To Pierce Or Not To Pierce: That Is The Question

One day when my daughter was around four months old, I was out running the usual errands at HEB, Target and Buy Buy Baby (can we say #momlife!?) and had three different interactions with people telling me what a cute baby boy I have! I politely thanked them, walked away and rolled my eyes. My daughter happened to be wearing navy blue without a bow in her hair. Now, this particular situation was not the end of the word by any means, but it clearly reminded me that if she had cute little earrings the odds of a mistaken identity compliment would come to a halt.

However, the story starts well before this day. Honestly, even before she was born, the battle over ear piercing began between my husband and me.

Here’s how it breaks down: Hubby is anti-ear piercing for babies. I, on the other hand, think it is a must! So here we have it — a good ol’ standoff in our household.

Pros for piercing at a young age:

  • Speedy Recovery: As terrible as it is to hear our babies cry, they are also extremely resilient. A painful experience for them can be easily forgotten. An older child is more aware of the piercing pain and the added discomfort during the healing process.

  • Less infection risk: Early childhood piercings is greatly supported by the idea that babies are less likely to touch their ears and play with the new earrings leading to an increase in infections.

  • Future fear: Once a certain age is reached by the child, the want for the piercing is there but they become afraid of the pain associated with it. By doing it early on in life, we avoid the battle of wanting them but being too scared to pull the trigger (pun intended!).  

  • Easier to clean: The idea of being able to easily clean and care for newly pierced ears myself, instead of the child, is enticing. Dealing with a hesitant toddler or battling with a preteen over proper cleaning would not be the business.  

Cons for piercing at a young age:

  • The mom guilt: Is my baby too young for this? Am I a terrible mother if I cause her unnecessary pain? Should I wait a little bit longer? The mom guilt can be worse than the pain for the child.

  • Robbing a childhood memory: A child’s first ear piercing can be a special bonding moment between a parent and child. It can be a day the child always remembers and can be part of her memories of growing into a child or teen.

  • Not my body, not my choice: A child should be old enough to make this personal decision for their own body. It shouldn’t be up to the parent to decide this for them.  

  • Body changes: Piercing at a young age when a child is still growing can cause the earrings to be misplaced as the child’s ears continue to form. The child’s ears are not fully grown so the piercing can end up becoming off center or too close to the edge as they grow.

Another nugget to consider, where do I get the piercing done? There’s nothing wrong with the tried-and-true mall spots, but if you decide to pierce at a young age it’s always good to first discuss with your pediatrician. In fact, many pediatricians perform piercings in their office and if they don’t, they will most likely refer you to someone they trust, so it can be a seamless experience.  The silver lining with ear piercings is that the holes can close up easily if needed.

What do y’all plan to do with your girls?! If anyone has any ideas on how to swing my husband to my side of this conversation, keep me posted! 

 

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One Response to To Pierce Or Not To Pierce: That Is The Question

  1. SJ April 23, 2018 at 1:27 pm #

    I have major OCD. My ears were pierced for me as a baby. Now as an adult, It makes me have anxiety attacks and it’s very violating for me and I hate it. It’s unnecessary. And it can be very traumatic. You don’t have to put holes in your baby so strangers better understand what your infant’s genitals look like.

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