Should you pierce your baby girls ears?

Tara - posted on 09/29/2011 ( 109 moms have responded )

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What are your thoughts and at what age would you do it if you choose to get them pierced? Or would you let them decide on their own when they are older?

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Starfish - posted on 10/03/2011

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I'm sorry that you think caring about a child's wellbeing and not unnecessarily exposing them to risks without any good reason behind it is "dramatic". And I've heard of quite a few problems that have stemmed from piercing an infant's ears. A lot of those problems are because people get these piercings done in unsafe conditions with unlicensed piercers who use unsanitary piercing guns. And ALL piercing guns are unsanitary, hence my comment about bloodbourne pathogens. It is *impossible* to sanitize a piercing gun, which then exposes all sorts of blood from whoever got pierced before to the child's fresh new puncture wound. And that's not even touching the other dangers of the gun, including the traumatic force used, and common problems of jamming.

And Lisa's absolutely right. Doctors are not gods. They are not infallible. Not even the good ones have everything right. Take some time and talk to some professional piercers about sanitation, health, and risks in piercing.


As to whether or not you have any girls, I don't actually care. It's irrelevant. This is a debate forum, wherein the purpose would to, y'know, debate it, not just say, "LALALA THIS IS MY OPINION LALALALA" with your fingers in your ears.


My point remains. Why do you feel that your - the general "your", and not the personal, since you feel the need to argue semantics - desire for vanity trumps an infant's health, safety, and rights to their bodies?


And if you still want to say that vanity trumps all in this argument, then there is STILL reason to wait, as infants grow up. Their bodies change and get bigger, and what was even and balanced as a baby isn't always so when they're older, and their piercings aren't where they should be. Too many times, I can spot a person who was pierced as a baby over someone who was pierced when they were older, because their holes are too far in or out, or are uneven, or they're too far up or down on the lobe.

So even if you want to ignore the actual medical risk involved in using unclean instruments to pierce infants without consent, it's still prudent to wait for the sake of aesthetics.

Krista - posted on 10/04/2011

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When they are 18 they can have plenty of say as to what they want or don't until then I can and do make all decisions for them. How long to have their hair, what they will wear, how long to keep their nails, when they will shower, what they will eat, when they will go to bed, what their room will be decorated as.

Holy crap.

You have got to be THE most controlling parent I have ever encountered, either online or in real life. For your own sake, I hope that doesn't backfire on you some day.

Starfish - posted on 09/30/2011

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I find piercing an infant's ears to be an awful practice, and I can't for the life of me understand why it's accepted as much as it is.



Doing it is choosing to jab a hole in your baby (two, actually) with an unsanitary device, leaving your baby open to a host of bloodbourne pathogens. Why? For VANITY. Altering their little bodies for your own amusement is sick to me. It really is.



And I know people justify it by saying that "everyone in my family did it" and "nothing ever happened to me" etc. But I don't believe that makes it right. Not at all.





My 7 year old has been talking about getting hers done sometime soon, and I've been looking into local studios (because piercing guns are wrong at every age) to get it done at. I've explained to her the risks, the maintenance, and she gets to make the informed decision of what happens to her body. I can't imagine being the type of parent that would strip her of that.





Just consider, for a moment...if I wanted to tattoo eyeliner on my infant, would that be okay? Why not? They won't remember the pain! What about a nose stud? They won't remember the pain! They won't even notice it, right? They can just take it out when they're older.



Same thing.



The only difference is, ear piercing is socially accepted. But I think it's worth questioning that practice.

Merry - posted on 10/08/2011

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Don't have to worry about older kids pulling them out or eating earrings :/ babies could loose earrings easily, an older responsible child would be better able to keep track of her earrings.

And who cares if they remember it? If it's such a minor pain anyways who cares if she remembers it? Or does it actually really hurt bad enough she wouldn't want to remember it?
It can't be both ways,either it hurts a little or a lot.

Krista - posted on 10/02/2011

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@Jen I just see no valid reason not to be able to pierce your child's ears. I don't see tattooing being relatively comparable. Piercings are not permanent and if they aren't wanted when they are older are easy enough to take out. You can't take off a tattoo.

Nor can you replace a foreskin, but you seem to be pretty damned happy to do that to your kid.

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109 Comments

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Ania - posted on 04/28/2012

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My daughter is due in 3 weeks and I will not pierce her ears. I don't think it is necesarry at all

Sophia - posted on 04/24/2012

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I think that little baby girls with pierced ears are so cute. I'm going to pierce my daughters when she is at least 6 months.

[deleted account]

Dont do it! My kids got their ears pierced at 5 and 4. It was their "choice". everything went fine..until a year after my youngest earring back got stuck in her ear lobe. we changed them once.a week and clean them. Within a week,her ear had started to heal around the backing. She must have pushed the back on too tight. I had to use tweezers to remove the earring backing. Good thing we change them once a week or im sure it would have healed over. No piercings until ur old enough to take care of them. Both my kids holes healed up and it will be long time before its ever redone.

Alicia - posted on 10/24/2011

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I;m like Jenni, I cannot wear nickel-free, gold or hypoallergenic earrings, I am allergic to all of them. I have found I can only wear stainless or sergical steel for the best wear. I do wear earrings too but grew up (they were pierced when I was in kindergarten) with trouble every time I tried to wear earrings and always had to repierce them with straight pins. I don't have that problem now but would never want to put a child through that until they could clearly understand what the possible implications from it could be.

Demi - posted on 10/16/2011

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I'm appalled when I hear of someone piercing their babies ears there is no gain to the child so why do it, I don't think 'oh its my child I'll do what i like' or 'if they don't like it when they're older they can take it out' is a good enough excuse, you are choosing to do a purely cosmetic procedure for a pure cosmetic reason and yes they may very well take them out but they will always be left with some sort of hole/scar/mark and if a hole is left it still needs cleaning..... my parents asked me when i was 5 if i wanted to get my ears pierced and it was purely my decision my mum helped me to clean then to make sure i did it properly but it was my responsibility and it will be the same for my daughter except she will probably be older when i ask her. As i said I don't see anything justifiable to getting a child's ears pierced as previous have said above it must be ok for me to get my child tattooed then seeing as it is my child and they can always get it removed one day, like wtf. Ugh i just don't get it and it frustrates the hell outta me.......

Janice - posted on 10/16/2011

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I agree with Laurelai. My daughter went through a stage of rubbing and pulling on her earlobes when tired and could see this becoming an issue if her ears were pierced. However, every baby is different. I have probably heard of most babies not having an issue but I do know a few parents who's child pulled on them enough for them to have to be taken out.

Merry - posted on 10/16/2011

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Fiernas at an age where she's always pulling at her ears, she plays with them and roughly yanks on them alot! I'm just picturing her if she had earrings in and the damage she could do. Maybe she's just the exception but I'd imagine if a baby had an ear infection they would be pulling on the ears and they could be pulling the studs around.

Sherri - posted on 10/16/2011

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Honestly Laura I have never found a baby that has always known their ears to be pierced mess with them at all,.at any age ever. Why because to them they have just always been there.

Lindsay "Lindy" - posted on 10/15/2011

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No I wouldn't and I have never understoond piercing a little baby girl's ears, too me it is painful and wrong.

Merry - posted on 10/15/2011

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Yeah do them when they're too young to know you're inflicting pain on them so they look better to you. Sheesh that's messed up!
Let them decide to do it when THEY think they will look better, not just that their mom thinks they aren't pretty enough without earrings.
And what do you do with a 5 month old whose bossed with pulling on her earrings? She could hurt herself even more or get dirty fingers in the holes or get the back loose, or even if she pulls hard enough stretch the hole out so it looks nasty.

Krista - posted on 10/13/2011

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So she DID cry, and it's like a shot...but it's not uncomfortable?

You DO realize that your statement makes no sense, right?

Wendi - posted on 10/13/2011

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it is not uncomfortable. and is just like a shot. my daughter didnt cry for a long time. My daughter only started messing with them once she was 4 or 5 mths old, when she started being extra active. its better to have them done when they are young and you dont have to explain to them its going to hurt.i know i was freaked out when i was little. i remeber mine closing up . then i got them done again when i was older.

Tara - posted on 10/13/2011

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Thanks to everyone for responding with your opinions!! I knew this would be a hot topic to debate! I have a 3 month old baby girl and I will not be piercing her ears. I am not against those who do choose to pierce their baby girls ears, I don't judge and feel it is their choice. Reasons that I choose not too are I feel horrible enough getting the vaccinations done that I don't want to give her any more 'pinches' then needed. I also like the idea of her being able to decide when she is old enough and it can be an exciting thing to do with her. Old enough being whenever she express's she wants it done (4, 5 or 10 doesn't matter to me). I can't say the thought hasn't crossed my mind about getting them done but after thinking about it, the reason for doing it really is more because it looks cute and that for me isn't a reason to get them done. I do think they are cute on little ones and I do have friends with baby girls that have them done. THanks for your posts everyone :)

Tanya - posted on 10/08/2011

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There is no good reason to pierce a baby's ears. It really bothers me that we are allowed to do that to our kids.

I had my ears pierced when I was 13. I had clip-ons for a while before that. But why does a girl NEED to wear earrings before she's a preteen? I just don't understand it at all.

I don't have a daughter, but if I did, I would be waiting until she was at LEAST 10 or 11 before she was able to get them done.

I just find it a violation of a person's body to do that to them for cosmetic reasons. And I don't even think they look good on babies. They look inappropriate to me.

[deleted account]

I adore my earrings. I've got a rather large collection. I can't remember the last time I lost one honestly. And losing one here and there is not that big of a deal...sure it happens. I'm just more concerned with the child being responsible enough to care for her ears by herself and actually wanting the holes to begin with. Just because I'm an earring fanatic doesn't mean my daughter will be, too. My own sister never chose to have her ears pierced. Who'da thunk she'd have a preference? ;)

Janice - posted on 10/08/2011

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I had mine done when I was around 7 or 8 and although I do remember it hurt, I don't remember the actual pain. I dont think the pain from piercing hurts enough to scar you for life.

Wendi - posted on 10/07/2011

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i agree with you janetta. we got our daughters done at 3 mths. and it is just like a shot. i obviously dont want to see my daughter hurt but if they are done when she is young its done and over with and she wont mess with them when she is older. i heard that they do.

Wendi - posted on 10/07/2011

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as long as its a clean needle then nothing bad will happen. that would mean we could get something too. kind dumb.

Wendi - posted on 10/07/2011

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We got our daughters ears done when she was 3 months old. she cried but i held her but she didnt cry that long. I think its best to get them done when they are younger so they are use to them being there. we got them done after her shots were done because they said they could get infected from the silver. we had to constantly be puting them back in once she was 5 mths i think . then we found the good ones that she couldnt take out as easily. the ones that snap good and tight. i forgot what they are called. She had her birthstone ruby til she pulled it out. we are going to get our next daughters done then too when she comes on feb. 25th.

Donna - posted on 10/05/2011

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lol. we ran out of earings. , but screw backs do sound like a great idea. i like the expensive titanium body "rings" too bc my body doesnt tend to have the same reaction like it does to other metals. but not to mention by the time i realized that figured out my daughter lost one earing that hole was already closed.

Sherri - posted on 10/05/2011

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What I don't understand is because they lost earrings that was cause to let them close up. Heck I loose earrings ALL the time and I am an adult. It would have been an easier solution to get the screw on backs so they couldn't get lost or fall out.

Jaime - posted on 10/05/2011

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So, let me ask you Donna; if the consequence of not properly caring for their earrings was to take them out and let the holes close up, would it not have made perfect sense to wait until your daughters were of an age where they could fully understand the responsibility of having earrings? I am not attacking your choice, just using your situation as a strong example of why it makes sense to wait to pierce a child's ears.

Donna - posted on 10/05/2011

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my daughters r 6 they kept loosing their earings so we took them out and let the ears close up

Jaime - posted on 10/05/2011

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Nah, you can't go from one extreme to another...that doesn't help either. I think that as long as a child can communicate (not just say a few words and understand basic commands) and knows the level of care that goes into having a piercing, then I say go for it. I also think that throwing around words like child abuse and illegal are only going to escalate the conversation into an entirely different realm of unreasonable. While I don't personally agree with piercing a child's ears before they are of the age that they can either agree or disagree, I am not about to launch verbal assaults at those parents that do. I just won't ever do it.

[deleted account]

Personally I think ear piercing is mutilation and should be illegal. It should be classed as child abuse in my opinion. I dont think anyone should be allowed to have their ears pierced until they are over 16.

Rosie - posted on 10/04/2011

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i'm not really caring if people pierce their babies ears.but, i think it's tacky looking, and puts a baby through pain for no reason other than the mothers vanity-which like i said before is misplaced vanity, cause it looks tacky, lol.

if i ever had a daughter i would do it when i felt they were old enough and mature enough to take care of them, themselves. probably around 10ish? maybe earlier depending on the child.

Krista - posted on 10/04/2011

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When they're young, of course. The way you phrased your statement made it sound VERY much like you make all of those decisions for them until they're 18.

Sherri - posted on 10/04/2011

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@Krista when your children are YOUNG you don't make all these decisions for you child?? I seriously would hope you do. I don't make all those decisions for my teenagers but I certainly do for my kids when they elementary school and under. As they get older of course they get more freedoms and more say.

Merry - posted on 10/04/2011

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Haha me too April. Not newborns but from like 1 year on I think it's beyond adorable!

But no, I stand by my convictions not to cosmetically alter my kids bodies.

So I won't.

I want my kids to ease into independence so to me that requires me giving them slowly over time more and more control over their bodies and lives. As soon as they are able to say I want my hair like this I will let them since it's their hair, not mine. I'll tell them when to cut their nails since it's a safety thing, and I'll tell them when to shower as it's a health thing. But their rooms are theirs to decorate as long as it's not offensive or damaging. Their clothes are expressions of themselves and while I will buy their wardrobe they can choose what to wear from it. And when they have money they can buy other clothes but nothing offensive or degrading if they're living at home.

Eric already has control over what he eats!

I offer healthy choices and he chooses what he feels like eating.

Bed times are going to be based on their sleep needs. For their age and then for their individual needs. I will help them figure put how much sleep they need and then adjust bedtimes to work with the time they have to wake up in the morning.



I think controlling their every move til 18 just makes for an 18 yr old who has no idea how torun his or her own life and they will either cling to a bf or gf for help, live at home, join a gang or fraternity/sorority. Etc.

Growing independent adults has to begin as kids. And if they have no chance to explore their own ideas and try stuff out under the shelter of mom and dad then when they get out on their own they will explore and not have that safety net.

April - posted on 10/04/2011

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I was 3 months old when I got my ears pierced. My mom says I was napping at the time and didn't wake up during the procedure! As a 1 year old infant, I took great care of my earrings, according to my mom. She said I took them off every night and placed them carefully in the corner of my crib. While I think that is sweet and that ear piercing was just fine for me, I don't know yet if I will be piercing a future infant girl if I ever have one. I'm not worried about it the way I worry about circumcision, but I do like the idea of personal choice. Why not let her choose? For me, if she's 3 or 4 that's fine...but if she is 12 or says never, then that's fine too. I think baby girls look adorable in earrings . I'd like to have my girl's ears pierced, but most likely I'll wait until she asks. :)

Sherri - posted on 10/03/2011

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Actually I didn't but I have now. I have debated this with you Sarah. You just don't like my answer.

I care very much for my children their health and well being. My ears were pierced well before I remember and I still love them. I just do not see it as a big deal in the big scale of things. I have seen many babies ears done some cried some didn't. They were never pinned down, it was never done in an unsafe environment.

I also do not not think it is such a big deal. If they don't like it when they were older take them out problem solved. Sorry when they are infants there are so many things they have zero say about and to me this is one of them. When they are 18 they can have plenty of say as to what they want or don't until then I can and do make all decisions for them. How long to have their hair, what they will wear, how long to keep their nails, when they will shower, what they will eat, when they will go to bed, what their room will be decorated as.

This to me is no different I don't have my fingers in my ears Sarah I just have a different view on it. This is my argument and I am sorry if you don't agree with it, you don't have too.

Millions of people feel the same as I do on it and millions of people feel the way you do, no side on this is right or wrong. Just different.

Jaime - posted on 10/03/2011

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If someone held me down as an adult and forced a piercing into my body because they thought it looked nice and didn't see the big deal, I very much doubt I'd just smile and get on with it.

Merry - posted on 10/03/2011

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Well I think it's absurd to be so flippant about circumcision.
But whatever.
I'd rather see 10 baby girls pierced ears then 1 boy circumcised. The risks of circ are afar far far worse then the ones of piercings.
Piercings is IMO wrong on a grand scale global rights type thing but on a small scale one on one mom to mom I wouldn't say anything bad about it.
Now circ I think is tremendously dangerous and I would never stay quiet if I heard a pregnant woman say she was going to circ her baby.
Piercing and circ are both wrong because it should be the child choice, but circ is far worse because it's damaging his sexual organ in a degenerative way. Earlobes are not needed so piecing them doesn't really affect the child in a negative way, but circ can be deadly or very painful and cause long term problems.

Starfish - posted on 10/03/2011

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Sherri, did you read where I addressed exactly that?

If you don't want to actually compose a reasonable argument, why on earth are you on a debate forum in the first place?

Pam - posted on 10/03/2011

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I told my husband if we have a boy and decide to get him circumcised then if we have a girl I think it's only fair to get her ears pierced. Both are not needed, but my husband is circumcised and my ears are pierced. My daughter got her ears pierced when she was 5 months, she did not cry, or show any pain, and they healed correctly without problems. So really what's the big deal, if it their choice or yours? Look at this way, with a male, that can not put their foreskin back on, but a girl doesn't have to wear earnings if she doesn't want to.



And that's another thing, take your kid to a sterile piercing shop, like a piercing parlor aka tattoo shop. Your just asking for problems, if you or you take your child to get your ears pierced by a "gun." The only "SAFE" way to get your ears pierced is with a clean,sterile, wrapped needle. Or better yet, your doctor can do it.

Sherri - posted on 10/03/2011

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Sarah you did read where I said you can argue with me all day long on this but I don't have any daughters anyways and never will. Right??

You are not going to get me to change my mind on this one anyways. I have 4 nieces and 4 daycare girls all with their ears done as infants and I simply feel in love. if I had ever had a girl I would have had them done as well.

That is great that you wouldn't if you don't like it don't do it. Problem solved.

Sherri - posted on 10/03/2011

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Once again that is your right to feel that way Lisa and I will never debate you on that.

Minnie - posted on 10/03/2011

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Meh, doctors do a lot of really idiotic things. Doesn't make it right. I had a doctor nonchalantly induce me with a drug contraindicated against by the FDA for inductions. Clearly that didn't matter. Only thing that mattered was her pocket book and getting home in time to pick her kids up from school.

Sherri - posted on 10/03/2011

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Oh please Sarah drop the dramatics about it. When have you actually heard of any of those things actually happening and as I said if it was such an issue I doubt pediatricians would do it right in their office after their first set of shots.

By the way you are arguing with me on this you are well aware I don't even have any girls and never will right????

Starfish - posted on 10/03/2011

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The fact that you're scoffing at the risks shows what you know about piercing in general. If you're not even going to be educated about it, I think you have even less business doing it.

And obviously what I'm getting at is that a child should be able to decide...meaning that they have the capacity to understand the risks, the consequences, and the maintenance. If I had a 2 year old who could do all that, then sure, they could get their ears pierced.

Sherri - posted on 10/03/2011

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No I said my view is not wrong not that it isn't different.



Really bloodbourne pathogens BAHAHAHA??



My view my child my decision. Piercing their ears carries a 0% risk what so ever to my child. So as far as safety to them once again makes me laugh out loud.



So Sarah if your daughter asked you at 2 then it would be okay to do it then?? Heck they are too young to make an educated decision but they asked?? So then by your reasoning that would be fine??



Also I doubt it is as big of any issue as you ladies make it out to be when most pediatricians will do it right in their offices as soon as they receive their first set of shots.

Starfish - posted on 10/03/2011

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Sherri, you say your stance isn't any different than those who do not pierce, but that fact is, choosing to pierce an infant who cannot consent to it is choosing to puncture their skin, expose them to bloodbourne pathogens, and cause them pain for the sake of vanity.

Why are you so opposed to letting a child decide if and when they want their bodies permanently altered? Why is it so absolutely important to you that you impose your value of appearance over safety on them?

Sherri - posted on 10/03/2011

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@Lisa never said you lied. I find that you ladies are the exception to the rule is all in my experience.

I have no problems that you ladies opt not to pierce your child's ears. I just have a different view and mine is no more wrong than yours. Just because you disagree fine then don't do it. Problem solved.

Krista - posted on 10/03/2011

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Yes, you're the parent and you should decide what's best, but altering your baby purely for cosmetic purposes is never in the baby's best interest.

Perfectly put.

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