DD's ears were pierced when she was around two years after she'd had a meltdown begging for the "ear pretties". We had them done, but since she fought me so hard taking care of them properly, they became infected. We finally took them out and let the holes close up as much as they could. She's now almost 13 years old and still has almost fully open holes.. so yes, the piercings were a permanent modification. She doesn't want them re-pierced at this point, even though she knows that she has that option and that it would be extremely easy to do. However, she may never
want them pierced.. and there's nothing wrong with that.
This may come off as judgemental sounding, but I would never pierce a child's ears unless they specifically asked for them. I fully believe that while our children are a part of us, they are not an extension of us.. and to decorate their body by piercing holes through it and adding ornamentation simply to make our life easier (the whole boy/girl thing) or because the parent think it looks "cute" is selfish.. I mean, the infant couldn't care less if her earrings look great or not. It's also extremely presumptous to think the child won't mind later on and/or actually be thankful you made the decision for
them. Perhaps the child would be happier that you allow it to be more of a rite of passage for a child to make their own decision about their body when they can actually remember having it done. I'm 35 years old and I still
remember the day that I had my ears pierced. I was around the age of 6 and went with two of my favorite Aunts. They made it a very special day for me!!
With that said, I'm ALL for body modification if that is what the person wants for themselves. Bodily integrity is something that I'm extremely passionate about.