Ear piercing for babies.

Baby asleep - Sleeping baby
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Australia
April 25, 2007 4:52am CST
This week I was talking with a new mother. The baby girl was only two weeks old and she had her ears pierced. I have no knowledge of any medical reasons against this practice, but to me it seems so unreal and unnecessary. A baby is a baby and should be allowed to be a baby. Is it just me? Am I old-fashioned? Is it normal for a baby to have pierced ears? At what age do you think girls should be allowed to have pierced ears? Are girls growing up too fast and missing out on precious childhood experiences? What are your opinions on this?
12 people like this
44 responses
@Darkwing (21588)
25 Apr 07
Personally, I wouldn't have my child's ears pierced until they were at least three years old, but having said that, several cultures give their babies piercings of some kind... that's their way, and they have a religious reason for doing so. Their babies are note affected, so other cultures are going to follow suit. I don't think that, medically, there is any argument against it, and if you ponder on it, the baby's skin is softer and therefore it would probably be less painful, heal more quickly, as you would make sure the piercing was bathed and the earring turned in the required way, thus the baby never knowing anything different. After all, we are expected to take them for innocculations at six months and less, so really, I don't see that there's much difference apart from the fact that ear-piercings are an option. Therefore, Cloud, I feel it's just one more of those matters of choice or belief, and if a mother thinks it better to have their babies' ears pierced early in life, then that's their perrogative. Thank you for this interesting discussion, my friend, and Brightest Blessings.
• Australia
25 Apr 07
I agree it is the mother's choice, Darkwing, and I wouldn't even think of interfering or criticising. Personally, I don't think I would allow my daughter (if I had one) to have pierced ears before teenage. Thankfully, it isn't something I had to face. I know nothing about ear piercing, but I know babies pull their ears when teething and other times, and I wonder if a stud in the ear could cause damage. I accept that some tribes do use piercing at early ages, but I didn't think it was at infancy. Innoculations are a beneficial jab soon forgotten and do not require a permanent fixture, so I wouldn't class them in the same category. Thanks for your response Darkwing. As you say, it is a choice for the mum to make.
@Galena (9123)
13 May 07
I don't think it should be the mothers choice. it's not the mothers ears. the only person who should choose a body modification is the owner of that body.
@babyfuzz (1079)
• Philippines
11 Aug 07
Yes, I think so, too. That's why I want to wait for my baby to grow up, and she'll be the one to decide if she wants them pierced or not, if yes, when and where. His daddy has 5 piercings. Maybe she would want to have them too.. heheh!
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
25 Apr 07
OK, I am not trying to offend anyone so I hope it is just viewed as my opinion. I do not think any parent should pierce their children's ears until the child decides! Beyond that...I have never understood why parents did this to the child! It is way too easy for the child to get it snagged or rip it out. Then, once the lobe is ruined...forget it! They will have the scar for the rest of their life! And I have seen parents put those backs that screw on so they will not pop off! Ummm...it popping off is a safety feature!! Instead, like I said before, it just rips the baby's ear. Ouch! No! And people are so set against circumcision...but then turn around and pierce the baby's ears. Um, hello!
3 people like this
• Australia
26 Apr 07
Very well said, Brokentia. I had five sons, so I know very little about children or babies with pierced ears. It just never seems natural to me, but I have wondered about the safety of young babies and earrings. I know babies pull their ears a lot, so it doesn't seem a wise thing to add an annoyance. Thanks for sharing.
• Canada
25 Apr 07
One of my ex in-laws had both of the daughters' ears pierced as infants. There was no family custom or other practice being followed in those cases. The theory was apparently, "Well they screech and holler for a couple of minutes and then they forget all about it." I personally didn't think that was reason enough to justify it but to each their own, I believe. Personally, I left the idea of ear piercing up to both my girls, deciding that they could or would have it done when they asked for it themselves. At 16 and 13, they do both have pierced ears now... but one rarely even wears earrings. She finds them bothersome.
2 people like this
• Australia
26 Apr 07
Thanks for sharing thinking. Sometimes I think it is more a peer thing with teens. I know a few who were so adamant they wanted their ears pierced, had it done, wore earrings for a while and then forgot all about it.
1 person likes this
• Canada
26 Apr 07
Yup, I agree! Also, both of my daughters have some degree of sensitivity to certain kinds of earrings... which, of course, you never know until you get it done... and that's why they are less likely to wear them on a daily basis.
1 person likes this
@babyfuzz (1079)
• Philippines
11 Aug 07
For some, earrings are worn for aesthetic purposes, or self-expression. I don't know why I wear mine, maybe force of habit. Sometimes I wear them, sometimes I don't.
• United States
26 Apr 07
I had my daughter's ears pierced when she was about 8 months old. I did this because I figured it would be less painful in the long run to do it while she was little than to do it when she was older. Babies don't tend to mess with the ears during the "healing" stage after a piercing but older children will (and I just think the memory of the piercing would be there as they are older). I remember getting my ears pierced and it hurt. This way, I feel she was too young to remember having it done. She is 5 years old now and she loves changing her ear rings. I believe this is how she's learning to be a little girl. In my opinion, earrings aren't what make a little girl grow up too fast. What's making girls grow up too fast is the activities they are allowed to participate in and how early it's being allowed. That's just my opinion though. :)
2 people like this
• Australia
26 Apr 07
I agree with you that earrings don't make a girl grow too fast. It is the activities and the society in which they live. I work extensively with children and I do feel the majority of children are under pressure to grow up too quickly. Things have certainly changed - some for the good, but most for the bad - since I was young. Thank you for sharing your opinion.
@Galena (9123)
13 May 07
I can remember having my ears pierced. I can't say it bothers me. it stung a couple of seconds, then stopped. I don't need therapy for that memory. there's nothing wrong with being able to remember it.
• Canada
25 Apr 07
Honestly, I have nothing against small children having their ears pierced, but I think 2 weeks old is a little on the early side to be honest. There are some cultures who do piercings on their babies, it's their way of life and is based somewhat on their belief system too,. I guess it comes down to personal choice, and while this mother obviously chose to have it done, it's not something that I would ever have done to my daughter as a baby. She's 9 now and still hasn't shown an interest in having her ears pierced, so I guess in that respect, I'm lucky.
• Australia
26 Apr 07
Thanks for sharing. I would certainly prefer to leave the choice with the child and would then only consent if I knew she was old enough and dedicated enough to look after it. I have nothing against those who have their newborn's ears pierced, but I do wonder WHY they do this, and if there are possibilities of damage through pulling the ears.
1 person likes this
@msjigga (866)
• United States
26 Apr 07
I agree with you 2 weeks is way too young. My 1st daugther was 9 months & my 2nd daugther was 3 months because babies heal faster. 3 months is the earliest legal age in my state I couldn't imagine any earlier.
1 person likes this
25 Apr 07
I agree with you and I did not get my daughters ears pierced. For me, I believed in respecting her and when she got older and decided for herself, then I would let her have it done, as she did. A few years ago she wanted her belly button pierced, at 15 yrs. I said no to this as she was underage, and although she had a few tantrums, now she is glad she didn't. I was at work today and a mother brought in her new born baby, I noticed the baby already had her ears pierced and she had a gold chain round her wrist. I do not like seeing any jewelery on babies, as you say, a baby is a baby, not a little doll to dress up.
2 people like this
• Australia
26 Apr 07
While I don't like to see a baby with pierced ears, I wouldn't criticise. It is the mother's right, but I do wonder WHY. WHY would anyone want a baby's ears pierced? Oh well, we are all different and that is a good thing.
1 person likes this
@babyfuzz (1079)
• Philippines
11 Aug 07
As much as possible, it is better to keep baby's clothes simple. They might get entangled to something.. even adults gets clumsy. Anyhow, it's her baby. Piercings are like tattoos. They will leave marks in your body.It might seem you vandalize your baby's body for doing it without her acknowledgment. Let's respect the child's physical space. ^^v
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5955)
• Etowah, Tennessee
25 Apr 07
I got my daughters ears pierced on her 1st birthday. She had VERY little hair and everyone said she looked like a boy! Even in a pink outfit.LOL She pulled at them and was always acting like they bothered her so I removed them. On her 10th birthday, She wanted her hair cut really short, and I let her since it was summer and she was old enough to decide. Well she will never do that again! Everyone kept calling her a boy. It does not help that she is a BIG tomboy and she wears clothes that are generally more boyish, never pink or frilly. So after a few months of this she decided she wanted her ears pierced to help look more like a girl. The hole was not grown up and although it was slightly painful, it was not as bad as getting them pierced. now with longer hair and less of the boy calling, she rarely wears them again.
2 people like this
• Australia
26 Apr 07
Thanks for sharing that Tammy. I wasn't so much objecting, as wondering WHY. I think babies are babies and should be treated as babies, not as mini grown ups, but that is my opinion and I wasn't trying to impose it on others. I just wondered why people do it.
1 person likes this
@babyfuzz (1079)
• Philippines
11 Aug 07
My baby girl, now 3 months old, looks like a boy, too! If she wears pink dresses, she would look like a tomboy too, hehe! That's why we're considering on havin' her ear pierced. But if ever, we want her ear pierced when she's a grown up and decide it on her own, since it is her body. ^^v I had mine when I was 8. I remember cryin' out loud not because of the pain, but because of the shock. I had another piercing when I was 20. ^^v still have them.
@wmaharper (2316)
• United States
6 Aug 07
I agree. I have a little niece who has recently gotten her ears pierced, i was very surprised. I of course, being a good Aunt and sister, will never speak ill of her parents or their choice, but it will not be something I would choose if I'm ever blessed with a girl. I didn't recieve piercings of any kind while I lived with my parents, we had intended to get my ears pierced and never got around to doing it, so I got mine pierced at 18 when I moved across the country to go to school. I think many parents do it because they think it's pretty, or because their daughter is always being called he, but to me those are silly reasons. I think getting your ears pierced could be a wonderful memory for the daughter and her mother, something to plan, and celerbrate. I think when you do it while the child is oblivious to it, you lose that chance to celebrate. Society is constantly pushing our children into adulthood faster and faster, and this is just another way they do it. If I am ever blessed with a girl, I think 13 to 16 would be a good age (somewhere in between) as they would be old enough to request it, appreciate it and become responsible for the care.
2 people like this
• Australia
9 Aug 07
Well stated and I agree. I cannot understand why people want their children to grow up so quickly. Childhood should be a precious time of simply being a child, before so much is heaped on them.
1 person likes this
@imadriscoll (2230)
• United States
27 Apr 07
I have never understood why people pierce their baby's ears. I think that this should be a personal choice where the girl decides if this is something that should happen. I remember that after getting my ears pierced that I had a hard time sleeping on my sides and had to make sure that I always slept on the back of my head. It was extermely hard to get a good night's sleep. With that in consideration it seems almost cruel to pierce a baby's ears when you consider how much sleep they really need. To address your question about are girls growing up too fast ... absolutely. I have a hard time finding clothes for my toddler that don't look like their made for a teenager ... and don't even get me started on how teenagers dress!!!! LOL.
2 people like this
• Australia
28 Apr 07
Well, I didn't have any girls, as you know, but I do have granddaughters and I know what you mean about age-related clothing for girls! I am glad my granddaughters have very sensible mothers who don't let them grow up too quickly - but they are very natural girls. Thanks for sharing.
1 person likes this
@mansha (6301)
• India
26 Apr 07
In India Its actually customery to get girl's ears pierced as its consiodered auspiciou and tyhough no scientific proof is there the old ladies say it prevents hernia from developing. How far its true I don't know. Infact girl's ears are pierced when she is as old as twelve days as its painless then because her neres are not fully developed and child doesn't touch her ears so infection does not sets in. Personally I will get her ear's pierced when she is four and able to understand what it is all about. Infact we have a proper ceremony for this and whole family is invited and sort of function is organised like baby shower.
2 people like this
• Australia
26 Apr 07
Thank you for sharing that about India.
26 Apr 07
How come? Haven't the mother thought of infections or something else before the practice? Baby is fragile and easy to be infected. Luckily this baby didn't get any hurt from this ear piecing. But for me, i will never ever to get my baby take this risk.
2 people like this
• Australia
26 Apr 07
Welcome to myLot Michelle. Thanks for sharing.
@Latrivia (2889)
• United States
26 Apr 07
Personally, I'm not fond of the idea of piercing a babies ears. Yes, it looks nice, and it will enhance the aesthetics of a baby in her frilly dress, or in his dress clothes, but at the same time, of what use does a baby have for jewelery? I like the idea of waiting to see if your child actually wants piercings before doing it.
2 people like this
@jenskids (99)
• United States
26 Apr 07
Well I had my babys done at 2mo Just because my mom said that she did mine and she said because I always had them I never messed with them.And she was right because my baby is almost a year and she never messes with them say with her neckless we put it on her the day she came home and she never touches it.
2 people like this
@chertsy (3804)
• United States
26 Apr 07
I got my oldest daughter's ears pierced when she was 11 months old. I got tired of the boy comments even while wearing pink. She only cried for a few minutes then it was over. She never had any problems with her ears or anything. Now that she's older, she can't wear cheap earrings. They have to be either pure gold or silver or her ears will get infected really bad. My youngest was around 3-4 years old when we got her ears pierced. We told her since she wanted them and she be good and didn't move she could buy something else. She sat there and didn't even move. People were starting to stop outside the store and watching her. As soon as the lady was done, she just simply said Ok, now can I get me a purse, lol. I don't think getting a babies ears pierced will make them grow up to fast. I think it's more for the parent, than the child. A baby could care less if they have a $ 5 dollar stud or a half a million dollar stud in there ears.
@rusty2rusty (6766)
• Defiance, Ohio
26 Apr 07
I know my sister got her daughters ears piecred when she was a couple weeks old. Her reasoning was that the little girl would be used to her ears being pierced and not mess with them. My daughter is a couple weeks apart from my sisters daughter. I have not got her ears pieced. Per her dads request. My daughter is six and want her ears pierced now. I wish I would of gotten them done when she was a baby. Now I am going to wait til she is older. I don't think she would leave them alone it she got her ears piecred now. I think I will wait til she is 10 or 11 yrs old. Maybe even twelve the age I was when mine got pirced.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Apr 07
I have 3 girls and I waited until they asked to have it done and I thought they were old enough to take care of the cleaning and changing with little help from me.
2 people like this
@Calais (10900)
• Australia
26 Apr 07
Oh no, I hate this, it is only to satisfy the parents. I think its totally wrong and horrible for parents to do this to their child. What if the baby dosnt want to be like a pin cushion when she grows up, and the parents have taken that away from her. It is ok to wait until she is old enough to actually ask to get it done.
1 person likes this
• Australia
26 Apr 07
I won't go so far as to say it is wrong, but I don't like it either.
@Gemmygirl1 (2870)
• Australia
26 Apr 07
It's definitely a personal decision. I have mentioned in a previous discussion that i have a Mother in Law & Sister in Law who are both covered in piercings so you can imagine what sort of influece they have on their 6 young nieces & more coming nieces & nephews. Anyway, 1 of my nieces saw her Aunty's tongue stud & wanted one of her own - she was told no but was allowed to have her ears pierced if she wanted to. She said she did & had them done around the age of 2 i think. She's still very happy with her earrings as far as i know (we don't see them often but she'll be 4 this year). I had mine done when i was little maybe 5 or 6 i think, i had my belly button done at 16 - i don't think we have laws here in Australia on things like that (Aunty with the tongue ring is 17 & covered in them) - only on Tattoos! I don't think i'll get my daughter's done for a while yet - she's 10 months but maybe 2 would be an ok age - it all depends though coz she has very sensitive skin & i don't want her to get all infected or anything - whether i clean them or not. As for something someone else said about making extra work if you have your newborn's ears pierced - that's not entirely try - a bit of warm salt water isn't exactly much effort & since you bath them, they get cleaned then too - along with the baby!!!
• Australia
26 Apr 07
Thanks for your thoughtful response. I am not criticising a mother's choice to have their baby's ears pierced, but could you tell me WHY you would have this done? Do you think it improves the looks of the baby, or what is the reason?
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
26 Apr 07
I have seen many babies and very young children with pierced ears and personally I find it horrific! I have even been unfortunate enough to be nearby a two or three year old girl who screamed and cried while having her own ears pierced. It tore my heart out. I don't think you are old fashioned at all. I too believe it to be an unnecessary practice. My daughter is 5 years old and although she is not with me I would like to think that her ears would not be pierced until she was much older! Maybe 10 and above if she wanted them done..... It would only be on her request though.
1 person likes this
• Australia
26 Apr 07
Thanks James. I thought I was one of the few who felt this way. I don't criticise the mothers who do this, but I would like to know WHY they do it. It just doesn't make sense to me.
• United States
26 Apr 07
Believe it or not, I don't have my ears pierced and I'm almost 39 years old! I don't see where this can't be done safely for infants. But, I think getting babies' ears pierced is a cultural thing. In the culture I grew up in, girls didn't get their ears pierced until they started wearing jewelry or until their teens. But, not everyone does that. I, personally, think that a child's ears shouldn't be pierced until they are capable of making a decision that they want to do so. The reason why I never got my ears pierced is that I've never really liked to wear jewelry and it would be a waste of time and money to get them pierced if I don't really want to wear earrings.
• Australia
26 Apr 07
I agree that when I grew up - many years before you - girls didn't get their ear pierced or wear jewellery. That was part of their "coming out". I know it is a cultural practice in some countries, but not here. Thanks for sharing.