While these choices are up to caregivers to make, there is lively debate surrounding what the “correct” decision is. The parental preference on whether or not to pierce an infant’s ears is no different. This, after breastfeeding vs. bottle, cloth vs. disposable, and a handful of other parenting controversies ranks pretty high in the parenting world of strong opinions and heated arguments, to the point where some people refuse to discuss it at all.
Online and in person, friends, family, and complete strangers make adamant comments on the choices people make for their children, poking holes at choices, ear piercing included. For those debating the best time to pierce a child’s ears this is the place to get judgement free information based on the experiences of real life parents. Should a parent pierce their infant daughter’s ears?
Part one is the pros...or reasons to get your child's ears pierced as a baby...
|Image courtesy of Stylish Board|
An Infant won’t remember the pain
Michelle’s own painful experience of getting her ears pierced at age 12 swayed her decision to pierce both of her daughter’s ears when they were babies. Michelle, mother of two girls, says, “I had my ears pierced when I turned 12 and my parents thought I was grown up and responsible enough. It was a horrible experience with one of those piercing guns with really thick earrings. The first one hurt so much that I didn't want to have the 2nd one done. Then, my ears kept getting infected. It wasn't a great experience for me.” Christina, mother of two girls says a benefit of early piercing is, “There would be no advance fear because they wouldn't know what to expect, the pain quickly fades and they won't even remember it. If they ultimately decide they don't want their ears pierced (and I can tell you right now my oldest loves her earrings) then they can just take them out.”
Continue a family tradition
Some families pierce their children’s ears when they are very young as a part of their personal lineage tradition. Christina says, “I got my ears pierced when I was three months old and it was always just a normal thing (European I guess) so I knew that I would get my girls' ears pierced when they were young. So I guess it wasn't so much a case of why but of why not.” Latin, Indian, and European cultures very commonly pierce their children’s ears when they are babies and many new parents want to continue to pierce their daughter’s ears as a type of tribute to their heritage.
Gaining an experience similar to mom
Many parents believe that what worked well for them will also work for their children and make this a part of their decision making process, ear piercing included. Jennifer, mother of one daughter says, “There was no major reason. I had my ears done at an early age and I liked the idea of her having them done while she was young too (as selfish as that was). I have no regrets having them done at an early age.”
A chance to enjoy gifts from relatives
In many different cultures and families earrings are a very common baby gift for a little girl, by piercing a child’s ears when they are very young they are able to “enjoy” these gifts from their bassinette. Michelle says, “My eldest daughter received gold earrings as a baptism gift when she was six months old. I ended up reconsidering piercing because lots of cultures do have the baby's ears pierced, including the Latin American culture our family wants to celebrate.”
What about infections?
Parents have very different opinions on when is the best time to pierce and avoid unnecessary infections in their children because of piercing. Michelle says, “Because my eldest was really young, she didn't touch her ears or grab the earrings or anything. It wasn't a problem at all. My youngest was almost 1 when I got her ears done. She was aware of it and did touch her ears and earrings, and it was a pain - so much harder than with a younger child. We've always had to use the screw in earrings (a ball that screws on at the back) with her too or the earrings disappear.” A key to avoiding infection is keeping little hands off of the ears and earrings, so many parents find that the polar opposites of piercing a child’s ears really young, or when they’re much older is one of the best ways to avoid infection.
To read part two click here
To read part three click here
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