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.
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.)
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.)
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.