remove decreasing the chance of it becoming a choking hazard.
However, all things in life do come with both pros and cons — and screw back earrings are no exception after all. Keep in mind it is still possible to lose earring backs even with a screw back design. They still need to be checked regularly to ensure they are on securely. Also, if the earring backs are over-tightened or pulled off the post, it can strip the threads and the backs will no longer work. So as with all things, bear in mind screw back earrings still require some diligence and care on your part.
STUDS VS. HOOPS - WHICH STYLE DO YOU PREFER?
Photo: Rose Gold Huggies
Studs versus hoops is a style preference. Hoops are classic and make a beautiful accessory for your little girl. If deciding on hoop earrings, as with other earrings, just remember to check the closure regularly to ensure they are on securely.
Studs are often preferred for babies because of the endless amount of cute designs available and they do offer a bit more security. If your preference is a hoop style earring, make sure it sits very close to the ear lobe. They should be similar to our huggie hoops earrings, which are designed to hug tiny earlobes to avoid getting snagged on anything. Remember comfort is key!
READY TO SHOP!
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to choose your baby’s earrings. Have fun looking at the many designs. And with your new-found knowledge, you can make sure to stay within the safe zone for your beautiful baby. Happy shopping!
The Jeweled Lullaby