Toddlers and ear piercing

(141 Posts)
nellyjelly Sun 28-Apr-13 07:24:16

AIBU to think this is just wrong?

In a shop today and a mother was literally holding her 2 year old down while the piercer put the earrings in. One ear already done and child screaming, so she knew what was coming on the second ear.

Bloody barbaric. I don't mind pierced ears and when my DD is old enough to make the choice she can have it done. But a baby? How come it is even legal?

Sirzy Sun 28-Apr-13 07:31:10

Personally I think doing it on a child that age is even worse than doing it on a small baby (which I hate anyway!)

I would be quite happy to see a law put in place that you have to be over 8 (or even 10) before any piercing can take place.

nellyjelly Sun 28-Apr-13 07:31:50

Hmmmmm just did a little search on MN and can see this topic has ended badly before. Apologies for starting it up again but really was just so shocked yesterday to see what happened.

EggsMichelle Sun 28-Apr-13 07:35:10

I'm with you on it being disgusting, plus the infection rate must be high with all the finger sucking and fiddling little ones do (piercings are so itchy when they are healing)

BumpingFuglies Sun 28-Apr-13 07:36:00

<passes hard hat>

I think it's awful.

TidyDancer Sun 28-Apr-13 07:37:52

Yes it is awful. My rule is not before secondary school.

BlackholesAndRevelations Sun 28-Apr-13 07:42:09

Why is hard hat needed? <interested>

I agree op; I think toddlers look horrendous with their ears pierced, let alone the pain they've been forced to endure.

IvanaCake Sun 28-Apr-13 07:46:11

I agree completely. It's assault...I just wish the law would recognise it as such.

It looks awful too.

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Apr-13 07:46:51

I think the Yoruban pratice of face cutting for babies is much worse, fortunately it's rare that we see a child with it these days.

I don't like any piercing, anywhere. ikk

I am astounded that anyone would do this.

It probably is a form of assault: I expect no-one has really considered whether or not it is because until recently no one would have considered piercing a toddler's ear.

chattychattyboomba Sun 28-Apr-13 07:56:27

It's often a cultural thing. My DH is 7th Day Adventist and he would be absolutely disgusted if I were to pierce DD's ears... Along with his family. Mine would be less shocked but i don't like it either. That being said it was the done thing 30 years ago for little girls (i had mine done when i was 3). My cleaner (Jamaican) is always suggesting i pierce my 2 y/olds ears as she is not blessed with long hair and often gets mistaken for a boy. I just smile and say 'no, i would rather not'

Sirzy Sun 28-Apr-13 07:56:54

I know people who had ears pierced as toddlers 30 years ago.

I know one person who had ears pierced as a baby because she looked like a boy and she is in her late 20s now

It's not a new thing.

IHateSafeStyle Sun 28-Apr-13 07:58:18

I had mine done as a baby (of the 70s), when I had a second lot done as a teen I kept feeling like their was blood running down my ear was strange and mentioned it to mum who told me mine had bleed when I them done as a baby.

toffeelolly Sun 28-Apr-13 08:40:09

My little dd had her's done when she was 3 1/2 . From around the age if 3 asked could she have earring's, got her little toy clipon's . But wanted earring's like mine. So told her it would nip a little or maybe even sore, she still wanted earring's, so after thinking it through she got them done, both ear's were done at the same time they took there time with her, she loved picking her 9ct gold earring's when the earring's went in she never made a sound or moved, just a great big smile, and said mummy told you i was going to be brave. She could not wait to see her ear's. Was told to keep cleaning and turning her earring's and not to remove them for 6 months.Never had any ear infection's ( which what i was more worried about) . When she started school she was the only one in the class with earring' then in p3 this year a few more got them done. I found when you get them done younger they do not fiddle about with them the same. My brother's dd is in p5 got her's done 6 months ago and has changed her earring's about 3 times . So glad i got my dd done, and i would not have got them done when she was a baby.

SoulTrain Sun 28-Apr-13 08:45:52

It's horrendous, why anyone would inflict pain on their child, to my mind, is barbaric.

Sirzy Sun 28-Apr-13 08:48:08

I don't understand the "they asked so I let them" way of thinking. My 3 year old asks for lots of things but there is such a word as NO!

Umlauf Sun 28-Apr-13 08:48:12

It could be a cultural thing. In Spain all baby girls have it done and they think its cruel to do it when the child is old enough to have a concept of what's happening. Its also seen as quite chavvy not to have it done.

I'm living in Spain and expecting in September and struggling over what to do with my baby. I don't like it personally but don't want it to be something my child is bullied over...

toffeelolly Sun 28-Apr-13 08:54:53

Well all i say to that your children your choice my children my choice . And by the way my dd does not get everything she wants.

Itchywoolyjumper Sun 28-Apr-13 09:04:56

There was a fight when I was at primary school when we were about 9 or 10 where one girl pulled an other's earring. She didn't tear the ear but I can still hear the shriek of pain from her victim. It was a long time and a lot of nursing down the line before I saw an other person as distressed as that.
Pretty much on the basis of that I disagree with piercing children's ears.

nellyjelly Sun 28-Apr-13 09:13:37

Do people really think 'my kids my choice' is a good mantra? Surely there should be some basic level of what is acceptable or not? Not just in relation to this matter but in general. It is a trite thing to say......if anything goes in child rearing, where do we draw the line?

Sorry just hate that 'my choice' argument that gets trotted out on MN.

goldenlula Sun 28-Apr-13 09:20:45

I had mine done at about 2, so would have been 1979 ish so it is not a new thing. Dd will not be having hers done until she is older, but that is not because I have any horrific memories or anything, I will just wait until she wants them to be done.

It is wrong to say "you're not allowed to critique my choice".

MrBloomsBloomers Sun 28-Apr-13 09:22:53

My kids my choice? Phew! Ill tell that to social services when they come round about me keeping dd in a cage and feeding her dog food hmm

nametakenagain Sun 28-Apr-13 09:40:34

Yes! Nelly and MrBloom, I completely agree. Parents are not always the best judges of should happen to their children.'My kids, my choice' is treating children like property.

Beckamaw Sun 28-Apr-13 09:48:20

Can it only be abuse if it is not done for 'cultural reasons'?
In that case, where do you stand on female genital mutilation?

pigsDOfly Sun 28-Apr-13 09:51:08

Horrible. Also think there should be an age limit.

When I was at school (eons ago) earrings were not allowed, even in senior school, for the very reason that Itchy mentioned.

nellyjelly Sun 28-Apr-13 09:54:14

Btw just realised I said today. Saw it yesterday. Well known accessories shop for young kids.

WMittens Sun 28-Apr-13 10:02:32

It's assault...I just wish the law would recognise it as such.

You know, on some subjects that sort of statement would be a sensationalist exaggeration, however in this context it is 100% correct.

MrBloomsBloomers Sun 28-Apr-13 10:14:05

They wouldn't pierce an adult against their will. Its another one of those situations where a child is treated like they aren't a human with feelings just because of their age. Kind of like smacking an adult versus smacking a child. Its not right.

ParmaViolette Sun 28-Apr-13 10:17:30

Beckamaw- how on earth did you bring yourself to trivialise FGM in such a way? hmm

I can't bear pierced ears on toddlers- but I'm not going to get the hysterics out and try and compare it to sawing off your baby girl's clitoris. Or face cutting. Or hot iron branding.

Sirzy Sun 28-Apr-13 10:19:49

What I don't understand is why society on the whole is quite accepting of ear piercing on babies and toddlers but not naval piercing or nose piercing which would rightly be judged as very wrong - why are ears deemed alright to stick a hole in when the child can't provide informed consent?

SirBoobAlot Sun 28-Apr-13 10:26:12

Poor little girl. Can't believe they went ahead with it if she was screaming so much. I'd complain to head office.

I hate piercings on young children. Hate them. They look ridiculous, firstly, and secondly - it's their body. Theirs, not yours. And a three year old is capable of choosing what sandwich to have / what colour hat to wear / what activity they want to do, but not to understand the fact that they will be in pain, and then they will have a scar for the rest of their lives if they decide to stop wearing the earrings.


TidyDancer Sun 28-Apr-13 11:11:38

"Cultural reasons" is not an excuse. And neither is that a child asked for it at the age of three.

I judge parents who allow it too young and I'm not sorry for that. It's disgusting.

YANBU OP, that sounds awful. angry

Sickofthesnow Sun 28-Apr-13 11:19:29

My oldest DD (9) asked since she was about 3 and got a resounding "NO!" from not only myself, but my dad who told me he would disown me grin

I finally caved and let her have them done for her 9th birthday last year, because I thought over the years the idea would wear off as would the novelty.

Because she was still so adamant she wanted them I let her get them. Warned her it would be sore, warned her if she didn't keep them clean they could get infected and be sorer - but she was still up for it.

She sat still, got them done, has kept them clean ever since and always follows good hygiene when changing them. She learnt very quickly how to change them herself, as she would have to do it for PE at school.

She has admitted though, that she realises why I wouldn't allow her to get them done when she was younger. And my dad has finally gotten over the rage lol!

I don't like the idea of toddlers and babies having ears pierced. I do understand though that in some cultures it's a "done thing". And I would never slate different cultures, but I do personally believe there is no advantage to causing unnecessary pain in young babies and children

toffeelolly Sun 28-Apr-13 12:05:50

I think we alway's judge parent's yes my dd wanted them done at 3 1/2 it was not a rush decision it was some thing my dd wanted for quite a while, if she had not got them done then, she would likely have got them done later. She was taught from a early age how to clean and look after her ear"s. And now if she is asked what she wants birthdays, christmas's it's alway's earring's. Now looking back my worry was infection and if they had i would have felt so guilty, but looking into into it and making sure they were cleaned well we went ahead and also wearing good gold or silver earrings , studs only. But i do class myself as a good parent, it does not class you as a bad parent just because your child has earring. Not right when parents get babies done or a child who has to be held down , it's not right. But what is the right age when is right when a child is 3 or 9.

Sirzy Sun 28-Apr-13 12:17:18

The right age is when they can make an infomed decision, a 3 year old cant do that.

ageofgrandillusion Sun 28-Apr-13 12:19:28

It's assault, plain and simple.

TidyDancer Sun 28-Apr-13 12:22:51

It's not three, toffeelolly. And I do certainly judge anyone for making that decision when a child is three. Your DD was not old enough to make an intelligent considered choice in the matter and that you felt it necessary to add decoration to her in a way that would permanently scar her is quite sad.

Beckamaw Sun 28-Apr-13 12:25:07

Parmaviolette - at one point did I trivialise FGM?
I think it's fucking vile.
I also think holding a child down and forcing holes through any part of their anatomy is fucking vile.

I'm sick of the 'cultural reasons' card being played for child abuse in any form.
I like to think that education and common sense should always trump 'cultural reasons'.

Whatalotofpiffle Sun 28-Apr-13 12:27:01

It's horrible. I don't think you should be able up pierced a child's ears unholy the child asks to have it done. I asked when I was 5 then refused the second one, so still was not ready for the reality of pain!

My dd is 2 and I wouldn't dream of doing it to her.

I think legislation would be difficult to sort as surely it would make more sense to make it 16 in line with other rights? But this doesn't really make sense as young teens are perfectly capable of deciding

Whatalotofpiffle Sun 28-Apr-13 12:29:05

Toffeelolly, your story is entirely different and handled well

toffeelolly Sun 28-Apr-13 12:39:05

At what age is right . They are still children till they are 16 right. Well all who are quick to judge over this what do you all think when your children get injections or heel prick tests.

TheYoniWayisGerard Sun 28-Apr-13 12:41:07

It's disgusting and tacky. Most other piercings have a minimum age attached to them, iirc, 14 for navel, 16/18 for tongue at many places, so why are ears game for any age?

catgirl1976 Sun 28-Apr-13 12:43:40


I hate it

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Sun 28-Apr-13 12:44:03

I certainly judge people who get their toddlers ears pierced. It's chavvy and common to look at - like accessorising a purse! Another accoutrement of the 'mothers' who treat having children as a fashion accessory to go with their Burberry or whatever.

It's assault, pure and simple. It's vile and anyone who puts their child through unnecessary pain is an abuser. No parent in their right mind would assume that a toddler can make an informed decision - anecdotes are not the plural of data - I say no to mine when he wants chocolate for breakfast so I would say no if he wanted to do something that is guaranteed to cause him pain.

If the toddler wanted a 'pretty drawing' on their body, would you take them down to a tattoo parlour?!

catgirl1976 Sun 28-Apr-13 12:44:29


I think injections and heel prick tests are done for medical reasons

There is a bit of a difference isn't there hmm

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Sun 28-Apr-13 12:44:51

Toffeelolly injections are NECESSARY fashion accessories aren't

Sirzy Sun 28-Apr-13 12:44:55

You aren't seriously comparing it to needed medial procedures are you?

At 3 a child can not understand it will hurt, they can no understand how to care for them, their peers can't understand not to rip them out when playing.

From the age of 8 or 9 most children have much better understanding so from then on if a child wants if then perhaps consider it and discuss it

TidyDancer Sun 28-Apr-13 12:45:27

You can't compare medical procedures to decorative piercing! That's the most ridiculous comparison!

There is no real set age that will ever be settled on, but only a special few will ever agree that a three year old can make an informed decision and actually let them go ahead with it.

EasilyBored Sun 28-Apr-13 12:52:21

My child can get whatever piercing or tattoos he wants.

When he's 18 and not living under my roof.

It's totally and utterly unnecessary. It looks chavy, it's painful, toddlers don't need any help injuring themselves, and it's a massive choking hazard.

If people are going to do it, just be honest. You did it because you think it looks nice. If you are ok putting holes in your child for sake of fashion, then that's for you to think on. It's grim.

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Sun 28-Apr-13 12:52:27

TidyDancer - I actually LOL'd at the phrase 'special few' - so carefully put!

VelvetSpoon Sun 28-Apr-13 12:53:22

As ever with these threads, the hysterical 'its like FGM' gets trotted out. Which frankly is a fucking insult to the victims of FGM who are horrifically and permanently scarred, and suffer countless health problems and are often in constant pain. Quite unlike ear piercing, it is not a procedure any girl or woman chooses to have done, at any age.

Ear piercing is not a big deal, not terribly painful and doesn't look chavvy. Every girl in the Italian side of my family (apart from me due to childhood health reasons, I had mine done a few years later in infants school) had their ears pierced before 6 months of age, going back to the late 19th century and probably beyond that. This is not a new thing and I really can't whip myself into a frenzy over it, or condemn people that do it, because I don't think it's wrong. And if you care for the ears properly, and wear the right earrings there is no real risk of infection or ripped earlobes (the only people I know who have suffered infections are those whose ears were pierced as teenagers/adults)

EasilyBored Sun 28-Apr-13 12:54:37

Meant to add, I don't really have a problem worn people letting their 9 it 10 year olds have it done, as they are old enough to understand how to look after them, and to be responsible for them. I just hate it on babies and toddlers.

"all who are quick to judge over this what do you all think when your children get injections or heel prick tests."

Fucking hell! Is this for real? shock

BMW6 Sun 28-Apr-13 12:59:27

Yuck. Totally Chavvy.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 28-Apr-13 13:01:02

toffeelolly Sun 28-Apr-13 12:39:05
At what age is right . They are still children till they are 16 right. Well all who are quick to judge over this what do you all think when your children get injections or heel prick tests

Um, they're a necessity. You can hardly compare the two. It's not like heel pricks or jabs are done on the whim of a parent. We do them because your child is ill, not for fun.

I think earrings on babies and toddlers is chavvy. At least wait until they're old enough to decide if they actually want it done. Plus it's a choking hazard.

TiggyD Sun 28-Apr-13 13:01:07

Putting holes in people without their consent is assault, and children cannot give informed consent. Throw those parents in jail along with the circumcisers.

Pigsmummy Sun 28-Apr-13 13:04:28

It's awful, I know someone whose baby DD is very ill and has had to endure lots of medical treatments, injections etc etc and what do they do? Get her ears pierced because they think that she loos like a boy? At 5 months old. Poor child.

TidyDancer Sun 28-Apr-13 13:04:53

Why thank you, Serotonin! grin

toffeelolly Sun 28-Apr-13 13:10:18

Well said velvet, agree with you there. My dd's ears are far from tacky they are well cared for she has been taught to care for them, do not really care who judge's me. I know u am a good parent. I really cannot belive what some of you can come out with, you are all quick to judge. But for those who are quick to judge who i am sure are not so perfect. If you say children of 3 should not have earrings how can you say if they are 8 or 9 maybe they are still children. so all of you who think it not rigbt for 3 or 4 year old do you not think the age limit should be 16. You get into a debate how is it so wrong for a3 year and not maybe a 8 or 9 year old.

MrBloomsBloomers Sun 28-Apr-13 13:13:46

For someone who doesn't care who judges you, you're very quick to get defensive about it. Someone who really didnt care wouldn't be arsed about defending their ability as a parent to strangers on the Internet.

toffeelolly Sun 28-Apr-13 13:16:11

Assault . Are you for real just because a child has earrings it is assault. get real what a insult.

ToysRLuv Sun 28-Apr-13 13:16:13

My DM and aunt were raised in Greece where it was the cultural norm to pierce little girls' ears (even all the dolls have earrings). Luckily my DGPs were educated and sensible, and never had it done to my mum or aunt. They were the only ones in the town, but my DGF has always been very much of the "never mind what aaalll other are doing - let them jump over cliffs if they want" school of thought.

During the sixties my DM was also the only girl/woman in the town to (horror of horrors!) cycle around in trousers. In RED trousers nonetheless. Caused much tutting in the community, but I'm glad DGPs were such a feminist inspiration. smile

TidyDancer Sun 28-Apr-13 13:19:57

toffeelolly, saying a toddler's pierced ears are tacky is an objective statement. I don't think it was directed solely at your DD.

People are judging you because you did a silly thing. They are not wrong and I am more than happy to be one of them.

Every time this thread comes up, I always hope that it reaches someone who would consider dong this, and it changes their mind.

gordyslovesheep Sun 28-Apr-13 13:20:50

part of being a parent is saying no to stuff they want

DD1 wanted her ears done from age 3 - I said no, she was 10 when I relented - she is still not allowed high heels, a mobile phone or make up for school though - because she wants something isn't a good enough reason to give in

VelvetSpoon Sun 28-Apr-13 13:26:42

my DGPs were educated and sensible what an unpleasantly supercilious remark - intended to imply, I presume, that people who do pierce a child's ears are chavvy thickos? hmm.

It amuses me the way these threads descend into this 'I would never do XYZ so that makes me much better/cleverer/socially superior' etc.

FWIW, I am extremely well educated, and if I had a daughter, I would have hers ears pierced as a baby. And I couldn't care less if I was judged for it.

toffeelolly Sun 28-Apr-13 13:27:42

Yes bloomers you are right do not care who judges me . And will not get into a debate when you all think you are great parents.

Sirzy Sun 28-Apr-13 13:28:11

Why velvet? Why do you feel the need to put holes in a babies ears?

TidyDancer Sun 28-Apr-13 13:28:33

No one has said you are a bad parent, just that you made a bad choice. There is a difference.

ToysRLuv Sun 28-Apr-13 13:29:27

Velvet: Yes, you got it. Maybe a little more education or sense needed here, then? smile

ToysRLuv Sun 28-Apr-13 13:30:02

And you seem to care - a lot.

SirBoobAlot Sun 28-Apr-13 13:31:09

My DS is three. I say yes to him a lot; I stop and ask myself why I'm going to say no if it's my immediate reaction.

I'd say no if he was asking for something that would alter his body, because he isn't old enough yet to understand the long term consequences. It's quite simple.

And it is assault. It's the same as circumcision as far as I'm concerned. Permanently changing your child's body for materialistic reasons.

catgirl1976 Sun 28-Apr-13 13:31:15

Toffee, it's still wrong at 8 or 9 IMO

VelvetSpoon Sun 28-Apr-13 13:32:37

For me, it's a tradition of several centuries within my family, a link to our Italian heritage which I want to continue.

And wrt saying it's a bad choice, that's a matter of opinion, not fact.

MrBloomsBloomers Sun 28-Apr-13 13:34:37

No, Toffee. My point was you actually do care. Otherwise you wouldn't be so defensive over the issue.

SirBoobAlot Sun 28-Apr-13 13:34:44

Teach them Italian then, Velvet, don't hurt your child for no reason.

catgirl1976 Sun 28-Apr-13 13:36:16

Coal mining is a tradition in my famil, a link to my Welsh heritage

I have no desire to send DS down a pit

ToysRLuv Sun 28-Apr-13 13:36:47

Velvet: Tradition does not equal good. And in Italy there are so many other wonderful traditions you can uphold without (sexist) mutilation.

Beckamaw Sun 28-Apr-13 13:36:56

Velvetspoon : not one single poster has said it is 'like FMG'.
In fact, I have never seen that stated on any of the ear piercing bunfights.

It is simply a measured point of note to any individual who blindly accepts 'assault by Claire's Accessories' for cultural reasons.
Some people don't seem to accept that cultures get shit wrong sometimes.

However, you knew all that. No need to intentionally misread posts.

VelvetSpoon Sun 28-Apr-13 13:38:22

We do speak Italian. We have lots of other family traditions which we also observe.

It's a moot point anyway wrt ear piercing because as said above I don't have a daughter (and am unlikely to have more children).

LtEveDallas Sun 28-Apr-13 13:39:14

I just don't "get" piercings on little girls, I really don't .

They serve no purpose do they? I mean, other than to 'look pretty'. But why do little girls need to look pretty? Look pretty to who, exactly? Aren't all little girls pretty without metal in their ears?

I get it with older children / adults. Earrings become a fashion accessory, you can coordinate with your jewellery, outfits, hair styles etc. Surely that doesn't apply with little children?

nellyjelly Sun 28-Apr-13 13:39:32

Just because something is culturally the norm doesn't mean it is right or it should continue.

ToysRLuv Sun 28-Apr-13 13:44:37

Velvet: On a more positive note, I think I can see where you are coming from, having a similar background, but rejecting one tradition is not rejecting the culture (or family). I know you want to feel closer to your heritage, and I don't blame you for it, but I'm sure there are a few Italians who don't pierce their daughters' ears either. And they are no lesser Italians - or are they?

TidyDancer Sun 28-Apr-13 13:47:32

The cultural argument just does not hold up. Lots of things that were done for cultural reasons have since been rejected and time and tradition has moved on. I can understand perhaps why some parents may be misguided by heritage though, so I get the attitude if not the actual following through of the act, which remains wrong.

Therefore leaving that aside, what valid reason does anyone have for doing this? It's unjustifiable and a poor choice to make for a young child who simply can't make that decision themselves.

WMittens Sun 28-Apr-13 14:50:58


Assault . Are you for real just because a child has earrings it is assault. get real what a insult.

Go and look up the definition, then get back to us.

likeitorlumpit Sun 28-Apr-13 15:01:26

i saw a 9 week old having hers done. i was getting a haircut. she was sat in her mums lap next to me. fast asleep. until they did it. that woke her up poor thing. bloody cruel. should wait until they are old enough to say if they want them done. her mum never had hers done made me sick.

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 28-Apr-13 15:03:12

Why would any parent think it appropriate to make a hole in their baby/infant in order to insert a piece of metal mined by another human for the sake of beauty or prettiness. When a child is old enough to decide they want a permanent hole artificially made in a part of their body they can make a reasoned decision. I have pierced ears; dd's were pierced when she had her first period as a grown up thing to do to mark a significant rite of passage.

Personally I think pierced ears on babies/infants/small children are inappropriate and if I'm totally honest every time I see it I think the child is from a common background. One of two of dd's contemporaries had their ears pierced from about age 10. The child needs to be old enough to have a reasoned say about anything permanent and non health related.

edwardsmum11 Sun 28-Apr-13 15:03:52

I don't agree with it... wouldn't put holes anywhere in my son tbh.

Andro Sun 28-Apr-13 15:04:08

The rule in this house is no piercings until you are old enough to sign for them yourself. I don't particularly like seeing toddlers (and especially babies) with pierced ears...and the spikes on the back of the earrings used with piercing guns look potentially very uncomfortable.

sallievp Sun 28-Apr-13 15:07:29

Here in India every baby has it done as part of a ceremony around their first birthday.

For those parents who do it, I feel like holding them down and piercing them and seeing how they like it!!
also, why stop at earrings?? I think my baby would look nice with a tattoo or navel piercing.

Andro Sun 28-Apr-13 15:09:14

VelvetSpoon - I hear you on the Italian heritage, I was the only girl on that side of my family not to have pierced ears as a baby.

usualsuspect Sun 28-Apr-13 15:10:04

I can understand why people don't like to see babies with pierced ears for all sorts of reasons except the it looks chavvy one.

That's not a reason imo. That's people being snobs.

usualsuspect Sun 28-Apr-13 15:11:41

Oh and I have no problem with older children having pierced ears.

5madthings Sun 28-Apr-13 15:34:42

I dont like piercings on toddlers. My dd is 28mths and my vague plan at the moment is that if she wants to she can have her ears pierced during the summer holidays between leaving primary and starting high school.

Not too fussed if mine opt for piercings as teens as i did the same myself and they are old enough to look after them etc.

It seems unecessary on little children.

I am lol at easily who had her ears pierced age three as i was getting mine done and she had a massive tantrum so my mum figured as dad was going to be annoyed at me having mine done she would just get us both our ears pierced and get the trauma and my dads fury out the way in one go! I was eight? Anyway dad didnt even notice at first as our hair covered them up. I think it was also very common in the country we lived in at the time (not uk) for girls tp have their ears pierced at a young age. Incidentally my mum.had to wait till she was 16 and yet let us have them done early. Not sure of her logic.

DrCoconut Sun 28-Apr-13 15:38:10

I don't have a problem with earrings on children. I was 2 when I had mine done. All the women in our family have pierced ears and its no big deal. I wanted to be like mummy and knew it would be sore. We went to an Italian jeweller who did ear piercing regularly on children and had a good reputation. I had no problems and still don't. I'm a complete wuss now and am really glad my mum had them done when I was young. Lets face it most girls will want earrings and having it done while they are fully under parental control actually lessens the chance of infection due to neglect. I see many east European children and Italian, Spanish etc with little ear studs and they look pretty.

soverylucky Sun 28-Apr-13 15:39:31

I am sure it is very impractical to have the ears of very young children pierced - how do you clean it properly, doesn't it get caught easily?

I think it look pretty horrible tbh but remember when I started primary school many years ago that most girls had had their ears pierced before they were 5. It is not a new thing but I think more people are now against it.

expatinscotland Sun 28-Apr-13 15:48:16

I had mine done when I was a newborn. I'm Latina and girls had/have their ears pierced as babies before they are christened. My godparents, my dad's older brother and his wife, gave me a pair of gold stud earrings for a christening gift.

CruCru Sun 28-Apr-13 16:07:40

It isn't something I would choose to do and I think it looks a bit funny on very young children. However, I don't much like lots of things on young children:
- dressed all in pink
- very long (like bum length) hair
- uggs (not very supportive)
- ballet shoes (not very supportive)
- etc

I'm not sure which of these are considered okay or not by MN.

expatinscotland Sun 28-Apr-13 16:16:19

My girls had/have very long hair. They like it. If I asked if they wanted to cut it they would protest. Had no idea that was faux pas. hmm

My elder daughter gravitated towards frilly skirts, dresses and clothes from the time she was a little above a toddler. So I put them on her. My younger one wants to wear trousers and nothing pink. So I put them on her.

Sirzy Sun 28-Apr-13 16:21:42

The difference is that ear piercing is permanent or leaves a permanent scar. Clothes and hair can be easily changed and are highly unlikely to leave any permenant damage.

Unsupportive shoes on young children are frowned upon because they can cause lasting damage.

CruCru Sun 28-Apr-13 16:27:59

Hi expat. I suppose that's my thing. I don't like these things myself but I don't think any are necessarily "wrong".

I feel a little uncomfortable with all the chat about piercing children's ears being abuse. I don't like it and I wouldn't choose to do it but I find it difficult to class as abuse. Perhaps people who feel that way could set up a petition or write to their MP.

Roseformeplease Sun 28-Apr-13 16:30:09

I had mine done at 16. Fast forward to my early 20s and I got one caught in someone else's jumper. No problem - hurt a bit but no obvious tear / blood.

2 years later, after wearing the same earrings for a few weeks, I took them out, only to find that my ear had completely WORN through, and healed. It looked like an open pair of curtains. Only the earring had been holding it together.

Thankfully, my job came with BUPA and it cost them £800 to get a plastic surgeon to stitch it up. It now looks like there has never been a hole.

The surgeon said the operation was very, very common particularly amongst those who wore heavy earrings, or who had them done very young. He had to reopen and then re stitch the wound, putting in 16 tiny stitches.

I would not allow a child to be put at risk of this.

BegoniaBampot Sun 28-Apr-13 16:35:49

but it is cultural. I was brought up in the Uk. I wouldn't get my young childs ears pierced, don't agree with it, disapprove slightly when I see it on babies. But if i was brought up in Spain I might feel completely different and so might all you on this thread. If you moved to Spain, would you be as vocal to the locals on their abuse and your disgust etc?

CruCru Sun 28-Apr-13 16:42:39

Having said that, I am surprised that someone would pierce a screaming, struggling child. It seems very unwise. I've seen hairdressers refuse to carry on cutting hair when the child isn't cooperating.

chattychattyboomba Sun 28-Apr-13 16:42:59

Begonia- that's my point when i suggested it was cultural way up thread. My cleaner considers it normal and thats why she insists i pierce me DD's ears. She is a sweet lady from Jamaica and also makes suggestions about buying my 2y/o a dressing table with make up so she can play. I would never suggest to her that piercing ears was barbaric or a 2y/o wearing makeup was sexualisation as are my beliefs. Probably too much of a wimp to speak up but i don't want to offend her either.

jamdonut Sun 28-Apr-13 16:47:50

My mother wouldn't allow me to get my ears pierced until I was 13. That was my choice for my 13th birthday. I allowed my own daughter to get hers done at age 12.

I don't believe you should be piercing children's ears unless they are old enough to understand and make an informed decision. I personally hate to see earings on pre-school-age children.

And they are a pain on primary school-aged children. They have to take them out for PE, or cover them with micropore tape. So many children can't do that for themselves, and taping them up is a complete palaver, as then it gets stuck to hair and causes more fuss and bother than it is worth!

Sirzy Sun 28-Apr-13 16:50:14

Just because something is cultural doesn't make it right or mean people should go along with it.

Umlauf Sun 28-Apr-13 16:53:25

this is a good article about the abuse vs culture with regards to ear piercing.

In places where it is cultural, as far as I know (only having lived in Spain not sure about other places) its considered crueller to do it later on when the child is older anyway. The idea being that a) a baby can't remember the pain and associate it with the traumatic experience and b) they won't fiddle with their ears and cause infection. Its also done with a needle and thread and tiny baby studs rather than Claire's style guns. The earrings themselves have screw on backs so there isn't a stick the other side and they can't be pulled off and swallowed.

Having said this I won't be having my baby's ears pierced when its born in Spain. Its not in my culture to do so and a lot more faff than its worth.

BegoniaBampot Sun 28-Apr-13 16:54:48

you might only think that because it is considered naff and cruel mostly in our culture though. if you were born in Spain you might have felt totally differently.

Umlauf Sun 28-Apr-13 16:59:54

Yes i completely agree begonia. My Spanish friends think I'm being really unreasonable to the baby for not doing it. As for the pain argument its not dissimilar to a vaccination. Until recently the midwives did the piercing in hospital. I'd actually rather do it as a baby than as a toddler, so its a big decision because its birth or aged 12 ish or older for me.

However I've given it a lot of thought and as we're British and the baby will be too, and will most likely be going to school in the uk we decided against it.

expatinscotland Sun 28-Apr-13 17:11:02

No one is forcing you to go along with it, though, Sirzy. They are chosing it for cultural reasons.

I did not pierce my girls' ears. DD1 wanted to have them done, but she was 9 and would have needed to wait till she was 11, anyhow.

One of the nurses in her unit is from Nigeria. She pierced her infant daughter's ears herself and looked after them. She started speaking of it when we were discussing our backgrounds. My aunt who was a paed nurse did mine, but of course, I don't remember it.

Never had any lasting problems.

Chunderella Sun 28-Apr-13 17:24:16

I can't believe the supposed chavviness of the practice is being mentioned. It trivialises the other legitimate objections. Oh, and the argument about it being cruel to wait until a child is older is bullshit for two reasons. One, babies feel pain. It is not like eg chicken pox where a person is likely to suffer more as an adult than a child. Two, ear piercing is not a necessity. It is perfectly possible to go through life without it. Mine are pierced btw. When I was 12.

ThePskettiIncident Sun 28-Apr-13 18:06:40

My grandmother took me to have mine done when I was a toddler for "cultural reasons". My mother was incensed. I had a bad reaction and an infection. I still have problems with th tissue in my ear now.

I think it's horrible and would never do it to my children.

midori1999 Sun 28-Apr-13 18:11:40

I had mine done when I was about 4 years old, on my Grandmother's insistence. (My Mum was young when she had me and my Grandmother (her MIL) who she lived with basically bullied her regarding lots of things parenting and saw herself as my Mum) I have never worn earrings since I was old enough to decide for myself and don't wear any jewellery. I would rather I had been allowed to decide for myself, which is what I will be doing with my own DC.

My friend had her DD's ears pierced when she was 4 months old. They took her before that, but were told she wasn't old enough. I don't agree with it at all, but it's their decision. The DD is a toddler now and ever since she had her ears pierced I do a double take every time I notice them. It just looks really odd to me for a baby or child to have their ears pierced.

WafflyVersatile Sun 28-Apr-13 18:24:59

I don't understand why a parent would forcefully inflict pain on their child for something that so entirely unnecessary.

However I suppose it doesn't cause any more long-term trauma or emotional damage than getting a vaccination and toddlers don't enjoy those too much either.

LittleFeileFooFoo Sun 28-Apr-13 18:37:16

Cutting someone's hair without their consent is assault too. It doesn't matter that is grows back, it's still a crime to do to someone with out consent.

Do you cut your kid's hair? did they agree at 3? Did they tell you different and you cut it anyway? Do you think boys look bad with long hair, and would you cut your Ds's even if he told you he wanted it long and pretty?

furbaby Sun 28-Apr-13 18:55:17

I saw a toddler in pushchair yesterday HE looked between 12 and 18 months and was sporting a gold stud in 1 ear !!!
Why oh why sad

nellyjelly Sun 28-Apr-13 18:55:34

The haircutting argument is bloody stupid and you know it. Totally misses the point.

LittleFeileFooFoo Sun 28-Apr-13 18:59:36

I see, you must not like long hair on boys.

I was responding to folks saying it's assault and that's why it should be stopped. It isn't assault, just as cutting your child's hair isn't assault.

It's causing pain when there's no need to cause pain, and I would never do it.

ToysRLuv Sun 28-Apr-13 19:02:29

Actually, by cutting very long hair shorter you could be saving a girl (or boy) from a lot of recurring pain. I always feel a a bit sad when my DN has her long hair detangled in the morning and pulled into braids or a bun. She winces and whimpers on most days. Much better to cut it short and save the pain for when she can do all of that for herself (that is, if she wants to).

ToysRLuv Sun 28-Apr-13 19:05:20

But then again I'm of the feminist school of "there are ways to look pretty (should one want to, after all most of this is arbitrary/cultural) without pain/discomfort/being impractical".

catgirl1976 Sun 28-Apr-13 19:05:28 know cutting hair doesn't actually hurt right? confused

MrBloomsBloomers Sun 28-Apr-13 19:26:23

The haircutting argument would only work if cutting a child's hair caused them physical pain and scarred their body the same way ear piercing does. If you are going to make comparisons, at least choose something similar.

mikkii Sun 28-Apr-13 19:32:43

My husband is half Spanish half Italian whilst I am English. I was very against our DD having her ears pierced, then, when in Spain with DD aged 5 months I saw how much it was expected for her ears to be pierced. I conceded, but insisted he make all the arrangements. He doesn't normally do things like this so I thought that would be the end of it. He took her to the pharmacy ( and they do use a gun in Spain too, even in quite rural areas), sat with her. The earlier poster who says the Spanish are used to doing this for young children is correct, they took loads of time, putting dots of pen on her ears until 3 of them agreed it as the right place for her. She is now 6 and has never had an infection. She isn't allowed earrings for school so taking in/out or tape isn't an issue for us.

DD2 was taken to Spain at 9 months and we planned to pierce hers, but the pharmacist said he couldn't get the best quality earrings and recommended we wait. We did this, but she was certainly more bothered by it, having hers at 22 months. Again, no infections although she reminds people about her ears when removing her tops.

I would not allow DS to have any as I don't like it for boys, although he ask when DD1 got hers done.....

MyTushTingles Sun 28-Apr-13 19:33:24

Umlauf, what part of Spain are you in? We live in one of the major cities and the locals pierce their daughters ears. I think it's disgusting but have been told it's supposed to be a sign of wealth hmm Although the chavs do like to hang gold blinging earrings off their babies, so for that reason I think the sign of wealth thing is dying out. Thankfully because the city is so multicultural it isn't the norm now and we see lots of little girls without ear piercings.

You child will not get bullied over not having their ears pierced, please don't feel pressure and do it because you think you have to.

Umlauf Sun 28-Apr-13 19:56:13

Hi tush, a fellow expat! We're in the Basque Country (san sebastian) and there are plenty of un pierced tourist babies so I'm not too worried about judgement, only school really. I had no idea there were places of Spain where its not the norm! Its not such a multicultural city but being different themselves the basques seem to be quite accepting so I'd hope they'd be kind at school. My child will already be an outsider being english, and even as a baby I'm not going to do the tree pink frilly thing they love here, so ill be well used to people thinking she's a boy!

I was told the sign of wealth thing too, but agree with you, I think its a very dated opinion. I don't think its disgusting as the little girls I know wear tiny delicate little studs and it suits them as little Spanish babies, but its just not something I'd feel comfortable doing with my daughter, for exactly the same reasons the Spanish do it, my culture! It just doesn't feel right to do so.

NoWayPedro Sun 28-Apr-13 19:59:54

YANBU - wrong in my book

Wannabestepfordwife Sun 28-Apr-13 20:06:45

I'm going to get flamed for this but I'm an awful person who did the piercing. I have to admit when I started doing it the thought made me sick but it was part of the job so had to do it.

Babies and toddlers found it far less traumatic then 5+ and we would always do a dual piercing so it was over as quick as possible. If a child was moving a lot and I was unable to mark the ear then the child would not get pierced.

MyTushTingles Sun 28-Apr-13 20:07:06

Umlauf, you're not a million miles from us. Funny how there they do the pink thing there, here it's the total opposite. DD has never worn pink and talking about it to local friends they were quite surprised at the funny English obsession with pink for girls and blue for boys.

I only know of one friend here that said an old lady asked her if her DD was a boy because she didn't have her ears done. Her DD is 4 and was wearing pink at the time and long hair in bunches. She said that is the only comment she has ever had about it and her DD goes to nursery/school.

Remotecontrolduck Sun 28-Apr-13 20:15:17

Wannabestepfordwife I understand you're predicament, jobs are hard to come by these days and you can't just say no.

There should definitely be a ban for babies and toddlers, there's no way they can express an opinion on the procedure, or appreciate the look of earrings. It's just painful and uneccessary for them.

Remotecontrolduck Sun 28-Apr-13 20:15:43


Wannabestepfordwife Sun 28-Apr-13 20:18:59

Thanks remote have to admit I was relieved if I got a wriggler

Remotecontrolduck Sun 28-Apr-13 20:22:46

I hope people don't flame you for it, you can't pick and choose which part of a job you do!

I'm glad you don't do it if the child is wriggling a lot, but it must be horrendous to have to pierce a crying child. There should be some kind of regulation to stop this happening.

hwjm1945 Sun 28-Apr-13 20:28:11

I think it is considered quite chavvy in the UK to have child's ears pierced.Isn't it? We were all about 14 when we were finally allowed to have it done and even then my quite patrician grandmother was a little sniffy

Wannabestepfordwife Sun 28-Apr-13 20:30:17

remote some branches would tell parents that they had no one trained to do ear piercing to get out of doing babes and toddlers but we weren't that lucky

BlackMaryJanes Sun 28-Apr-13 20:37:10
SquirrelNuts Sun 28-Apr-13 20:50:14

YANBU it should be illegal until theyre 9/10 i dont really know what an appropriate age is. I wouldnt make a decision about something permanent for my DD that she may not like or want when shes older its not fair! Plus I hate ear piercings on babies/toddlers in my opinion its stupid, and looks ridiculous

Unacceptable Sun 28-Apr-13 20:55:18

My DD is 6 and has been asking for 'real' earrings with holes for 2 years.
I am torn about letting her have it done but every now and then an AIBU thread pops up like this and makes me think I should keep saying not yet to her.
Last time this was discussed someone posted a link to some youtube videos and that was pretty upsetting to watch.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sun 28-Apr-13 21:06:15

It should be illegal, there is no excuse for inflicting pain on a small child for no good reason. It's not comparable to vaccinations which save lives, whereas ear piercing is done for purely aesthetic/social reasons. Nobody ever died of horror from being mistaken for a boy, just ask my unpierced, short haired, superman top wearing DD(2)!

I once saw a baby, around 9 months old having her ears pierced, she howled after the first one and two people (presumably the mother and grandmother) were quite aggressively restraining her to allow the shop assistant to pierce the other one. I honestly felt sick and couldn't get out of there quick enough!

treesntrees Sun 28-Apr-13 21:07:19

Hollyberrybush the facial scars were originally cut during slaving days so that if a child was taken as a slave they would be able to find their way home once the period of enslavement was over. I'm not talking about the imperial slavers but the slave wars between tribes which still happened in the twentieth century in Nigeria. My husbands uncle who was 98 when he died had been taken in a slave war and was able to find his way home because of his tribal scars.

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