My Daughter Has Pierced Ears

…and I don’t care what you think about it.

Few things get me worked up when it comes to parenting and opinions. I’ve always been firmly in the camp of not caring how you raise your kids as long as they’re happy and healthy. What works for my family may not work for yours, and vice versa. I’m all about support, but for some reason, when this article popped up on my newsfeed yesterday… it set me off. It’s literally one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read in my life. I am rarely one to leave long comments on Facebook, but this one prompted a long one from me.

If you look at pictures of Abbie, you’ll notice that her ears are pierced. I’ve written about it before, but we got them pierced when she was 11 months old. The only reason it wasn’t earlier was just that we were busy. I had my ears pierced at 6 weeks old. All three of my sisters had their ears pierced before the age of one. Clearly, I’m in the pro-ear piercing camp.

Babies and Pierced Ears

Growing up, I honestly just thought it was normal to have pierced ears. Nearly every female I knew had pierced ears It was unusual to me for girls to not have pierced ears. I vividly remember meeting my friend Lindsey on the first day of 6th grade, and her telling me how excited she was that she was almost old enough to get her ears pierced (we were 11 and she was allowed at 12). I remember thinking how strange it was – because it was just different from what I knew.

It continues to surprise me how people get worked up over this. Ear piercing is SAFE. It does not affect hearing, is easy to take care of, and can be reversed if you take the earrings out. Pediatricians, in my experience, are completely fine with it as long as vaccinations are up to date (ours just wanted us to wait until after the 6-month shots). It’s a personal choice, and it has been done for thousands of years. So why did we pierce Abbie’s ears?

  • Primarily, family and cultural tradition. As I explained, it’s normal for me – it’s extremely common in eastern European, Jewish (as in my own family), or Hispanic cultures. There are places where baby girls come home from the hospital with their ears pierced. In fact, I could almost hear my grandmother’s voice in my head asking me why it hadn’t been done yet. My mom still has the earrings I wore as a child ready to be passed on to Abbie once she’s old enough for us to change her earrings.
  • I was able to do all the work of taking care of them for her. They never got infected and have healed well. If I had waited until she was older, she’d be much more likely to touch them and mess with them, and much more likely to get them infected.
  • She won’t remember it hurting. I personally have always loved that my mom pierced my ears as an infant. I’m a wimp and don’t handle needles well. Since mine were done, I was always able to wear earrings without any of the pain. I never worried about any infections. Also, since my ear piercing is almost as old as me, the chance is slim that they’d ever close even if I stopped wearing earrings completely.
  • Honestly, they’re stinkin’ adorable. Yep, some of it’s vanity – and I don’t care.

What I want to know is why is this even a thing? Some people want to pierce their daughters’ ears, some don’t. It’s personal choice of the parents. My best friend had hers done in elementary school, and her mom made it a special outing and day that she remembers – that’s awesome. I think it’s a great tradition, and it was her mom’s choice.

Some people are arguing that it’s “pain and cruelty,” which is just a bunch of crap. Anyone who’s had their ears pierced can tell you it hurts for only a moment, and you quickly forget. Would we stop our kids from riding bikes or running on concrete because it would potentially cause pain? No, that’s stupid. Let each parent decide what works for their family. Ear piercing is not cruel. What would be cruel is banning it – people would still find a way to do it and it wouldn’t be safe or sanitary. (Like my mom, who pierced another hole in her earlobe in college with a nail and some ice.  THAT is not safe.)

Bottom line, let parents make their own decisions, and leave my daughter’s ears alone.

About Jess

About Jess

Jess Beer is a full-time working mom of two girls who writes about motherhood, wellness, easy meals and style.

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31 Responses

  1. And here I guess is where I show my cultural ignorance because I didn’t even know it was a thing to be pissed off over girls pierced ears… Then again I grew up in Chile where every single girl gets her ears pierced as a baby. Like you I vividly remember the first time I met someone that didn’t have her ears pierced and it wasn’t until I moved to the U.S. when I was 15 lol

    And I remeber when she did finally get them pierced and she said it didn’t even hurt so…

    Honestly though, why do people care? It’s not like you’re endangering your daughter or someone else’s kid..? Silly people.

    1. Honestly, I didn’t either for the longest time! For me, it’s just normal to have pierced ears but people get all up crazy about it here. People are nutso.

  2. It’s always interesting (and sometimes frustrating!) to see what we get emotional about once we’ve become moms. In this topic, I’m glad I had a boy. 😛 I can definitely see both sides. I look at it this way: in any normal situation, pinching/poking/piercing would be considered abuse (especially when leaving a mark and/or causing to bleed). I understand how some people feel that ear piercing falls into the same category. It’s a logical thought. That being said, cultural and identity “traditions” occur around the world and are usually painful, but not considered abuse…from religious male and female circumcision (not to be confused with routine medical circumcision which is something I’M passionate about and makes me furious now that I’m a mom!) to shaving a baby’s head (I know that isn’t really painful, just an example) and even baby tossing! Haha. I understand your hurt feelings, because it was a personal decision for you.

    1. It is, isn’t it? I tell you, I would rather deal with this than the circumcision! I know what you mean though – I do understand why people wait, but this is FAR from abuse. It’s a tiny little hole they feel for all of 2 seconds. Abbie was 100% fine moments afterward. I just think it’s a parent’s choice, and I think banning it is ridiculous!

      1. I definitely understand how you feel! I can also see why people compare the two. I’m not sure why people are actually focused on it, though. There are parents neglecting, beating, and even killing their babies…bigger fish to fry. Oh, we did not circumsize our son! That routine is based on an extremely outdated study done on a small African tribe with very little similarities to Americans. Knowledge is power. We’re the only country that does it as a supposed “medical” procedure at birth. The only other routine circumcisions are at religious ceremonies for religious sacrifice.

        1. That’s so interesting to read! Thankfully, I didn’t have to deal with that since we only have a girl. In our case, circumcision is a religious thing (I’m Jewish), but I can totally see both sides of the issue. Every parent should choose what works for their family!

          1. Yes! So you’re completely familiar with the actual sacrificial purpose of circumcision! It’s odd how some religious traditions trickle into mainstream. Most people have no idea that Jewish families practice circumcision as a sacrifice, yet their child is circumcised…so odd!

  3. I am so glad you wrote about this because honestly, some of those comments yesterday on Facebook were ridiculous! People talking about child cruelty and mutilation and taking away choice… I was like, ” really people?”
    I won’t be piercing my girl’s ears till they’re older (and only when they want to), but I think it’s such a silly thing to get worked up over and I don’t really give a flip if other people want to, just like I’m sure you couldn’t care less that I’m not piercing their ears when they’re babies.

    1. Those people just made me crazy!!! They were ridiculous – ear piercing is far from cruel!

      And exactly what you said – it absolutely doesn’t matter to me that you want to wait for your girls! Your kid, your decision! 🙂

  4. We did my daughters at 9mths. Dad took her since I take her for her shots… She barely flinched and you are right they area STINKING CUTE!!! She is almost 2 now and she is always showing them off to people 🙂

  5. I agree it should be the parents choice. I had my daughters done when she was 7 months old, she is now 16 and chooses not to wear them because she doesn’t t like them. That is her choice and I respect that. She hasn’t worn them for years now and you can’t really till I ever had them done. I would love for her to wear earrings but she is not a girly girl . I think everyone should have the right to choose for themselves . Love your blogs Jess ! Keep up the good work, feeling so proud of the woman you have become.

  6. In Brazil (where I grew up) you can choose to have the nurse pierce the ears before the baby is handed to you. We are already prodding and prickling her for tests, so they just quickly do it. By then their cartilage is so soft all you need is to add pressure and done.

    I don’t get the whole controversy. Seems silly. You don’t want to do it, then don’t. But don’t judge moms that can and choose to. If I had a daughter (or when I have one) I will for sure get her ears pierced as well. 🙂

  7. I did not pierce my daughters ears as a baby only because I just never thought about it. I wasn’t allowed to have mine done until I was 12 either, isn’t that a funny random age to pick as a parent. I have always said that I would let my daughter when she was ready. At 6 she thought she wanted them and then backed out when we got there. A couple of months ago she said she wanted to do them again, but she couldn’t until after her recital because they are not allowed to wear jewelry, so we are planning on going next week and if she does it, I will be super excited, if she chickens out that’s ok too! But I did see all this controversy on Facebook yesterday and it just perplexes me that it is even an issue. I think it is totally a parents choice. Your daughter has the option to not wear earrings later on if that is what she chooses and as for mutilation…come on??? Really? Cracks me up what people choose to get worked up about!

    1. It’s funny that for you it was 12 too! I just remember being completely confused as to why it was a big deal. It is crazy that people are making it into a thing. Seriously, people? They’re earrings. There are much more pressing issues out there.

  8. It blows my mind that people judge ear piercing in children. I swear, some people just don’t have anything better to do. Pain and cruelty? Seriously? I remember getting my ears pierced when I was a kid and it was painless! We waited on piercing Mila’s ears. Not for any real reason. With the hustle and bustle of life, we just didn’t think about it. Mila touched my ear the other day and said, “Earring, pretty.” Then she touched her own ear. She was confused that nothing was there. I asked her if she wanted earrings and she said yes. Now I wish we had done it when she was an infant. At this point, I almost want to wait a while since she’ll likely play and pull at them and it will end up a disaster. I think it’s smart that you did it within her first year. And I am so with you on letting parents make their own decisions – if we all did the same thing, what fun would life be?

    1. It truly is crazy. How old is she now? When we had Abbie’s done, they recommended doing it young (like before 18 months) or waiting until about 5 when they were old enough to understand not to touch. It’s your call, but at this point, if you think she’ll mess with it, I’d wait until you’re certain she won’t!

  9. Thank you for posting this. I just had my baby girl’s ears pierced at 13 months. Honestly, I wish I had done it earlier. The only person to be rude about it is my mother in law who just doesn’t like it when people don’t do things her way. I had a very traumatic ear piercing experience myself when I was 6, so I didn’t want my daughter to be able to remember when she got hers pierced. Plus, it’s really freaking cute!

  10. I just can’t believe that people are even judging one another over this. Who cares?? I think the younger the better. My daughter was 9 months when I did hers. Good for you for doing what you wanted and not caring about it! Great post, thank you for sharing! xx

  11. My mom took me to get ears pierced when I was 7 and I told her I’d like to be able to wear earrings just like she did. She had a second set of holes pierced together with me. Many years passed by and we both share such lovely memory. It’s been an exciting and very special day for both of us.
    So I didn’t pierce my daughter’s ears when she was a baby. She is now a tomboy toddler (like I was too) but I’m pretty sure she will love earrings and girl things within a few years. I’ll be delighted to take her to have ears pierced when she asks for it. And of course… I’ll have a second set of holes poked in my earlobes together with her! It’s going to become our family tradition.

  12. I cant no believe how up in arms some people get about a infant having their ears pierced! I got our daughters done at 3 months and I am so glad I did. Like you I had mine done when I was a baby and never had any issues with it. #babybigtruck has had them done almost a year now and no issues either! Do your thing mama!

  13. Admittedly, I know a lot of people have strong feelings when to pierce a child’s ear. “Let them decide” is being replaced by parental decision when mommy intuition knows, “earlier is better” from either personal or friend’s experiences of unpleasant childhood ear piercing. I think it just depends on your own personal choice whether or not you wish your baby or little girl to have pierced ears.

    Initially, I was unsure too, but asked our ped for her opinion about having our daughter’s ears pierced. She reached in her pocket and took out a picture of her six month little girl with gold balls in each ear, saying,” …this is what I think.” She encouraged me to go ahead and said it was best as an infant when mommy could care for them. This is the “best time” and of course, after her first DPT shot. Our ped said surprisingly, she has never had a baby with a pierced ear infection, but has had quite a few older girls ages 2-5 who said they wanted it done, but failed to care for them. She gave me some “Tips for moms having their daughter’s ears pierced” due to so many moms inquiring about having their infants and little girls ears pierced.

    Like you, I was unsure, but admit I love the look of babies and little girls with pierced ears. I know cerebrally, as mothers of girls of all ages, we know it celebrates their femaleness and femininity. After all, they are little girls, right? Growing up I remember many of my little girlfriends were not allowed to get their ears pierced. I could never understand it…but when their parents did finally let them, it always seemed they’d get infected because they were constantly touching them or trying to change out the earrings before they were supposed to.

    If any moms are unsure and looking to a smart mommy like Jess, promise your daughter will thank you later for the “gift of pierced ears” as an infant. If you or any mom would like any of our ped’s care tips for infants, then don’t hesitate to write me an e-mail.

    [email protected]

    1. Thanks my dear! When we got Abbie’s ears done, they actually echoed a lot of the same things. I don’t regret it at all and will pierce any future daughter’s ears early too!

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I’m Jess! I’m a working mama of two sweet sisters living in the DC area. This is my space to share inspiration, real stories of working motherhood, recipes, style, and more! I can’t start my day without coffee and always try to show the real side of motherhood – the good and the challenging. I’m so glad you’re here – thanks for following along on my journey!

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