Ear Piercing an Infant - Need advise/ info - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-05-2006, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband asked me this, just this morning.

"If we have a girl, will we pierce her ears as a baby?"

Wonderful just when I think we've ironed all the issues out, here's a new one. I had never even considered this. I guess since we would like to have a boy it just never crossed our minds. The idea was brought up at DH's work.

At our ultrasound 2 1/2 weeks ago we weren't able to determine gender. But so far had made most the major decisions:
Cloth - Yes
- Yes
Cosleeping - Not sure, yes to start and take it as it goes

After finding out we would have a suprise at the birth, I wanted us to be sure on intact/vs Circ. So we debated for days.

Intact - Yes

So I guess I am torn on whether to peirce a little girls ears. I have heard that the pain would be minimial and they would forget it, that it's easier if mom just keeps the ears clean while they heal, and that the holes heal differently so that they won't close up later.

I don''t know the validity of any of the above and the pain one seems awfully like the comments on Circing as an infant. Also piercing isn't something that is nessasary it is very much cosmetic.

But I had my ears pierced at 10, 12 and again at 22 (the last by a pro with a needle) the first two times were with the gun and I had problems with infections and the holes closing all the time. I still need to wear earing almost all the time even to sleep or I risk having a very difficult time putting earing in or the holes will close up.

If I pierced my daugters ears to prevent future problems for her, would I be hippocritical, since I would keeping a son intact and not worry about what may happen in the future?

Thanks

Wife to DH Chris, Momma to :Caitlin Mae (4-28-07)
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:22 PM
 
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I wouldn't pierce an infant's ears. I don't think you can automatically assume that a girl will want earrings. I didn't until I was 14. I also think it puts a lot of value on a girl's appearance at a very young age.
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:23 PM
 
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What if dd doesn't want pierced ears? Not everyone does. I personally feel that it should be up to the person who wears the ears if they should be pierced or not.
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:25 PM
 
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Please don't pierce your daughters ears. It is HER body you are altering. There is no reason to have pierced ears. Yes, I think it is hypocritical to be anti circ but pro piercing. You sound like a thoughtful mom, good luck!
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:33 PM
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I would never, ever pierce my dd's ears. It is HER body and HER decision. Why do I have the right to perform medically unnecessary body modification on someone else's body without her permission?!
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:34 PM
 
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IMO it needs to be her decision when she is older. I hate seeing babies with pierced ears.
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:39 PM
 
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I would wait till she's older, that way it can be her decision and if she wants to get it done, it will be really fun and exciting for her to go and get it done. I got my ears pierced at age 10 and it was so exciting for me.
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by numom499 View Post
Please don't pierce your daughters ears. It is HER body you are altering. There is no reason to have pierced ears. Yes, I think it is hypocritical to be anti circ but pro piercing. You sound like a thoughtful mom, good luck!
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:51 PM
 
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: I agree with the other mamas that you should not pierce her ears. Also, it is not true at all that it is easier to take care of when they are infants. If you had problems when you were older, it is probably because a gun was used to pierce your ears the first 2 times, instead of a needle at a professional piercing place. You should never use a gun to pierce ears-only get it done by a certified professional who uses a needle. Also, I have many friends who had their ears pierced as infants and as they grew and got older, the hole became uneven and now the holes are down at the edge of the earlobes. Basically, just because you pierce the ears in the proper place as an infant, doesn't mean it will stay that way as she gets older. Does that make sense? So your daughter could end up with holes that are too close to the bottom of her lobe and might tear when she is older. It is better to wait til she is much older and her ears are about the size they will stay as an adult. The other mamas touched on the ethical issues already, so that is my point of view from just my experience of seeing friends' ears pierced as babies.

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Old 12-05-2006, 12:53 PM
 
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No:

It's her body to alter as she wishes
ears grow - holes done as an infant are often uneven later

-Angela
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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My mom pretty much made me get my ears pierced when I was nine, I didn't want it done, and I still don't really want it. So no, let her make her own decision.

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:24 PM
 
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I personally would not do it. Like the others have said, how do you know she wants them pierced? My opinion....not my body, not my choice.

If I had a daughter, I would let her make the decision around the age of 7 or 8. I would also look into a professional piercer who uses a needle instead of a gun.
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you mama's

I really need to be sure I wasn't crazy on the ethical front

And info like gemelos and alegna gave like that the ears will still grow is exactly what I need. More info to explain my pov to my husband.

Like I said in the OP, the circ debates was long, it actually started long before the U/S happened, because while I was anti circ, my husband was not. He has essentially gotten to the point where he understand that it's not medically nessasary but he doesn't care one way or the other now. So I got my way but it took parading a lot of medical info/ reasons why we shouldn't. The ethical discussion never really played a part though for him.

So I would love more info or any website that would show reasons not too. He is definitly leaning towards it and doesn't see a problem. I can not simple put my foot down either and tell him that we won't do it, we are both stubborn and he would imediatly take the opposite side.

Thank you for your help.

Wife to DH Chris, Momma to :Caitlin Mae (4-28-07)
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:27 PM
 
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I recently overheard a discusson about this. Here's my favorite quote from the conversation.

"Well, for the first one, she was fine, but then when they started to get ready to do the second one, she started screaming and wiggling around." I believe the next line was something about her being held down. Or strapped in. Or something equally horrifying.

I wouldn't alter my son's penis. I won't alter my daughter's ears.

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Old 12-05-2006, 01:29 PM
 
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I agree that I would wait and let her decide, but I don't feel it's hypocritical of you to be anticirc and pierce her ears, IMO.



FTR - My ears were pierced at about 2. I've never had issues with them closing or they are not uneven, almost 22 years later.
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:30 PM
 
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Go to the no circ board here, it is FULL of info that will sway your husband, complete with a link to a clip of a circ, I don't know how anyone can circ after watching it.

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Old 12-05-2006, 01:34 PM
 
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I wouldn't do it. I think it should be her decision. That's what I tell people when they ask why I haven't pierced my dds ears. I also agree with a pps point that said it puts a lot of value on a girls appearance at a very young age. I thought about this the other day...I hate wearing earings to bed because the backs of the earings prick me. When babies have earings they don't usually get taken out at night. That must be so irritating ! :
And I think a baby with earings looks so silly
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:40 PM
 
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I would not put my infant through unnecessary pain and possible infection in order for her to look a small degree cuter to certain people. I don't think the argument of her ears closing up more quickly if done later in life is even true, but even if it was, I don't think that's a valid argument in favor of piercing, because she might not even ever WANT her ears pierced.

If my daughter asks for pierced ears once she is old enough for me to explain in detail to her about the pain, possible infection, possible accidents (pulled-out earrings, etc.), and care that will go into maintaining them, and she still wants them, she can have them. Otherwise, my daughter's ears will stay whole.

I also think babies with earrings look a little silly -- kind of like a 3-year-old with a face full of make-up.
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:41 PM
 
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My ears were pierced as an infant, and I wouldn't have pierced a daughter's ears. Personally, I feel like it's her decision since it's her body. And frankly, I look at old pictures of me in 2nd grade with dangling earrings, and I just feel sad for that little girl who was conditioned to believe imposed standards of feminine beauty. For the record, I stopped wearing earrings when I was in Jr. high...in the 80's, and have only very rarely put them in since. My ears don't close, so I'm lucky that way, I guess. I have a cousin, though, who also got her ears pierced as an infant (family ritual, I suppose) and she has terrible trouble with her ears closing and getting infected all the time. And she's the exact opposite...she is always wearing earrings and hates the trouble they give her. I, on the other hand, could do without the holes in my ears.

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Old 12-05-2006, 01:44 PM
 
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Don't pierce her ears. Just as circumcision is permanently altering your son without his consent, piercing ears is permanently altering your daughter without her consent.

If your DH protests, saying he thinks it's "cute" and "feminine", do a counter-offer. "I don't want to pierce her ears, but you know, I think a labret piercing would be just ADORABLE on her! Don't you think? Or maybe a tiny stud in her nose?"
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:51 PM
 
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Ita with posters who would not do it; I want my DD to make that decision herself and if she decides to do to have the fun of going and doing it herself.

I also wanted to add that peircing as an infant is not the only way to get holes that don't close. I think it's genetics more than anything else.

I have holes that were done with a needle when I was 22 and although I wear earrings maybe 2-3 times a year they do not close up. They were originally 14g holes, so maybe that is why they haven't closed : Or maybe it's just innate; I scar badly as a rule and don't heal expecially well--maybe that is what caused it. The two gun-peircings I got in one ear closed up within a week of taking the earrings out wen I got tired of constant infections. But certainly it is possible to have permanent holes without doing it to a baby. I think it's just luck though, mostly.
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:59 PM
 
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Nope. She needs to lust after them and promise to take care of them when she's older.
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Old 12-05-2006, 02:05 PM
 
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I'd vote for don't do it. My mother had my ears pierced when I was a baby. Aside from the infections, it went well. :P Except for the fact that I'm against body alteration. I'd never get a tattoo, and I don't do piercings. So when I was a pre-teen, and made this decision to keep my body the way it came, I took my earrings out.

The holes never grew over.

As an adult, I can still put earrings in. It's not the end of the world, but it really does bother me that my ears were pierced without my permission. I never would have chosen to do it, if I had been given a choice at any point in my childhood.

Let your daughter decide.
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Old 12-05-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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there are too many bad things that could happen, like the holes gettiing infected or she tears one out when she's teething or has an ear infection. My mom didn't let me get my ears pierced until I was about 7 or 8, and she doesn't even have her own ears pierced. I just thought of something.....
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Old 12-05-2006, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just thought I would point out that I don't think either of us thinks this is cute and we aren't all about how our daughter will look and how she should act feminin. We've purchased a toy tractor for the child (with help) no matter the gender.

I certianly don't - I would have never considered it.

I honestly think my husband is trying to spare her any pain he can.

Neither of us has ever known anyone who was pierced as an infant so had no info to go on.

He is much less crunchy than I am, though.

Thank you again to the mommas who have given info, this maybe another long discussion for us. Yikes!

Wife to DH Chris, Momma to :Caitlin Mae (4-28-07)
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Old 12-05-2006, 02:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJamie View Post
If your DH protests, saying he thinks it's "cute" and "feminine", do a counter-offer. "I don't want to pierce her ears, but you know, I think a labret piercing would be just ADORABLE on her! Don't you think? Or maybe a tiny stud in her nose?"


That's good! I like the different perspective...if you'll pierce ears why not nose? I mean I love piercings, why not the nose instead?
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Old 12-05-2006, 02:30 PM
 
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I'm gonna go get Dynamohumm6 for this one..she's very well versed in body needles

Basically, I wouldnt dare do it. But if I did, I'd go to a tattoo and body piercing shop.

Basically, according to professionals, the piercing guns at the mall arent fully autoclavable, and the needles that the professionals use are autoclaved.
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Old 12-05-2006, 02:41 PM
 
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I wouldn't. the most convincing argument I eard was they re choking hazards. reason enough for me to stay away.

that said all my children have peirced ears. they chose to have it done. We delt with infections and lost earrings and such together. it was a pain but I am glad t was thier choice.

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Old 12-05-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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I agree with everyone else, but I want to add that earrings look tacky on babies and small children, especially boys - ugh.

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Old 12-05-2006, 03:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bamamom View Post
I'm gonna go get Dynamohumm6 for this one..she's very well versed in body needles

Basically, I wouldnt dare do it. But if I did, I'd go to a tattoo and body piercing shop.

Basically, according to professionals, the piercing guns at the mall arent fully autoclavable, and the needles that the professionals use are autoclaved.
crap, i just had this huge post written out and lost the whole thing.

Anyway...first...I personally am fiercely against decorating anyone's body except my own. I consider ear piercings to be just as much "body modification" as tattoos or anything else. As someone covered in tattoos and having had my fair share of piercings, I fully believe that the owner of the body should be the one in charge of making decisions to decorate it.

That being said...if you DO get your kid's ears pierced (no matter what the age) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not let anyone near them with a piercing gun. Piercing guns can not be fully sterilized (autoclaved), and can harbor a whole host of infections diseases (hep B is the most common with them). They also punch through the tissue instead of creating a "hole" (as a hollow bore piercing needle does), creating scar tissue and difficulty in healing. Studs are always used with piercing guns, and the nature of stud earrings lends to unfavorable healing conditions...not enough air gets to the hole, they are always too tight...hoops are the best jewelry to use for new piercings. Going to a professional piercer (most tattoo shops have piercers) will ensure that you get 100% sterilized instruments, a hollow bore needle (no gun) and someone who is licensed by the state, and has taken certification courses in infectious diseases...not a teenage minimum wage mall employee (the professional piercer might look more intimidating, but do you really want the kid in the mall putting semi-permanent holes in your kid's body??).

A couple links regarding piercing guns and ear piercing:

http://www.akrontattoos.com/Pguns.html
http://www.norwalktattoo.com/piercinggun.htm
http://www.safepiercing.org/FAQ.html

FWIW, several months ago I was in Claire's boutique with my daughter (almost 8 yrs) and my baby boy...buying hair scrunchies for her. There was an infant getting her ears pierced. She had had one done, and the poor baby was purple from screaming. We had to leave the store, my dd was so upset at the baby crying (and them not doing anything except trying to hold her still for the other ear). The pain is NOT minimal, especially from a piercing gun. (I've had both, before I knew the dangers) Hollow bore needles hurt MUCH less, as well.

The rule in my house is that the kids have to really, really want them, and have to be able to care for them themselves. That includes salt-water soaks (which is the most important part of preventing infection, NOT rubbing alcohol, which is also bad for healing!). My dd isn't all that interested yet.
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