Pierced Ears On Babies Are Wrong for All Sorts of Reasons

baby girl ear piercingDepending 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

baby health, newborns, natural parenting


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ashjo85 ashjo85

It's super common here in New Mexico, and I had friends actually telling me I needed to do it. I didn't, because I didn't want steel nedles shoved through my daughters ears just days into her life! I had my ears pierced at 13, and I will allow earrings when she a) wants them enough to ask for them and 2) displays the knowledge and understanding she needs to take care of them herself. If that's at age 7, fine. But I'm not a big believer in newborn piercing.

Kritika Kritika

I have noticed a lot of spanish/latina babies having their ears pierced. Is it cultural?

Personally I wouldn't want to deal with cleaning them.

ebmmy... ebmmy2004

Me and my husband have just been talking about this lately and I can't decide if i want to do it while she is young. She isn't due until the begining of May, but my mother had mine done when I was 3 months so I am very up in the air on the subject.

Kwiat2 Kwiat2

If I ever have a dauhter I wouldn't do that. All of us girls had to wait until we were teens to get our ears pierced, and I even regret that. I have attached earlobes so earrings look weird on me and I never wear them.

I would never alter a person's body like that without their consent. And no, I didn't circ my son.

jenni... jenniferlee_12

I had mine done when I was older and in school and did everything right and the skin covered the earring overnight and my aunt (mom was away for business) had to come numb my ear, pop the back off with a quarter and then pop it through. I wouldn't pierce a babies ears.

nonmember avatar Jennifer

I was 3 months old when my mother had my ears pierced. They healed quickly and PERFECTLY – I can leave my earrings out for months and months and the hole doesn’t grow back. All of my friends who had to wait until they were 12 or 13? Infections and re-growths galore.

the4m... the4mutts

Its a proven fact that the EARLIER in life a person pierces their ears, the faster they heal.

Both my hispanic/white daughters have their ears pierced. It was my decision, not their father's. He's hispanic, and was against it. But he gave the white mamma *me* the ultimate decision. I chose for them to have it.

I don't think its cultural.

At ages 4 &5 1 daughter wears earrings still, 1 doesn't.

Its not a big deal, they can always take them out

MomaL... MomaLlama

When I was in college a group of us were shopping at the mall when a mom brought her, oh, 9 month old daughter to one of the kiosks to get her ears pierced.  We were all kind of keeping one eye on the situation while we were shoping and talking.  When they did pierce them and the baby inevitably started crying, we sort of chuckled and said "No one saw that comeing."  The mother shot us the most evil look while wipping away her own tears as if to say, "How dare you laugh at my child's pain?"  Uh?  I could be wrong but wasn't this mother the one who just brought her daughter to have a needle stuck in her ear?  I'm not a big fan of piercing babies ears but in the end it's up to the parents, but seriously they do know it hurts right? 

Melis... Melissa042807

I dunno. My mom got mine pierced when I was a baby and I sure as heck don't mind. When all my friends were waiting for their 10th birthday or whatever to get their ears pierced, mine already were. So that was kind of nice. So I used to think I'd get my (future) baby girl's ears pierced before she would remember, BUT in recent years I've become more a fan of the needle method than the gun method, and I'd rather do needles when they're older. I mean, can you imagine the story? :-) "My mom is so cool, she took me to a real piercing shop to get my ears pierced for my birthday!" The pictures would be awesome LOL

Saras... Sarasahmof3

After talking with my daughter's doctor we had her ears done at her 1yr appointment. A little numbing meds and they were done. All under the watchful eye of her doctor.

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