When I was 4 months old, my mother was interested in infant ear piercing and took me to have my ears pierced. Well, actually, my father took me, because my mom couldn’t handle witnessing the whole ordeal, even though it was her desire to have my ears pierced in the first place.
Reasons I’m Glad I Had Infant Ear Piercing
Even though I always found it ironic that my mom refused to be present when my ears were pierced, I have always been very glad that she had them done when I was a baby, and here are my reasons why. I never had to take care of newly pierced ears myself, which was nice. I remember so many friends throughout my childhood and adolescence who got their ears pierced and who then didn’t properly care for them, which caused infections, holes closing back up, or scar tissue forming. I can’t say with any certainty that I would have done any better of a job caring for my ears if I had gotten them pierced at 8, 10 or 12, myself. But I can say with certainty that I would have reached a point in life where I would have wanted to get my ears pierced. And I am so glad that I never had to go through the mental anguish of psyching myself out about the horrible pain that the piercing gun would surely cause. And I would have most definitely spent a lot of time thinking about it and getting freaked out. I may have even been one of those girls who only got one ear pierced before running out the door in fear. Yikes.
Choosing Infant Ear Piercing for My Baby
In the past few months, I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about whether or not I wanted to get Darah’s ears pierced. Mostly I thought about about that scary piercing gun (told you I would!). Could I really do this to my baby??? I started doing research online, and I learned a few things. First and foremost, the IDEA of ear piercing is much more painful than the actual process. The pain is pretty much on par with getting a shot, because the ear lobe is mostly just cartilage. The second thing I learned is that, as with all things related to parenting, there is a heated debate about this topic. In the most extreme cases, I read posts on chat boards where mothers were calling those who got had their babies’ ears pierced child abusers. Woah!
So what did I do? At Darah’s 6 month checkup on Monday, I had her pediatrician pierce her ears. I was in the room (Tim was holding her. I did one better than my mom, but I did chicken out a little bit). She cried for a grand total of 12 seconds. I made the very best decision I knew to make for Darah. I decided that in our culture, ear piercing is so common that the odds are very good that she’d want it done at some point, and this way I can spare her the tiny amount of physical pain later on, as well as the large amount of mental torture that comes with getting freaked out about it. I do understand the position that some parents take that you are making a permanent change to your child’s body without her permission. This is an excellent point, and it did give me a great deal of pause. I ultimately decided that if, in the future, Darah expresses frustration that I had her ears pierced, I will be ready and willing to give her my reasoning for choosing infant ear piercing, but humbly apologize if my decision upsets her.
I think that there are really compelling reasons to pierce your daughter’s ears, and really compelling reasons to wait. If you have thought over this decision yourself, I’d love to hear what you decided to do. But please refrain from calling anyone a child abuser!