Ear piercing? Yea or nay?

When our first girl was born, I wanted to pierce her ears right away. In the Cuban tradition, girls getting their ears pierced is not a big deal. Some hospitals in Latin America will pierce your newborn’s ears for you. I believe I got my ears pierced around the age of six when I asked for earrings. My mother’s father is a vascular surgeon, so he pierced his daughters’ ears.

Well, my husband absolutely couldn’t stomach the thought of intentionally causing his sweet baby girl any sort of pain for something as silly as aesthetics, so my plan to put little earrings in our newborn’s ears was put on hold. Now, she is almost three and asking for earrings.

I asked our pediatrician about it, and he seemed pretty ambivalent. I was secretly hoping he would offer to do it, but no dice. Here in the South, there seems to be a stark division of opinion concerning ear piercing, with not much in between. Either it is the slippery slope to a life of vice and debauchery, or it is mandatory so that we can differentiate between the girls and the boys! Personally, I think the giant bows clear that up quite effectively. Pay no attention to the old man who tells you he is adorable. He was going to get it wrong no matter what.

I worry that I will be able to keep her ears clean, with everything else I have to do. I also worry that going to a mall and doing it might be unhygienic. I know that is where I had mine done forever ago, so I realize that might be a ridiculous concern. I might wait a little longer, so that she knows what she is getting into. Not that I think she will regret it, but it might make her doting daddy feel better about it. At what age, if ever, did you pierce your daughter’s ears? Where did you do it? Tell me what you think!

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About sylcell

Wife, mom of four girls, Catholic, insatiable sweet tooth
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39 Responses to Ear piercing? Yea or nay?

  1. Both of my girls got their ears pierced when they were 3 months old. I wanted them to be in before they started teething, to avoid all the ear yanking and infecting them. The girls are now 10 months and 22 months and haven’t gotten any infections.

    It also does not help people recognize a girl from a boy. With our first born we would say oh she is a girl, see her ears. Yeah, it didn’t help at all. But I think it is just as cute as can be.

    I told my husband before we had kids that if we ever have a girl we would pierce her ears as a baby, and he said OK so I held him to his word. I had mine pierced as a baby and I am so happy my parents did that.

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    • sylcell says:

      Haha, that is good to know it wouldn’t have made a difference in the gender differentiation department. That was good that you spoke to your husband beforehand. I should have done that.

      Like

  2. Carmen says:

    My husband says, Spanish/Hispanic babies come out of the womb with earrings. That is pretty close to accurate. I was 3 days old when I had mine done and there was no question that if I had a daughter she would have her ears pierced ASAP. The problem I had was that I could not find anyone to do it that early. I did not have the guts to do it myself, which can be done. She was 3 months old when I was able to get it done. I don’t know any girl who does not want pierced ears, if if that does happen, they can just let them grow shut. Many of my friends could not wait to have ears pierced and parents put arbitrary ages as to when they could get it done. I say phooey.
    Just do it! Use good posts. Keep them clean and lubricated and you should have no problems.
    The only people who have problems are those allergic to certain metals or alloys. Just remember that if u don’t want holes to close up earring need to be in the ear 24/7. Use good earrings.
    Don’t fret over this any more……she will love it in years to come and so will you.
    Good luck.

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  3. angietune says:

    I was searching for a GF’s blog and came across your interesting one. Saw your lovely family of two girls and read about your dilemma, “Ear piercing? Yea or nay?” I read about your pediatrician’s ambivalence and just want to say, our ped actually encouraged me to get her ears pierced when I asked her so there is a different opinion. She said it is ALWAYS best when mommy can care for them. She pulled out a picture of her 2 year old and 10 month old saying “…this is what I think.” Both girls had lovely pearl stud earrings! She could not do enough to be proficient in her office so she recommended Piercing Pagoda where she took both her girls, ages 2 and 8 mos. She said their level of professional training and experience was So many moms like myself had asked so she gave me some tips for moms having their dd’s ears pierced. They included how to find the right person, where to take her and some OTC meds to minimize any discomfort. We did our oldest when she was age 3, and did it for her birthday as well. Our ped’s tips were very helpful. I originally wanted to do it early, but dh was unsure.

    Here is a funny story, we found when one girl gets something, the other usually gets it too. Want to share a funny story with you.

    After piercing our ODD’s ears, we came home, showed daddy and he really loved them. What happened next surprised me. Dh asked why I hadn’t had our YDD’s daughter, aged 6 months old ears pierced too? I didn’t know what to say, but then our 3 yr chimed in saying she wanted her baby sister to have matching earrings like hers. Don’t know if your older daughter is as solicitous of her younger baby sister as ours. I told him maybe she was too young? Wrong.

    Now my family was ganging up on me! Everyone wanted both girls to have their ears pierced!

    The next day, dh calls out to me from the family room asking me to come in there. Our 3 year old had gotten a pair of my pearl earrings and was trying to put them in her baby sister’s ears! She almost put one in her ear canal! Dh laughed and told me, I told you that you should have pierced a-l-l the girls ears He said, “…please take Missy, our two year old to have them pierced before we have to take one of them to the ER to remove an earring!

    It was summer time and I had a little more time so guess what…both my girls got their ears pierced ears within a week. Both girls ears were super easy to clean and care for. Our 2 girls now have matching earrings and my husband loves all of his “daddy’s little girls with earrings.!”

    Don’t know if you’ve ever considered having your YDD’s ears pierced now too. But when she sees her older sister and Mommy with cute earrings, promise it won’t be long. Looking back, our ped was right, it actually was a good idea and it wasn’t even mine. Since I was the only one who needed convincing. I know they grow up fast, but I have to admit the girls all look adorable with matching earrings and get so many compliments “…how cute” they both look with them. Mommy too πŸ™‚

    I’d say if your asking about piercing your 3 year old, then maybe your mommy intuition is telling you to do it now and do both girls! Promise both girls would look super cute with all the girls in the family sporting matching earrings.

    Drop me an e-mail if you’d like our ped’s suggestions.

    Angietune@hotmail.com

    Like

  4. angietune says:

    I was searching for a GF’s blog and came across your interesting one. Saw your lovely family of two girls and read about your dilemma, “Ear piercing? Yea or nay?” I read about your pediatrician’s ambivalence and just want to say, our ped actually encouraged me to get her ears pierced when I asked her so there is a different opinion. She said it is ALWAYS best when mommy can care for them. She pulled out a picture of her 2 year old and 10 month old saying “…this is what I think.” Both girls had lovely pearl stud earrings! She could not do enough to be proficient in her office so she recommended Piercing Pagoda where she took both her girls, ages 2 and 8 mos. She said their level of professional training and experience was So many moms like myself had asked so she gave me some tips for moms having their dd’s ears pierced. They included how to find the right person, where to take her and some OTC meds to minimize any discomfort. We did our oldest when she was age 3, and did it for her birthday as well. Our ped’s tips were very helpful. I originally wanted to do it early, but dh was unsure.

    Here is a funny story, we found when one girl gets something, the other usually gets it too. Want to share a funny story with you.

    After piercing our ODD’s ears, we came home, showed daddy and he really loved them. What happened next surprised me. Dh asked why I hadn’t had our YDD’s daughter, aged 6 months old ears pierced too? I didn’t know what to say, but then our 3 year chimed in saying she wanted her baby sister to have matching earrings like hers. Don’t know if your older daughter is as solicitous of her younger baby sister as ours. I told him maybe she was too young? Wrong.

    Now my family was ganging up on me! Everyone wanted both girls to have their ears pierced!

    The next day, dh calls out to me from the family room asking me to come in there. Our 3 year old had gotten a pair of my pearl earrings and was trying to put them in her baby sister’s ears! She almost put one in her ear canal! Dh laughed and told me, I told you that you should have pierced a-l-l the girls ears He said, “…please take Missy, our two year old to have them pierced before we have to take one of them to the ER to remove an earring!

    It was summer time and I had a little more time so guess what…both my girls got their ears pierced ears within a week. Both girls ears were super easy to clean and care for. Our 2 girls now have matching earrings and my husband loves all of his “daddy’s little girls with earrings.!”

    Don’t know if you’ve ever considered having your YDD’s ears pierced now too. But when she sees her older sister and Mommy with cute earrings, promise it won’t be long. Looking back, our ped was right, it actually was a good idea and it wasn’t even mine. Since I was the only one who needed convincing. I know they grow up fast, but I have to admit the girls all look adorable with matching earrings and get so many compliments “…how cute” they both look with them. Mommy too πŸ™‚

    I’d say if your asking about piercing your 3 year old, then maybe your mommy intuition is telling you to do both girls now! Promise both girls would look super cute with all the girls in the family sporting matching earrings.

    Drop me an e-mail if you’d like our ped’s suggestions.

    Angietune@hotmail.com

    Like

    • sylcell says:

      Thanks so much! Will do. You are totally right, though. The older two are only a year apart, and Rosie wants to do everything Ruth does! I got some good suggestions for hair salons that actually do it, which sounds like a much better suggestion than Claire’s (ick!) Now, all I have to do is convince Daddy . . . .

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      • angietune says:

        Although my husband was supportive, I had to brainstorm with my sister, Susie, to convince her husband with ten reasons why she should get her baby and little girl’s ears pierced too. We came up with 13 and would be happy to share with you to convince daddy.

        Angietune@hotmail.com

        Like

  5. Ronni Mills says:

    We pierced our daughters ears about a month ago. She will be 3 in November. I wanted to get them done when she was first born but my husband wasn’t sure about it. He was uncomfortable with the thought of pain. She started to ask about earrings and trying to put mine in her ears, so we got it done. I was worried about infection and he touching them or trying to take them out but we haven’t had any problems. I got my ears pierced with I was weeks old and I love having them and I love that she has them now too.

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  6. I got mine done when I was 5. My grandmother brought me to the local mall and I got them done at a little kiosk there. I honestly don’t remember if I wanted them done or she just did it for my birthday. (I most likely wanted them done, because my Aunt had hers done and I looked up to my Aunt.) But I remember that I wanted to clean them immediately. I wanted that “big girl” responsibility. I was very proud that I was trusted with them. Now, in the same sense, I just wouldn’t leave them alone. They were new and cool. I wanted to spin them all the time, mostly because I was afraid they would get stuck. Either way, I’m sure my little kid hands weren’t the cleanest to be touching freshly pierced ears. Lol. I never had a problem with them getting infected, so I guess I cleaned them well enough as well. I later in life found out that I can’t wear fake earrings, which sucks around the holidays with all of the cool earrings that I never could wear.

    I don’t know if I could ever pierce my baby’s ears. I guess I will find out when I cross that bridge later in life. But I just figured you would like to hear my experience about being a child with new earrings, because until I thought about it, I never remembered playing with them all the time and what could have been on my hands as a child. Lol XD

    Good luck with your decision.

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  7. I’ve always loved the look of pierced ears on baby girls, but because so many in my family have sensitivities to pierced ears (I got mine pierced at 17, but they never healed so I had to let the holes close up), I decided to wait until my girls got a little older. My daughter wanted hers pierced for her 5th birthday, but after hearing about her same-age cousin’s ear piercing, decided to wait until she turned 6. At 6, we got her ears pierced and she’s done great with taking care of them (I help her). She smiled the whole time she was getting them pierced with just a quick “ow”. With my younger daughter, I plan to wait until she asks for them as well and then decide based on her maturity and ability to handle things like this.

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  8. My parents said if I wanted to get my ears pierced I could do it when I was 12 and that’s the approach we’re taking with our daughter. At that point she’ll be old enough to care for them herself and is also old enough to make her own decision.

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  9. Melissa Erb says:

    I had my daughters done at the mall when she was 6 weeks old. My husband was against me doing it so he told me that I could have them done but I couldn’t pay for it. So I said something to grandma and the next day we took her. I have no regrets having it done so young. It was easy to keep them clean and she has never messed with them. It’s all she has ever known. I didn’t have to fight with her to clean them for the first six weeks.

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  10. I was about her age when I had mine done. I am against doing it until they ask, but after that I think it’s totally ok! I know some states have medical offices that do it. What about a reputable piercing and tattoo shop? They’re extremely sterile and precise rather than the teens at the mall πŸ™‚ (but I had mine done at the mall too and no issues haha!)

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  11. cheryl says:

    Hubby and I agreed that our daughter can get them at 10 if she wants them. At that age she will be old enough to be responsible for their initial upkeep. We decided it could be a kind of “right of passage” gift. We dont want our kids raised in an instant gratification style. Some things are better because you had to wait for them πŸ™‚

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  12. CM Pannell says:

    I couldn’t convince my hubby to let me get my ODD’s ears done when she was small. She ended up being in Jr. High before she actually wanted them done. My YDD (who was born 12 yrs after ODD) told me at 3 she wanted hers done. So for her birthday off we went. She started to hesitate once we got to the store – I conned her into going ahead and let her choose the Hello Kitty earrings. They were not gold. First mistake. Even though the clerk assured me the chance of her being allergic to the metal was minimal. We were diligent at cleaning and turning but my daughter always fussed and sometimes cried. They also got caught in her crocheted blankie that she slept with at night. I thought she was being dramatic. Second mistake. 😦 We left them in for 7 weeks when I decided to take them out and put some others in. When I took them out I was surprised that one was infected even though we’d been turning and putting on the meds. Once it was out, my YDD refused to let me put any other earrings in. I decided it wasn’t worth holding her down and within a day they had grown up.

    Points to consider: use gold earrings and try to go to a place that has 2 people that can do both ears at the same time. I read on another site recently that tattoo parlors use a needle instead of the gun and that it is much less painful and if you go to a reputable place it’s very sterile. If I get the chance to try with her again (she’s 5 and still says NO – lol – we use stick on’s) I think I’ll try that route.

    PS – I think that unfortunately, my DH was right on his opinion, although try not to tell him that.;)

    M

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    • sylcell says:

      LOL, it will be our secret;). Yeah, my husband is still adamant that we wait until she is old enough to be responsible for it. And I don’t mind waiting:) One less thing for me to worry about!

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  13. morgan says:

    My mom was totally against any piercings, although I begged her all my childhood years to get my ears pierced. This was in the 80s and I was the only girl (besides my sister) who didn’t have earrings.
    When I was finally 18, I went to get them done – right before a class trip to the opera house. Had to endure the whole opera with throbbing ears (was fun, though, one of my classmates was in the background choir back then).

    To this day I’m ambiguous about my earrings. I’m allergic to nickel, which took me a while and countless times of infected ears (OUCH) to figure that one out.
    Can’t wear studs at nights, so once I take them out I’ll forget to put them back in for weeks. Usually I wear little silver hoops, but my third one had this incredible talent of ripping them out in an instance and getting them back in is a nuisance. So about 5 months ago and after loosing a couple of hoops, I took them out. One day, I’ll put them back in, but don’t know when.
    (But I started wearing my belly button piercing again, although my belly button still looks somewhat strange)

    From my childhood I still remember a couple of horrible incidents when the girls got their earrings ripped out. Like really ripped out. As in bloody-mess ripped out. And the ear infections, because of… Well I don’t remember. HORRIBLE thought for me to put my daughter through something like that on purpose.
    Plus about half a year ago she was hospitalized and they poked her so many times for getting blood or putting I.V.s in (they missed the veins twice, one I.V. broke down and she ripped another one out)… I’m still somewhat traumatized…

    So now I’m definitely on my moms side on that: NEVER. When she’s old enough (haven’t decided an age yet), she can go herself and get it done.

    And by the way: my boys aren’t circumcised. Besides the fact, that around here only jewish (and maybe muslim?) boys are circumcised, I wouldn’t put any of them through something like that either (only if medically necessary, but that’s very very very rare).

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    • sylcell says:

      That is cool to live in a community with few circumcisions. I know a guy who had to get it done in his teens because he felt so uncomfortable being the only uncircumcised guy of all his friends. Not ideal. I remember being real religious about wearing earrings from age six on because I was so excited to have my ears pierced. I’m glad I did because I am way to busy at this mom thing to wear earrings regularly now. But after 25 years, I don’t have to worry about my holes closing up. And my sisters and I really never rough housed enough to worry about our ear piercings. However, my cousin’s earring got ripped out playing with her dad. Ouch. It healed and she redid it eventually.

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  14. I grew up in Spain and wanted my ears pierced around 8 or 9, as everyone else had them done at birth. They were pierced at a pharmacy, but the studs still caught mild infections and needed to be cared for carefully, continually turned to prevent healing-over and drained of infected fluids.

    Years later, I now have not worn earrings for half a decade and the holes have completely filled-in. I would need to pop the skin or have them pierced again to wear earrings, but I wouldn’t wear them too often and would soon need to have the holes re-opened.

    A few of my friends had torn earlobes and noses by their teens from cultural earrings (Spanish) and nose-rings (unsure, as I was young at the time, but they came from Morocco) that would get tugged and caught in fights, when playing outside or by pets.

    I am now certain that any daughters I have will not have piercings until they’re mature enough to know whether or not they want them, to take care of them, to understand how they work and to not get into fights for at least as long as it takes for the piercing to heal. Otherwise it’s more hassle than it’s worth and a potential source of pain for years to come, all with the possibility she will just stop wearing them at 16.

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  15. Joanna says:

    my parents were totally against piercings of any sort, because of the origin of piercings/branding. So when I was 18 I went and got my ears pierced. I now have 5 daughters and my husband’s aunt had made it a welcome to the teens decision for her girls. I liked that, If they want ear rings, they can have them pierced when they turn 13! the oldest totally wanted them done ,so last Christmas, she got earrings for Christmas and was very excited! totally took the other girls with me to get her’s pierced! the next one to turn 13 has a very low pain tolerance, so we shall see next year how long she waits to ask to get her ears pierced!

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  16. Rebekah says:

    This is only my opinion, but I don’t want to do something permanent to my daughter without her consent. Since she isn’t old enough to make the decision on her own we’re waiting until A) she asks for them and B) she’s old enough to care for them mostly on her own. Heaven knows I don’t have time to add tending to her ears to my to do list πŸ™‚ whatever you decide, I don’t think it is a make or break parenting moment. Earrings are cute and fun, maybe try the stick on ones until she’s older of you decide against doing it now.

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  17. Ashley P says:

    My sister took her daughter, who is two weeks older than mine, to get them done around three months. I went with her and it was terrible to watch. The screaming lasted about five minutes but I kept thinking in my head I can’t do this to my daughter. Eventually, about a month later my sister-in- law gave a gift card to get them pierced. I worked up the courage but now secretly regret it. She’s had them for about five months. For a while they stayed infected and I almost took them out. Then they got better and now they are fine. The only perk doing them so young was that she could not mess with them while they healed. But I do wish I would have waited until she was old enough to decide on her own. Mommy mistake #….I lost count lol. My pediatrician does not do them so I did take her to the mall. The girl was young but very “professional” and erased the purple mark as many times as I asked her to re-do it. She did spray and sterilize the entire area before and after. Another downfall they pierce right in the front window of the store so everyone passing was staring at me making me feel even worse about what I was going to do to my sweet baby girl. Do what you feel is right in your heart πŸ™‚

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  18. christywulz says:

    I have to admit I agree with Scott on this one. Whatever happened to non-painful, non-cleaning sticker earrings? I remember LOVING those as a kid.

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  19. Kat Savoy says:

    I think ear piercing should be your daughters choice, and if she wants to have it done, she should have to demonstrate that she’s responsible enough to take care of her freshly pierced ears. I has mine done when I was around 9 or 10, after careful deliberation.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Sara says:

    I had a conversation about this with another friend of mine not long ago. She got her daughter’s done at a few months old, by the pediatrician (definitely a perk). My argument, for lack of a better word, was that I want it to be Keelin’s decision when she is old enough to understand it. Not just the act of getting them pierced, but the responsibility that comes with it- cleaning and upkeep, paying for the actual procedure, paying for additional earrings, etc. I was about 10 when I got mine done and remember being really excited about my grown up responsibility. I’m not opposed to it at any age, especially because it’s much more of a cultural tradition than I ever realized, but I can see both your and Scott’s side to the issue. Either way your bitties are beautiful!

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    • sylcell says:

      Thanks Sara! Yeah, it is definitely not the most important decision we will ever make about our children πŸ˜‚ Maybe that is why I am having such a hard time deciding!

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  21. Laurel says:

    Hey Sylvia. I got mine done at age 7 at my pediatrician’s office. I remember asking my mom to do it forever and she finally let me as long as it was in a sterile environment. I personally don’t think it’s that big of a deal. It does hurt I remember but I’m glad that I have them done. Lots of lollipops if she does! And my mom made me wear special gold earrings that were easy to clean and I could leave in all the time. I say do it but find a good reliable piercing place.

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