Would you pierce your baby girl’s ears?

Sun Hat: Purple with white flower

I always wondered if I'd had a baby girl, would we get her ears pierced?

During my first pregnancy years ago, my husband and I talked about getting the baby’s ears pierced if the baby turned out to be a girl.

We disagreed.

He thought we should go ahead and do it soon after birth. He is from India, where babies’ ears are pierced very early.

He even approached it from a practical standpoint: she will likely have her ears pierced at some point in her life. Why not help her avoid the pain later and have it done for her when she’s a baby and too young to remember?

I argued that we should wait and let her pierce her ears at an “appropriate” age.

I had to wait until I was a teenager before my parents would let me pierce my ears. It was a grownup privilege, to be earned, in my parents’ way of thinking. Not the least because it’s a (mostly) permanent – and cosmetic – change you’re making to your body.

It was thought to be along the lines of wearing makeup, which was also a no-no until I reached a certain age.

Now that I’m actually a grownup, I can understand why they felt like that. I agree that it’s important to avoid focusing on physical aspects of beauty from too young an age, to give girls a chance to develop confidence and a sense of self that doesn’t rely on cosmetic enhancements.

But do earrings even qualify as something along those lines? What about cute girls’ clothing, then? Where would you even draw a line?

From a practical view, I worried about the baby’s clothing catching on the studs in her ears.

To be fair, I hadn’t done any research. I hadn’t really taken notice of babies with earrings or talked to other moms who had gone ahead and pierced their baby’s ears. I am mostly going on a gut feeling here.

Well, my husband and I never had to disagree for long – we now have two boys, so the question never came up again.

But I always wondered, what if we’d had a girl? Would we have ended up piercing her ears?

What about you? Did you pierce your baby’s ears?

The magic of babies
Does your baby look like you? Does it matter?

Comments (2)

  1. Angie Tune

    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.

    Some feel perceived gender of their child is important while others find it a cultural tradition where all infant girls have pierced ears. I pierced our oldest daughter’s ears when she was two months old and our youngest at just days old. We found an experienced individual where they specialized in infant piercing.

    My advice is to do them one at a time to insure they are perfectly centered. This may take 15 seconds longer, but will make sure they are not crooked later in life.

    Our oldest daughter just turned two and has never had an infection, pulled them out, and she’s never even played with her earrings (which is amazing in my book). My mom pierced my ears when I was 2 weeks old and I’ve loved it….I think earrings on little girls are adorable! Believe your husband is right about it being best done early.

    If moms are unsure how their dd’s would look, then, then hold up a pair of your studs to their ears. Many moms including myself like the look of earrings on babies and little girls for no specific reason, but like how light plays off a simple gold ball on a bald baby girl or small gold hoop poking through the hair of a toddler.

    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. Many said it was painful, but all cried having a great deal of angst leading up to and including the actual ear piercing.

    To each their own but I think the earlier the easier. If we have another girl, I will pierce her ears early as well. I took my youngest DD at days old after I asked our pediatrician and she encouraged me to go ahead before she aware of her surrounding or developed a pincer grip to play with her ears. She gave me some suggestions for moms having their daughter’s ears pierced. They seem to apply to all ages.

    If anyone wants our ped’s tips, then don’t hesitate to write me an e-mail.

    Just when is the best time to pierce your daughter’s ears? It is when you are ready to care for them during the healing phase. They are very easy to care for. If you decide to do it as a newborn or infant, then I promise she’ll thank you later!


    • Lisa

      Angie, that’s a wonderful perspective. Thank you so much for telling us about your experience! Had I spoken to a mom like you, I surely would have wanted to go ahead and do it early if I’d had a girl.

      Interestingly, in my husband’s culture, even the baby boys have their ears pierced, even though they may choose not to wear earrings later. You can still see the indentations in my husband’s ears!

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