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#1 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just found out yesterday that I'm carrying a baby girl. As a mom I can't help but think about everything concerning my baby and one of the things that came to mind was piercing her ears at an early age. I mean if she has it done when she's a few weeks old it will be a couple of pricks like she'll get when she gets her vaccines and then it'll be over with and she won't even remember it. A big reason I wanna get them pierced is that I'm an easily offended person and I'm sure I'll be extra sensitive about my first LO so if I have her out in public and she's got on green or yellow or red (gender neutral) clothing, no one would know she's a girl and ppl have a tendency to go "oh he's so cute". Even though they're being nice I probably still be put out at them assuming she's a he. But if I pierced her ears it's very obvious she's a little girl and not a little boy.

So my question is this: do you think I'm cruel for wanting to pierce her ears at a young age? And for those of you who are having a girl, would you pierce them now, or wait until they're older lik 9 or ten years old and can ask to get them pierced?
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#2 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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I know in some cultures "every" baby girl had their ears pierced at birth. My daughter was 2 when we had hers done and I think I'd wait longer for my next dd. It was more difficult to take care of the ears than I thought. The piercing itself wasn't a big deal to her.

I'd say the same about the newborn. There are so many other things going on: getting sleep, establishing nursing, adjusting that ear piercing would not be on my radar at that point. As for being offended....I just dont' see why someone you don't know thinking your baby is a boy for a second is a big dea.

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#3 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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I totally support a person's right to body modification -- when they chose. We will wait until 1) DD asks and 2) she is old enough to manage or at least deal with the follow up care.

FWIW, it is only until about 6 months that all babies look like just genderless babies. If you are really worried about it, just dress her in a pink hair clip. No reason to subject her to needless pain, the risk of infection (which is higher with a piercing gun than hollow needles), and the loss of choice about her own body.

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#4 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's the principal. I don't care about them thinking she's a he as much as the stupidity of the person for labeling my baby as one gender or the other when they are a stranger and don't know either way. Which is why when I see a strangers baby out and I want to ooohh and aaahh over it I'll start out with "oh your baby (or your little one) is so cute what's their name.". People that just assume things without knowing annoys me. It's one of my pet peeves. So that's why assuming that a baby is automatically a male or female bothers me.
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#5 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 11:54 AM
 
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In my DH's culture, pretty much all baby girls have their ears pierced at birth. We didn't do it. I actually wanted to wait until she was older... figured it would be a nice treat. I remember getting mine pierced at 13 before I went to my first concert (the GoGos/INXS ). It was very cool.

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#6 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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I also wouldn't do it. Forget what people say. If it bothers you that much, you can get some of those bow headbands or so. Or a pink sling.

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#7 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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I leave any modifications to their body up to the person that does or doesn't want them. I have a teen daughter that would hate it if her ears were pierced and plans to never have it done. That's a choice I don't want to take away from my child, so I'd wait until she has an opinion about it (usually at least age 12 for my family).

As for people mistaking the gender.. it'll happen. Regardless of what she is wearing or if she has something on her ears or not. I remember my daughter being 2 years old, out in a party dress with pink sheer ruffles, and someone telling me what a cute boy she was.

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#8 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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I wanted to respond and let you know even if your baby is dressed in pink from head to toe, people may still admired your "little boy." It's just the way some people are.

I offered to pierce my dd's ears when she was ready. She liked the idea at a pretty young age, but didn't like the idea that it would hurt. She finally worked up the courage just before 5 years old. She was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't so bad. She was really proud that she did it and didn't cry or anything. I agree it's important to think of the aftercare. Even with an older child, I often would forget. She would remind me though and was pretty responsible.

Good luck with your decision.

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#9 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BabyWang2010 View Post
It's the principal. I don't care about them thinking she's a he as much as the stupidity of the person for labeling my baby as one gender or the other when they are a stranger and don't know either way. Which is why when I see a strangers baby out and I want to ooohh and aaahh over it I'll start out with "oh your baby (or your little one) is so cute what's their name.". People that just assume things without knowing annoys me. It's one of my pet peeves. So that's why assuming that a baby is automatically a male or female bothers me.
If assumptions bother you,you probably shouldn't assume that your daughter will want pierced ears.

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#10 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 12:29 PM
 
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MY MIL begged me to pierce DD's ears when she was a baby, but I think of it in the same vein as circumcision as well, though obviously at the other end of spectrum. I don't think it is fair to modify your child's body unless they choose, and are aware of the pain involved, no matter how minimal.

My daughter is 3.5 and just decided a few weeks ago that she was ready. She understood the procedure, and the consequences. It was such a treat and a fun day! She now has a "big girl" certificate on her wall with a picture of her and her new earrings. I would wait, personally.

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#11 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 12:42 PM
 
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A reputable piercer with clean equipment will not modify the body of an infant.

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#12 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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I'd wait till she's older. Just invest in some of those headbands that wrap around her head with the bow thing. And, FWIW, no matter what you do, people will say "what a cute little boy" because they just don't think/look/possess brain cells. You could put her in a dress every day and it won't make a difference
Congrats!

ETA- my 10 yr old has decided she wants hers done so I asked her pediatrician yesterday where she would recommend because I'd rather not have it done by some random 16 yr old with a gun that hasn't been cleaned in God knows how long and she said they can do it there. So I feel better knowing that it will be done right and by someone she and I trust

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#13 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jocelyndale View Post
A reputable piercer with clean equipment will not modify the body of an infant.


There are plenty of threads about this here. If you get them done at a shop that pierces infants, they'll use the gun. A gun can cause scar tissue. It can also pierce at an angle, or the two holes can be at different spots on the ears. It might have to be corrected later. It can cause infection. For those reasons alone, I've chosen to wait until my children are old enough to ask for it, take care of it, and get it done in a reputable shop. I also agree that body modification should be the choice of the person living in that body.

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#14 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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Its totally your decision, being the Mom.

However, my XH did get my DD's done whenever you are allowed at a regular mall-type jewelry store that does piercing - 6 weeks, 2 months or 4 months maybe? I told him I wouldn't do it, so he took her.

They really didn't seem to phase her. Cleaning and turning was a little tricky, but doable.

However, once it was okay to take out the piercing studs, and I did, which I replaced with very nice 14K gold studs, she got a horrible infection. I continued to clean and try to keep them open for a few months, but it would always come back, crusty, bleeding, oozing and smelly. Our only option were probably very small continuous 14K gold hoops, but I didn't think I could get them into her ears at that stage (they're hard to get in your own ears, much less a wiggly baby girl!). Eventually I just let them close up.

Now we've left it that she'll chose when to get them re-pierced. She talks about it a lot... but hasn't gotten the "guts" up yet (she'll shortly be 7).

Because of my experience with DD, I am not a fan of infant/toddler piercing, but to each its own.

As for people saying "how cute your little boy is"... maybe always have her wear a hat, a shirt or a bib that says "I'm a girl".

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#15 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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I got my DD's ears pierced when she was around 4 months old. It's a family thing, and I didn't really give it much thought. It really wasn't a big deal for her. She cried for a minute. We comforted her, and that was that. But, to be honest, I wouldn't do it again. It just didn't feel right once I did it. I don't judge other people's decision on this at all. But if we ever have another girl, she'll be waiting until she's older.

Also to the OP, since you said you are easily offended, if you do get your DD's ears pierced as a baby, by prepared for people to comment negatively on it. My DD is two now, and we still get people remarking on her earrings. Lots and lots of people are very against it, and they aren't afraid to be rude. I'm the sort of person who just shrugs that sort of thing off, but no everyone is.

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#16 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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I would never modify any human being's body if they couldn't consent. It's a human rights issue.

Another more personal reason is because I was 6 when I had mine pierced. My ears weren't fully developed and my holes are now in very awkward places which cause me to never wear earrings. Instead I now have holes in my ears that look ridiculous and empty.

My daughters will be waiting until at least 12 or 13 before I will allow it, for that reason.

If people think your baby is a boy, tell them she's not. A hell of a lot less work and money than piercing and caring for an infant's body modification.
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#17 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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I'm having a girl and won't be putting any unecessary holes in her body.
I will wait until she is old enough to understand and wants to do it. If she doesn't ever want them, then she won't have to get them.
This is coming from someone with multiple holes in her body. I love peircings, but think they should be optional for everyone.

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#18 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 01:44 PM
 
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I'm having a girl and won't be putting any unecessary holes in her body.
I will wait until she is old enough to understand and wants to do it. If she doesn't ever want them, then she won't have to get them.
This is coming from someone with multiple holes in her body. I love peircings, but think they should be optional for everyone.


Also, as some PPs have mentioned, a needle is much better than a piercing gun. You can find a pretty informative article here: http://tattoo.about.com/cs/psafety/a/piercing_guns.htm

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#19 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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I didn't have any problems with ppl assuming my baby girl was a boy even though she was often in gender-neutral or even very much boy clothing. I didn't have her ears pierced until the summer before she started school. And I'm glad we waited so long. DD had bad cradle c(r)ap as well as neurodermitis as an infant and was scratching herself raw. The last thing I would have needed was an infant ripping her earrings out as well.

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#20 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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If you do decide to do it-watch for infection and allergy. I had mine pierced at 2 and it took forever to heal due to infection, etc. Turns out I have a nickel allergy, which still keeps me from wearing most costume jewelry. They have studs that are 14k gold, or nickel-free which should help.

FWIW, I wouldn't do it until she asked for it. But, I know lots of members of my family have, and I didn't judge them or anything. I just think it would be a fun treat when she's a few years old. I apparently asked for piercing for months when I was 2 until my mom relinquished. I don't remember it, but we have pictures and it was a fun bonding activity for us.

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#21 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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DD got hers pierced this year for Christmas... shes 4 1/2 and learned what it entailed beforehand. She took VERY good care of them and is now able to change them whenever she wants (but doesn't want to because they are pretty pink jewels lol)

She wanted it done at age 2 but I knew then she did not understand the idea of having a hole put through your ear... so I did not do it then.

I would never do it before the child is old enough to understand what it entails and STILL want it. Too young runs the risk of them pulling them out and possibly even ending up eating them (seen that happen...) it does not hurt them any to wait until they are older. If they want to play dress up with earrings before they are older, there are some nice clip ons or press ons that dont hurt any.

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#22 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 02:52 PM
 
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I've struggled with this one. As it turns out, I won't be having any girls but nonetheless I've thought about it a lot.

My parents didn't let me get my ears pierced. I had to sneak and get it done when I was 18. And then I went piercing crazy. As a girl, I wished so hard to have pierced ears. Even lied about it to people who asked why I didn't (I would say I did but they were just too tiny to see--I remember that as my first lie). So while I don't believe in changing any one's body against their will, a part of me definitely would want a girl child of mine to have her ears pierced and pierced early because of my experiences.

But I honestly believe, it's not my decision to make. Really it's not. It's quite possible that your daughter may not want her ears pierced even if everyone around her has them pierced. She may not want to go through the pain of getting them pierced and may be perfectly happy with clip-ons. They have such cute styles now too. Also, pain is pain is pain. An infant can't tell you how much pain she's in. No, she won't remember the pain but she will still experience it. And unlike my parents, if my daughter expressed a desire to have them pierced, we'd talk about in detail and I'd get it done by a professional.

And trust me . . . people confuse baby sex all the time. My sons could be dressed head to toe in boy clothes that say, "Daddy's All-Time Slugger" or something super boyish and people will still say, "Oh, what cute little girls". Huh? I don't think it's anything to get offended about. I just gently correct them and say that they are boys.

The choice really should be up to your daughter.

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#23 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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And trust me . . . people confuse baby sex all the time. My sons could be dressed head to toe in boy clothes that say, "Daddy's All-Time Slugger" or something super boyish and people will still say, "Oh, what cute little girls". Huh? I don't think it's anything to get offended about. I just gently correct them and say that they are boys.
This is why we ended up getting DSs first haircut at 3 months... it was either get it cut into a boyish cut or start using barrettes to keep his hair out of his eyes and have everyone convinced we were dressing up our girl in boy clothes lol.

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#24 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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The thing is, everyone will still say, "what a cute little boy" even if you pierce her ears, dress her in head to toe pink, and flash a huge neon sign over her head that says, "I'm a girl". People just don't think, they just say whatever comes into their head. Until just a few months ago, Ds who is 4 and a half liked to wear his hair long. He could be dressed in hiking boots, jeans with a belt, a sports t-shirt and a dark blue flannel, and people would still say to me, "oh what a cute little girl". I didn't force Ds to shave his head, I just ignored people's gender assumptions. As a parent you are going to have learn to have a thicker skin.
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#25 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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As a parent you are going to have learn to have a thicker skin.
That. And putting a bow on her head will be more obvious and less permanent, if you actually want to advertise "girl."

My eldest just got her ears pierced at 10. I figured she's old enough to understand the potential consequences, care for her ears, let me know if there are issues, etc.

I had a pretty bad infection after my second set of piercings and don't wear earrings at all now even though the holes are still intact. It didn't look very dramatic at all - you could have barely identified a problem - but it hurt SO BAD, and I can't imagine thinking my daughter's ears were "a little irritated" and having her feel like I did.

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#26 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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I would not pierce an infant's ears. I would wait until they're old enough to want it done and when they are able to take care of them properly.

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#27 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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My MIL was pretty upset when she found out that we won't be piercing our little girl's ears. My husband is Chilean and in Chile all little baby girls get their ears pierced right away, it's just a cultural thing, but I could never imagine doing Ela's ears. Not only am I against it because of the points that other posters made re: body modification and the baby's personal choice, I also think that waiting is a great opportunity to teach independence and responsibility. Getting my ears pierced at 7 years old was like a rite of passage for me and I remember feeling like I was really a big girl now. But the privilege of the earrings came with the responsibility of keeping them clean and well cared for, and I knew before I was allowed to get them that I would also be expected to care for them. I think it was a great learning opportunity, and I plan to do the same with my daughter.

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#28 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, this thread really took off. That said I never said I'm for sure getting her ears pierced thus the reason for asking opinions on the matter. I agree with it being a personal decision therefore I won't be piercing her ears. Also the gender factor wasn't the only reason I CONSIDERED piercing her ears. I still remember the prick and burning sensation of getting my ears pierced but I'd my parents had of done it when I was an infant I know I would not remember it. On the other hand as a parent I don't want my baby to be in pain because of a decision I made for her. Which is why I restled with doing it or not doing it.

I'm sure I will get remarks about her gender despite what I do but I will try to eliminate that confusion as much as possible with pink stuff because unlike most new moms my baby will not look that much like me since she is half Asian so I will have to not only deal with is she a boy but also with is she yours is she adopted, etc. So I was just trying to eliminate gender confusion on top of everything else but ppl don't think before they speak so my efforts will be in vain rather she has pierced ears or not. So I'm not going to do it.
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#29 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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OP, I hope you don't feel attacked.

I did want to let you know that recent research has shown that although infants do not conciously remember pain, experiencing that pain does cause neurological changes.

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#30 of 82 Old 02-13-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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I wanted to respond and let you know even if your baby is dressed in pink from head to toe, people may still admired your "little boy." It's just the way some people are.
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Originally Posted by jocelyndale View Post
A reputable piercer with clean equipment will not modify the body of an infant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post


There are plenty of threads about this here. If you get them done at a shop that pierces infants, they'll use the gun. A gun can cause scar tissue. It can also pierce at an angle, or the two holes can be at different spots on the ears. It might have to be corrected later. It can cause infection. For those reasons alone, I've chosen to wait until my children are old enough to ask for it, take care of it, and get it done in a reputable shop. I also agree that body modification should be the choice of the person living in that body.


I have three girls and one boy. People *always* call my girls boys and my boys girls. I don't get it but I'd never put holes in them to prove a point-especially with so many boys with piercings nowadays. You could have a neon flashing sign on their heads that says "GIRL" and some people still wouldn't get it.

I am so glad you changed your mind about it. My mom did it to me and it's just awful. My oldest was 8 when she had her ears pierced by her choice and it was a big deal and a mom-daughter thing. I would never trade that for forcing an infant to be held and have holes put in them against their will for cosmetic reasons.

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