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ear piercing

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
We were at a party last night (this is an exhausting week - 2 weddings, 1 where dh was best man, a going away party for a good friend and oh, yeah Christmas! What a week!) and our dd was the only girl of any age without pierced ears. I'm talking babies here, a few months old. We have no intention of piercing dds ears, at least not until she really really wants them done. We were told "it's our culture" - which was? One family was Puerto Rican, one Ecuadorian, and then there's Italian. I'm wondering if this is popular where you are too, do you see it as cultural?
post #2 of 35
I see this a lot around here, too! A friend of mine is Cuban and she says it is a cultural thing for them. I did not get my 17 yo dd's ears pierced as a baby and she still has never pierced them. I will not pierce my 5 mo. old dd's ears, either. I believe in personal choice.
post #3 of 35
Well, I don't see it a lot around here, but I saw it a lot back home. I'm in Portsmouth, Virginia right now. Most of the population is AfAm. I'm from San Antonio, Texas, where most of the population is Mexican. It is definitely a cultural thing as far as I can tell. It is so prevalent in SA, in fact, that it crosses racial boundaries. Well, San Antonio certainly has its own culture, one that is heavily influenced by the large Mexican population. My own ears were pierced at six weeks, and that is the main reason I want to have it done young if we have a girl. (Family history: both female cousins were denied permission, had a friend do it, and wound up with bad infections, another reason for us to do it when she's young). I don't know if it will be found odd whereever we wind up living (dh plans to retire from the Navy, so there's no telling where all we'll live). I grew up in SA though, so that's my culture too.
post #4 of 35
Well, I remember when, at 4 yo, asking my mom to get mine done and I was sooo thrilled when she said yes. I am going to wait until dd asks me b/c at that young age their aren't a whole lot of "big girl" things I will be able to say yes to. I don't remember it hurting much and later had 2nd and 3rd holes put in. (Which I haven't used hardly at all since high school, but Oh well. ) I did have to wait until I was 18 to peirce my bellybutton. My mom wouldn't take me b/c she didn't want to see it. :
post #5 of 35
I also believe in waiting until a girl can make her own decision about pierced ears. Mine were pierced as an 11th birthday present. I have noticed that in certain cultures most baby girls have their ears pierced, particularly in Latin American cultures. I don't know where this tradition comes from; maybe a family member can explain it to you? I think a lot of people do it so that their neutral-looking baby is identifiable as a girl, but as someone who doesn't categorize children according to sex (I think of every person as an individual, and truly believe that there is just as much difference between a girl and another girl as there is between a girl and a boy), I don't relate to that idea.

That said, you didn't say that anyone in your family was telling you that you SHOULD pierce Ruthie's ears, so to each their own!
post #6 of 35
i think it looks really cool when little babies have pierced ears, but i don't know if there is any danger in it -- like if the baby pulls on their ear or something. i grew up in brooklyn and most of my friends had had it done as infants. they were of many different cultures. my grandmother (nyc, jewish) had also had it done as an infant and said that is what was done at that time. however, my mother didn't have her's done -- it was out of style apparently when she was little. i begged to have my ears pierced for 5 years. finally when i was ten, my mom agreed, and we both went and got them done together, which was kind of cool. this old guy who had been piercing ears for 50yrs did it the old fashioned way with a needle and a cork! i have good memories of it -- picking out the earrings and all that.
i also like the idea bella babe has about being able to say yes to her daughter when she asks. my dd is 2, but when she asks, i think it would be a fun thing to say yes, as long as she understands it will hurt a litttle, and we will have to be careful and take care of them for a few weeks.
post #7 of 35
I agree, she can get them when *SHE* wants them... why should I poke her ears? I hate wearing earings, why would I make my girl wear them when she can't even tell me she dislikes it?
I was adopted, my adoptive parents are mexican. They are angry I'm not piercing her ears. They explained that in mexico the families with money are able to pierce them, and the poor are not. It's a status thing for them.
I told them it was a joke, they also think a man isn't a man until he has a male child. blachhhh! gag me, seriously... get over it. I get sick of hearing it, last time she asked when I was peircing her ears I told her "WHEN SHE ASKS, and I dont hear her talking yet" My mom sighed, as always... I simply told her that I have nothing to prove to her or any of her family in Mexico. My daughter has a loving family, and all she needs materially. My SIL had both her girls done before they were 2 months old

post #8 of 35

I'm a Rican Mom

and I got a lot of heat for not piercing my dd's ears when she was a baby. Mine were done when I was a few eeks iwth a needle ,some thread and ice as were my sis's my cousins, my mom, my grandmom etc so yeah it is kind of culturla but I couldn't bear to do it to my baby. Over the summer when we were in Puerto Rico she asked me if she could get her easr pierced. She knew it would hurt but she still wanted it done.so I got them pierced. I've never heard of it being a calss thing..at leats in Puerto Rico its not.

post #9 of 35
i think it looks cute

im sure it is painful

i wouldnt' do it because of infection, or the risk of the baby yanking it out and hurting self or choking

but. i dont mind if people do it

i think it is too risky

but then i am a worry wort.
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
hey Malia's - thanks for explaining that about Mexico - I've been trying to remember what I noticed while I was there and it seems like I didn't see much ear piercing so I was having trouble getting that to mesh with it being a Latin thing. Must be I just didn't know anybody who was "high class" - lol!

peacemama - We're actually the Italian's of the bunch, well dh is, I'm your basic Anglo mutt. Believe it or not, with my MIL, I actually haven't gotten any kid raising pressures one way or the other yet. I'm sure it will come, I think they just have all decided I'm weird and don't care what they think so they go off on other things. I'm lucky that Ruthie is such a beaut, because lord knows if she was at all cranky, sick, fill in the blanks, it would be because I'm such a big old vegetarian and my breastmilk is yucky! But you are right, I could have a mellow conversation about it with some of our friends (who are like family!)

To all - hope I didn't sound judgemental (just mental?) I think its really interesting, not my personal choice, I can't bear the thought of causing her pain. When I was in Africa I was in an area that had a a lot of facial scarification and it was explained to me that in the old way of thinking it was a way to claim a child as your own. If a child had no marks it meant they weren't wanted, homeless in a way. Its going out of style now, but interesting to understand the reasons behind it.
post #11 of 35
This issue really gets me hot under the collar so I am going to apologize in advance for the peopleI am bound to offend.

I will never understand how some people can look at a beautiful, perfect tiny little baby and thing "Now if she only had on a pair of fake gemstone earrings she would really be cute. Lets take her to the mall and give a teenage girl $5 to use a totally unsanitary device to force a chunk of metal through her flesh, crushing and bruising her tiny little ear lobes."

Most people on these boards are proud to defend a baby boys penis from non-consentual alterations for cosmetic and cultural reasons. I would love it if the same kind of feeling were applied to this issue as well. I understand that the degree of mutilation is different and earrings can be removed while foreskins, once cut are altered forever. Let's not subject our kids to painful procedures to suit our asthetics and lets try to discourage others from doing it as well.
post #12 of 35

another Latina here...

...whose ears were pierced as a wee babe. It was/is a matter of course. I had a son so I didn't think about it but my goddaughter got her ears pierced at 7 months when she went to D.R. for the summer. From my understanding, it is so that the girl doesn't get confused for a boy.

I agree that piercing and any other body altering procedures should be left up to the child and will do this when I have a daughter.

But I have to say, they do look cute. (all right flame away...)
post #13 of 35
Mine were done when my parents adopted me, I was 4 and never wanted or liked them. It was a horrible experience, and I remember it well.
I don't know that universally it is a status thing, but for my family they relate it to their standing financially. But they also come from very low class in Mexico and probably couldn't afford it when others were able to. My mother has many material "hang ups" so it could just be her.
I personally don't think it looks cute at all... babies can't look any more perfect than they do in hteir natural state!

post #14 of 35
My husband has Puerta rican family, his grandfather came from PR but the rest have been in hawaii for some time. They suprised me by saying that they were proud of me for not doing it. I love DH's family, his dad's side at least!

post #15 of 35
I have a friend from Venezuela who said she was very suprised when she found out the nurses here didn't pierce all newborn girls ears before they went home from the hospital. She finally took her dd to the mall when she was a few weeks old.

I personally think jewelry looks silly on babies. (I don't like those bow elastic head band things, either!) But to my friend, her dd probably looked like a boy to her until she had the ears pierced, since all girls have them.
post #16 of 35
Thanks, Pina La Nina for bringing this up
(personal note- my knickname in high school was pina because I loved all things with the pinal colada flavor)
OK- you great gals have really helped to solidify my decision. I always thought I'd pierce my baby girl's ears...until I had one. How could I cause her pain? I like the way earrings look and I expect she'll want them in the long run. I asked for them when I was 5 and I remember being shocked at how painful it was. I thought I'd pierce my baby's ears so she wouldn't remember the pain, but that way of thinking doesn't make sense. Whether or not she remembers it she still experiences it. And imagine how confused she'd be? My poor dd!
I'm glad you guys all posted because I probably would have gone ahead and did it, against my instincts.
I really like what everyone said about not choosing for her. And WOW, didn't kama'aina mama really tell it like it is!
Thanks ladies!
M and her un-jeweled cherub.
post #17 of 35
one ofthe claims i have heard about piercing the ears early is not that it isn't painful for them, but that it heals faster when they are little. my niece had hers done when she was about 3.5 i had mine done when i was 10. on one hand it mightheal faster when you are an infant, but i think when you areolder you are able to deal with it better.
post #18 of 35
Had DD's done at 12 weeks. Personally I like the look of her ears pierced with little gold studs...personal choice though.

If you want to do it, it is better to do it when they are younger. The discomfort is short-lived, they don't play with them, as the caregiver you keep them clean while they are healing and they are less likely to develop an infection. The older kids/girls get, the more likely they are to play with them or not clean them properly.

She loves her earrings now at 4 1/2 and loves to share with Mommy. If she doesn't like them as she gets older, she can always let the holes close.

post #19 of 35

saving it for pre-teen rite of passage

I'm hoping to keep my daughter's ears un-pierced until around 10-12 years old, in hopes that it can be used as some sort of ritual, acknowledgement of her becoming a young woman. My parents made me wait, and I felt like such a big girl when they finally consented!

I guess I feel girls are rushed into so many things so early, that the more I can hold on some things for DD (earings, make-up, dating(?)) the more she'll have to look forward to, and the longer she'll be able to enjoy being a little girl.

Of course, that's just my current theory -- we'l see how long it holds in the real world!

P.S. I think it is somewhat cultural, too. I grew up with a bunch of WASPs (although am not one) and it was very uncommon to pierce baby ears!
post #20 of 35
I am with Pom on this one, I was made to wait as well & it was such a big deal to me. I also think it is their decision since it is their body.
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