How to Change a Belly Bar For the First Time

How to change a belly bar for the first time

Once your belly button piercing is healed up you will most likely want to start experimenting with different bars.

In order to do this you obviously need to know how to change your belly bar for the first time.

When your piercing is still fresh you have to be extra careful with it, so carefully follow the instructions I am giving you here. This way you will not experience any problems and all will go smoothly!

Note: Wash your hands using warm water and anti-bacterial soap before you even touch your piercing!

Sterilize your new jewelry

Crystal belly barsIt is good practice to always sterilize newly purchased jewelry before you put it in your body.

Yes, the jewelry will already have been sterilized but just to be sure, you should do a home sterilization on it first.

The best method for doing this is by boiling the jewelry.

Here is the boiling method:

  1. Place your jewelry in a bowl or cup of boiling hot distilled water
  2. Leave it there for at least half an hour
  3. Dry the jewelry using a disposable towel or tissue. Do not use a household towel or cloth as these can harbour bacteria.

See the other sterilization methods here.

Cleanse the piercing

Saline SolutionThere are also a few methods for cleansing your belly button piercing.

I am going to explain using saline solution as it is most convenient and is also effective.

First off, to make your saline solution, you will need to stir half a teaspoon of sea salt into a glass of luke warm water (preferably distilled).

There are two ways to apply the saline solution to the piercing.

The suction method:

  1. Create a suction seal between the rim of the cup and your skin
  2. Lean back to allow the saline solution to bath your skin.
  3. Stay in this position for 10 minutes or more so the salt gets time to sterilize the area. You may wish to lay down (on your back).
  4. Dry using a paper towel

Using a cotton pad:

  1. Soak a cotton pad in the saline solution (do not use cotton wool as the fibres can get caught on your jewelry).
  2. Using the soaked cotton pad, wipe the saline solution all around your piercing and jewelry. Be very gentle when doing this as you piercing may still be a bit tender, even if it is healed.
  3. Dry your piercing using a paper towel.

For  more tips on cleansing your belly button piercing, read these belly button piercing aftercare instructions.

Loosen and remove your current jewelry

Dangly Belly BarWith one hand grab the bottom ball of your jewerly and hold it in place. Now, with the other hand twist the ball on the top to the left (anti-clockwise).

Now once you have removed the top ball, carefully slide the jewelry out through the hole in a downward motion.

Do not pull too hard or force it as the thread could catch on your skin and cause damage to your piercing.

If your piercing is less than two months old the inside might still have some healing to do, even if it appears healed from the outside.

Insert new belly bar

Blue crystal belly barYou will first need to remove the bottom ball of your new belly bar.

Now line up your new barbell with the top of the hole above your belly button. If you have not removed your old jewelry yet, you could line up your new jewelry with the old jewelry just before you push it through completely.

Now push the jewelry down through the hole, gently and slowly. Do not use force, it should go though fairly easily without hurting you much at all.

If the jewelry does not come out the other side, wiggle it about and adjust the angle of it until it emerges from the bottom of your piercing.

You may want to apply some water to the jewelry or the piercing itself to help lubricate it.

If you can only remove the top of the jewelry for whatever reason, just follow these steps but pushing up through the hole instead of down.

secure the jewelry

Once you have pushed the jewelry all the way through, you will need to screw the ball back on.

Turn the ball to the right to tighten it up.


lefty loosey, righty righty”

Screw the ball onto the jewelry as tight as it will go so it does not fall off. You don’t want to lose your jewelry after all, do you?


Learning how to change a belly bar for the first time can be fiddly due to the small parts and the position of the piercing.

Don’t worry though as you will get the hang of it with a bit of time and some practice.

Besides it will be worth learning how to do this so you can wear whatever jewelry you want in your naval piercing.

There is some beautiful and unique jewelry you can buy. There is something out there for everyone, no matter what your style or taste.

I hope you found this article helpful!

Tell us about your experience from your first time changing your belly bar by leaving a comment below. Don’t forget to share this with your friends!

Check out the Internet’s Best Selection of Belly Jewelry Right Here!

Peace out.


15 Comments on How to Change a Belly Bar For the First Time

  1. Hannah,

    I did not know anything about Belly Button rings or how to change them out for the first time until I read your post. I have not yet got the courage up to get one, but am definitely getting educated on it so when I do I will know what to do. Thank you so much for really explaining the process of sterilizing the jewelry, and how to clean the belly button area.

  2. Hi there,

    This page looks great. I found the content really easy to read and the images break it all up nicely.
    I actually sent the link to my sister who is considering changing her belly ring for the first time. She said it was really helpful, so thanks for writing it!

  3. hi Hannah
    another great post on cleaning and and changing jewelry. I have read most of your posts on the topic and it seems like saline solution is the way to go! I would probably use a cotton pad for this one as it is more convenient. When you said not to pull or push too hard if your jewelry was difficult to put in or take out, it reminded me of a particular experience i had. When I was a teenager, I had to go for x-rays of my sinuses. Well once I got there, the attendant asked me to remove all my jewelry including all 6 earrings I had at the time. I had 3 holes on each side and the highest one, I had never removed the earrings from it. We are talking years here. Man did it hurt!! Skin had basically grown all around the earrings, sealing them in. Tears were running down my face when I finally got them out. Lesson here: always take out your jewelry frequently to clean and sterilize!

    • Hey Emily!

      I use saline solution often and it’s one of the best methods for cleansing that I’ve tried. I like the fact that it’s so easy and cheap too!

      Yes, skin growing over the jewelry is very sore, makes it a nightmare to get it out. We learn from our mistakes though, right? I had similar problem years back when I left one of my first helix piercing to get a bit crusty. Luckily I learnt my lesson and will not let that happen again!

      Cheers for reading.

  4. I don’t have a belly piercing, but I hope these tips can work with other piercings. I have a cartilage piercing that took almost ten months to heal. I also have an eyebrow piercing.

    One time I forgot to sterilize my piercing and a few days later my ear was red. I agree that even though new piercings are already sterilized, it’s still a good idea to sterilize them again to be safe.

    Thanks for your saline solution recipe… I wrote it down.


    • Hi Diana.

      These tips can work for any type of piercing. Just make sure to keep all your piercings clean and there should be no more problems with them.

      I’m really glad you found my site helpful. Saline solution is the best thing for sterilization. Always good to have some sea salt near by.


  5. I’m so glad you mentioned sterilising the new jewelry when you get it. Otherwise, you could easily get an infection, and you really don’t want that!

    But I also wonder, do these kinds of piercings get germs around them over time anyway? Is it best to regularly take them out and give everything a good clean again?

    I do like the colors of those items in that picture, though, with all the different colors. Maybe you could have a different color each week, and changing it gives you the opportunity to clean it?

    • Hi Marcus.

      I like to make sure I include all the most important information so I’m glad you found this useful.

      To answer your first question, piercing do naturally get germs on them over time, if they are not cleansed frequently enough. Even old piercings need cleaning, even once they are healed up. This is the best way to avoid germs building up and causing infection.

      There is an awesome selection of colours, that’s for sure. Yes, taking the jewelry out does give you a chance to clean it.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope I have answered your questions.

  6. Thank you so much for the info and I think there is big need for info on how to handle piercings the correct and safe way. My wife always had a sensitive skin and was advised not to use piercing but of course didn’t listen but. The problem is that after the piercing was removed since it was always black around it. So it closed again but there is always still a black spot now, What could we have done different that time to prevent that from occurring. Thanks

    • Thanks very much Cees.

      Sorry to hear that your wife has had so many problems with her piercing. Unfortunately some people’s skin type just doesn’t handle it very well.


  7. Man I wish I knew people like you in my less flabby uni days!

    My niece has just asked my sister for a belly bar and because I’m some kind of expert (because I had a belly ring for about 6 months in 2001) Kooky uncle Jimmy got the job of doing all the research!

    Thanks for the info but no doubt my sis will freak out as soon as my niece gets it done! 😀

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