By Taylor McLamb
From the food that we feed our babies to the many ways we chose to hold them, there doesn’t seem to be a single topic that isn’t targeted to debate. Each mother has her own opinions on how to properly care and raise her baby. One issue that will always be timely is whether or not you should pierce your child’s ears when they’re an infant. While to some, it might only seem cosmetically pleasing, there is a lot that goes into the decision process. Culturally speaking, it could be something that’s a part of your heritage and piercing your daughter’s ears could be a way to respect your roots.
Alexandra Woodard, 25, joked that due to being Hispanic, she got her ears pierced right out of the womb. “I like the tradition of it, I like that it’s something that can be passed down,” said Woodard. “I definitely plan on doing it with my child.” Woodard believes that getting her ears pierced was a rite of passage.
In this day and age more parents are opting for gender-neutral colored options when choosing bedroom décor and clothing as to not comply with our gender-normative culture. Many feminists argue that getting your daughter’s ears pierced reinforces the idea that they must adhere to society’s set gender roles.
The involvement of infants is what makes this a heavily debated topic. There’s a lot of arguments over whether there are any health risks associated with piercing a baby’s ears so young.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, ears can be pierced at any age, as long as it’s performed carefully and cared for conscientiously. If so, there is little risk of it getting infected. However, they do recommend to postpone the piercing until the child is mature enough to take care of the pierced site herself. For those who want to pierce their daughter’s ears, they recommend getting it done by a professional doctor, nurse or experienced technician, as doing the procedure at home could increase the risk of infection.
Claire Woodward, who is a mother to three daughters who are now in their early 20s, said she chose not to pierce her daughter’s ears because of the fear that the babies would pull out their earrings, but also because she felt that it was a commitment they should make themselves. “I felt like it was something they should decide if they wanted to do it,” said Woodward.
While piercing her daughter’s ears weren’t for her, Woodward did mention that she understands the act has a different significance for everyone. “Culturally, my family never pierced our baby’s ears, it was just not something that people typically did,” she said.
Every parent has a unique way they care for their child and that includes customs and traditions often taught by their own parents. For some mothers, piercing their child’s ears may be incredibly important to them, as it proudly symbolizes a part of their background; other moms may disagree because of their own culture or what they believe in. In the end, it’s up
to the decision of the parents, who know what is best for their child; no decision is a wrong one when it comes to piercing your child’s ears!
There are pros & cons to piercing your infant’s ears. When making the decision to pierce your child’s ears, speak with your pediatrician.