Today’s hot topic has been Ear Piercing for babies! (Let’s cue the boooo hissssss)
I will preface this post by saying that I have 0 plans to pierce Sophie’s ears before the age of 2, and even then I may wait until she is old enough to ask me for it.
Since this has been a hot topic among friends lately, I think tapping ear piercing is a good idea!
Parents choose to pierce their baby’s ears for a variety of reasons. Some parents pierce their baby’s ears because they believe it’s less painful at such a young age. Others pierce for more practical reasons – It solves gender identification problems in girls. Plus, strangers on the street won’t mistakenly assume a girl baby is actually a boy. The little diamond studs tell it all – Except in the Beckhams case (they pierced Romeo’s ears at 2!)
Since it only causes a few moments of pain for the baby, and your child will quickly forget it, some parents don’t see the harm in baby ear piercing.
There’s also a cultural element to baby ear piercing. In some cultures or communities, it’s customary for a baby girl’s ears to be pierced. Infant ear piercing may also be a family custom.
You may want to choose baby ear piercing, since older children might be more hesitant to allow you to clean the ears or change the earrings. Babies may not notice that the earrings are there, making it easier for you to care for the newly pierced ears.
ARGUMENTS FOR PIERCING!
Their first common argument is that parents do lots of things to children that they think are best despite not necessarily being what the child wants, and ear piercing falls into this category. Examples given include pinning down a child to change its nappy, brushing a child’s hair against their will, and changing the outfit of a protesting child.
The second argument given by pro-piercing parents is that it is often difficult to tell whether a baby is a boy or a girl. If its ears are pierced then people can immediately identify the baby as female.
Another pro-piercing argument contends that if parents get their children’s ears pierced as infants, they can ensure that the wound stays clean, doesn’t grow over and doesn’t get infected, Furthermore, their baby won’t remember the pain. Thus according to this argument, parents can actually save their child from the distress and pain they would otherwise experience if they got their ears pierced at an older age.
In some societies ear piercing is a central part of their culture. In Spain for example, the majority of baby girls have their ears pierced from birth. Likewise in Mexico baby girls have their ears pierced in hospital before they leave. In Hindu culture, most boys and girls have their ears pierced before they are 12 days old. For a girl the left ear is pierced first and for a boy it’s the right. This is based on the Ayurvedic principles of nerves leading to the brain. Ear piercing is also mentioned in the Bible and for some Christians is said to be a sign of faith
ARGUMENTS AGAINST PIERCING
Violation of bodily autonomy
One of the biggest issues in the piercing debate is the question of consent. A baby who has their ears pierced and grows up with earrings has no memory of the procedure, and no opportunity to decide for themselves.
It’s CHILD ABUSE!!!
A lot of people see pushing a needle through your child’s skin as abusive and terrible and something that should be banned. To be honest, abuse is a spectrum from torture to light smack on the bum . It is naive to suggest that because piercing is significantly less serious than sexual abuse, torture etc that it can therefore not be abusive whatsoever.
I can certainly throw out arguments like, “What if the earrings come out and the baby chokes to death!?” But I could say the same thing about everyone who has any small item in their home that might accidentally make its way to the baby’s space.
In the end though, it all comes down to the parent and their decision. They made the babies, they raise the babies. I don’t quite understand why people give a shit whether a baby girl or boy has pierced ears. As long as someone isn’t coming at their child bearing needles, then they shouldn’t worry.
This argument is just as trivial as whether to have Marmite on your toast – it works for some and not for others. Why can’t people accept that and give it a bloody rest…?