Why I pierced my infant’s ears

One of my blogging friends just posted five reasons to NOT pierce a baby’s ears, so I told her I’m going to write a rebuttal: Why I pierced my infant’s ears. Luckily, neither one of us is one of “those moms” who attacks another for thinking differently. I don’t care her daughter’s ears aren’t pierced and she doesn’t care my daughter’s ears are.

I had my ears pierced at a couple of days old and my daughter had hers done at 6 months. I would’ve done it sooner, but I wanted a doctor to do it instead of a Claire’s employee, so I had to wait until they did it… and that was at 6 months.

baby-pierced-ears-today

So, to her reasons:

The child has no choice

You’re absolutely right. The child has no choice. That’s what I’m for. I make all kinds of decisions for her. Getting her ears pierced is one of them. (Could you imagine parents using this thinking for their son… who grew up wanting to be circumcised and making that decision for himself when he was old enough to comprehend what was happening? Ouch!) But at the end of the day, they are just little earrings. Not tattoos. (And trust me when I say this decision was not to make her look more like a girl. For that, she wore over sized bows and tutus.)

baby_big_bows_MM

It is a choking hazard

I guess it could be… like a lot of other things that can be found anywhere and everywhere. I don’t know what earrings other infants are wearing, but the ones I had didn’t leave my ears until I was playing with one in the 3rd grade and it fell off. My daughter is three now and they haven’t left her ears since they were put there. (And won’t for many more years to come.) That’s because of the backs I had and the backs she has. They are like screws. There is no exposed pointy part like adults have – it’s all covered by a back that screws on and off that makes it nearly impossible to come off unless you spend a few minutes unscrewing it.

Infliction of unnecessary pain

I’m sure it hurts. A little. For a second. But so do a lot of other things. Yes vaccinations hurt more, but they have a health benefit, so I agree – that’s different. I’m sure circumcisions hurt too (and some would argue those aren’t medically necessary.) But to be honest, my daughter didn’t even flinch when she got her ears pierced. Although, she was not happy about being held still. But that had nothing to do with pain. I think that’s just a 6-month-old thing.

Increased risk of infection

I think this is more of a reason to get ears pierced as an infant. It’s a parents job to clean them after they are pierced… it doesn’t take a lot to do and it doesn’t last long at all. Infections are caused when you mess with your earrings or wear a fake metal. As an infant, you don’t even know they are there, so you don’t mess with them. At 2 1/2 years old, my daughter first discovered she had earrings when she looked in the mirror. (She liked them BTW.) Then, she forgot they were there again.

Child’s lack of responsibility

Infants have no responsibility. My kids are my responsibility… hence my decision to get my daughter’s ears pierced and take care of them. 2 1/2 years later, we haven’t had one problem. I’d be hesitant getting a 10-year-old’s ears pierced for this reason and some of the ones above, but I think some things are easier and make more sense to be done as an infant and have no responsibility. At 18, I went to the mall and got a second hole put in my ears. Guess what? They got infected. (Probably because I was 18 and messed with them and didn’t clean them like I should have.)

baby-pierced-ears-why

I remember when Giselle Bundchen was called a child abuser for piercing her daughter’s ears. I think we can all agree that’s a tad dramatic… and something else not mentioned in this post – ear piercing differs from culture to culture. It’s huge in the Hispanic culture. My mom is Puerto Rican – hence my ears being pieced at a few hours old… and her dad pierced them with a needle! Don’t worry. He was a doctor. I’m fine… and still have both of my ears.

About Mascara Maven and More

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I'm a blogger, media specialist, and most importantly... mother of two! I operate my own business, Media Maven, specializing in media relations, video production, writing, blogging, and event & on-air hosting.

21 Comments

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  1. Great rebuttal, I was all concerned about the choking hazard but it sounds like you got that under control with the screw-tight earrings!

    Angela / Reply
    • Your worries with these backs is not being able to get them off, haha!

    • I just had my 21 month old daughter’s ears peecrid 3 weeks ago. She cried while it was being done, but has never played with them since having them done. She comes right to the counter twice every day when I tell her we have to clean her earrings. She loves to move her head from side to side to show them off to any admirers. I personally think people who say it’s barbaric and just for the mother’s sake are ridiculous. My daughter, myself, her daddy and even her twin brother all like the earrings her brother calls them pretties .If she doesn’t want them anymore when she gets older, she can take them out. If she wants more piercings, she just has to ask for them and help take care of them.And my son was circumcised at 10 months old since we could not do it since he was a preemie and there were issues we waited for him to grow out of. He was crawling around like nothing had happened a few hours later.Children have a higher threshold for pain than we think. They are not predisposed to thinking or knowing what pain feels like it is adults that put those thoughts in their heads.

      Open / Reply (in reply to Angela)
  2. I’m in agreement with you! Culture by culture it’s so different but I feel like it should be a parents choice either way. Iove The non- judgment of this post!

    Emmylee Alexandra / Reply
  3. I love that you blogged about this!!! I think your girl looks like a princess! I got my ear’s pierced early too.. I personally think it’s a cultural thing! Everyone got pierced EARLY! 🙂

    Constance / Reply
  4. If and when I have a daughter, her ears will be pierced. Mine were pierced when I was a baby and I wouldn’t hesitate to have my baby girl’s ears pierced either! NO need to judge either way…

    Aubrey @ 53weeks / Reply
    • Agree… love those little earrings!

    • Well, to each his/her own. But, I don’t mind that I had to decide for mylsef to do it when I was a teenager, since I wasn’t all that interested in accessories or fashion before that. After seeing the baby shriek whenever she gets a vaccination, it seems cruel to poke holes in her just to hang a decoration from it. Besides that, I think they are too young because they might grab it, pull on it, or get the earring pieces loose and swallow them. So, no I don’t think it’s a good idea, though I have seen it a lot. I’ve never understood the need for babies to accessorize beyond just being dressed appropriately for the weather. I don’t care if people mistake my bald-headed baby for a boy or ask what gender. Who cares. Her clothes are girly enough and the people she’s close to know she’s a girl. It doesn’t matter what strangers think.

  5. Love reading your blog and learning about your family. Loved hearing about your reasons for piercing your little girls ears. Think you were a smart mommy getting their ears pierced now when mommy can care for them, plus they look so darn cute with little earrings.

    I always dreamed of having a little girl with cute little pierced earrings. I was unsure doing it as an infant, but our pediatrician who encouraged me to do it and gave me some tips for mom having their babies and little girls ears pierced. There is nothing sweeter than a little girl with little pierced earrings poking through their hair
    especially with little pearls. Pearls are for little girls for sure. It makes them look so feminine and ingénue. Our daughter is six now and is girlie-girl and loves changing her earrings to match her dresses.

    Any moms looking for more research on “to pierce or not to pierce,” drop me an e-mail for our ped’s
    suggestions.

    Angie
    angietune@hotmail.com

    Angie / Reply
  6. I am 1/2 Colombian and echo the sentiments of many others – it’s cultural. Bottom line, this is what YOU wanted and for whatever your reason was, you made the choice (you didn’t mention you reason for wanting to piece your daughter’s ears at such a young age other than to spare her pain when she’s older). There really is no other reason or explanation necessary. I personally wouldn’t do this, but as you wrote – your kid, your choice.

    I stick by my comment on your FB page LOL… it’s the Ohio top I’m more concerned with. Hopefully she’ll make the RIGHT choice on that when she’s old enough. 😉

    Heather / Reply
  7. Hello MM,

    You gave a lot of responses to people who may object to an infant’s ears being pierced, but never said why you chose to do it. When I see babies with their ears pierced I feel sorry for them. They are so young and to have to go through that pain for no reason is sad. You said your daughter didn’t seem to mind the piercing, but what if she did?–The deed is done. For no reason. I have a wonderful son, but if I ever had a daughter I would leave it up to her (when old enough) to decide whether she wants her ears pierced or not. Piercing an infant’s ears has nothing to do with the child–It’s all about the mom seeking approval from other women.

    MKW / Reply
    • I’m going to disagree with you on my piercing her ears to seek approval from other women. People who know me, know I don’t really care about that kind of thing. My entire blog post explains why I pierced her ears – not that I need to explain why to anyone because my little girl is doing just fine and her pierced ears aren’t having a negative impact on anyone, including her. And remember, the point of the blog for the Today Parenting Team was to stop mom judging, so while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, we can all live our lives and raise our kids without judging others for doing things differently 🙂

    • I’m not a fan of the baby/toddler ear piercing. I think litlte girls look so much cuter without them. That is just my personal opinion. I have a 2 1/2 year old and haven’t given ear piercing a thought. I’m hoping she won’t want to have them pierced until she is much older (over 10), but I can’t say what’ll happen. She’s already interested in my earrings, but is also a pretty big tomboy I think, so who knows.(As a side, I’m also not a big fan of the CRAZY BIG bows that seem to be in fashion with babies and young toddlers these days. I have to admit that sometimes I do find them cute, but the size just keeps growing and growing. The reason I mention this is that I think it related to having our litlte girls appear more feminine (especially when they have litlte or no hair and we want them to be clearly identified as girls). I love to put litlte bows in my litlte girl’s hair, but the big ones just seem a bit ridiculous to me. I’ve noticed the last few times when I’ve seen her in groups of litlte girls that she is the ONLY ONE without a bow that covers half her head.Laura

      Nazia / Reply (in reply to MKW)
  8. No, your entire blog refutes the objections that people have about piercing an infant’s ears.–It is not an explanation of why you did it. Examples: You wanted her to wear earrings to match her outfits, you wanted her to be able to wear earrings to match other jewelry, etc. If you’re going to put your story out there, you’d better be prepared for comments that don’t have a ‘you go girl!’ tone. If you don’t want honest reactions–close the comments option on your blog. Problem solved.

    MKW / Reply
    • I didn’t realize I had a problem that needed solving, but okay, how about this: I got her ears pierced because I wanted to. I’m her mom, so I can do that. This is also my blog, where I can blog about anything I want in any way I want. It’s okay if we disagree. Love you have an opposite opinion. It’d be boring if we all felt the same way. Now, can we move on to more important things? My pierced toddler has swimming lessons to get to! Have a good day 🙂

  9. i have 3 boys, and then had a daughter. i ALWAYS said i would get my daughter’s ears pierced right away (if i ever had one). then i had this baby girl, and all of those reasons your friends listed made me think twice. in the end, she had her ears pierced at 8 weeks old because i am cuban, and i had mine done as an infant. it was my husband and my mother who convinced me to have it done. my husband (who is NOT hispanic) reminded me that it is a cultural thing, and my mother reminded me that her ears will still be just as cute, just decorated. i still felt terrible about putting her through senseless pain— like your daughter though, she barely wimpered. she’s 2.5 years old now, she LOVES her earrings. never once messed with them, and never dealt with any issues. i guess it could have gone the other way, but i think you’re right– left in my hands, there was less likelihood than if she had been in charge of them. sorry, for the novel. just wanted to say i agree! haha!

    lorrin / Reply

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