Depending on what part of the country you live in, baby girls may be sporting pierced ears before their three month check-up. After all, the argument goes, how will you know the baby is a girl? But in other areas (and sometimes other neighborhoods in the same city), baby earrings are akin to abuse. Moms can't wrap their heads around another mom voluntarily poking a hole into a baby's ear, especially when that baby can't possible be prepared to fight off infection. (Cue circumcision arguments!)
Admittedly, I'm one of those moms.
Reading this New York Times opinion piece from a mom transplanted to Miami, where every girl baby rocks the pierced ears, made me stop and think about my anti-piercing ways. Like the author, my own mother made me wait until I was 13 to get my ears pierced. This certainly colors my views on how soon a little girl should be permanently poking holes into her perfect skin. Also, I haven't worn earrings in about twenty years. So I'm not a huge advocate of that particular type of jewelry.
I can certainly throw out arguments like, "What if the earrings come out and the baby chokes to death!?" But I could say the same thing about everyone who has any small item in their home that might accidentally make its way to the baby's space.
I'm certainly sensitive to not imposing gender stereotypes on my kids, and that probably has more to do with it than anything. I don't have a desire to dress up my babies as tiny men and women. And the earrings seem to fall into that category. Also I do not want to clean one more baby part than absolutely necessary. Not. At. All.
So while my arguments against piercing babies ears are rock solid in my house, like so many things, it's better to let every mom decide for herself. We make decisions for our children every single day. This one may seem weird to me, but I guarantee you I made choices for my baby that are weird to you.
Did you get your baby's ears pierced?
Image via Chris P./Flickr