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Piercing baby's ears at 4 months

(182 Posts)
Magic69 Sun 25-Oct-15 22:56:27

I am not comfortable with this but I am Asian and in my culture all girls get their ears pierced before 6 months, some as young as 4 weeks. It is the norm and I myself had it done when I was 9 weeks.

I don't remember it and I have had no repercussions from it but I have my own daughter now and something which did not seem a big deal at the time, seems a big deal now.

She is 10 weeks and when she got her jabs and she started crying it broke my heart. My parents are planning to have her ears done when she is 4 months on a spiritual day and I am dreading it.

I have told my parents that I am not comfortable with it and listed my reasons, 1) the pain, 2) possible infections 3) I am not really a girly girl and don't see the need for earrings 4) feel better if she chose to get them done....etc

But my mother is a doctor and she dismissed all my concerns under the umbrella that I am being ridiculous and as a medical professional in the field for 40 odd ears she has never seen anyone come in with infections from pierced ears (in all fairness, her speciality is radiology). She said people will laugh at us and will think something was wrong and I will bring shame to the family.

This may also have something to do with my DS who loves dressing up, tutus and prefers girls toys- I let him do what he wants and wear what he likes and she sees my permissiveness as an inability to control my children and letting them 'go the wrong way'.

My DH says I am being silly and has dismissed my concerns as being over bearing. He says it is what Asian women do and we will have a lot of explaining to do if we choose not to get it done.


Lj8893 Sun 25-Oct-15 23:00:52

She's your daughter and I agree with all your reasons for not wanting it done. Yanbu. However, you are from a completely different culture to me and I dont have experience of a culture where it is difficult to say no to culturally norm things iyswim.

AnnaMarlowe Sun 25-Oct-15 23:01:12

YANBU. She's your daughter and you get to decide.

However I do appreciate that it's not that simple due to the cultural aspect and the pressure from family.

I do find it difficult to understand that your mother would feel the family was shamed because your tiny dd doesn't have holes in her ears.

Finallyonboard Sun 25-Oct-15 23:02:14

YANBU. Your DD, your rules. They are trying to bully you.

Ohfourfoxache Sun 25-Oct-15 23:02:27

Your baby, your rules. Your parents had their turn at making this decision, now it's your turn.

fakenamefornow Sun 25-Oct-15 23:03:06

I'd tell your mum to fuck off to the far side of fuck and leave your daughters ears alone. I have no respect of cultural traditions that inflict pain on children.

Sorry, for not being very helpful.

Babyroobs Sun 25-Oct-15 23:04:13

YANBU, you are being very sensible in saying no for all the reasons you have given. My sil is Vietnamese and had my dn's ears pierced at a few days old. I was really shocked but it is her culture, she is a GP so knew the risks I guess.

HaydeeofMonteCristo Sun 25-Oct-15 23:04:21


Your baby your rules.

I wouldn't want to put a baby through pain unnecessarily either.

Lilylonglegs Sun 25-Oct-15 23:06:07

I had my daughters ears pierced at 5 months, she did scream but was fine about ten minutes after. I think it's down to individual choice. If I had a partner that was against ear piercing I just wouldn't do it as it's just not that serious to me.

MaidOfStars Sun 25-Oct-15 23:07:06

Remind your Mum about bodily autonomy and consent for procedures? She must have a strong understanding of bioethics?

selsigfach Sun 25-Oct-15 23:07:56

Cruel and wholly unnecessary, regardless of culture. You are her mum and the buck stops with you.

crumblybiscuits Sun 25-Oct-15 23:08:05

YANBU, unnecessary pain for baby but I am really against infant ear piercing and obviously you have cultural pressures.

HeartShapedBox Sun 25-Oct-15 23:08:08

She's your daughter, it's your decision, not your mums.

Personally, I don't like piercing little babies ears, it seems quite cruel to me.

Don't be bullied into it, stay firm!

IHaveBrilloHair Sun 25-Oct-15 23:13:35

I had dd's ears pierced when she was a baby, 13 months.
She looked shocked, and that was it, I don't think she was in pain.
I was much younger then and at the time in a country where it is the norm, I'm older and wiser now and would make a different decision.

Either way, make your decision and stick to it, but it's unlikely anything bad will happen if your dd gets her ears pierced

Magic69 Sun 25-Oct-15 23:14:06

My DH is not supportive either.....he says to get it done and that it is normal. He is also getting irritated when I keep bringing this up.

When my MIL got wind of it - (the old bat hears about everything) she told me she has never heard anything so silly and people will laugh at my daughter and think she is a boy. She said not to embarrass her in front of her people.

We have DS1 and DS2 so it was never an issue. Now we have had DD1 its a different ball game.

I am outnumbered and I cant tell people to fuck much as I would love to....because no one agrees with me. My sisters, my cousins, my friends (who are Indian too) tell me that she will not remember the pain and it will be over in seconds and it is much less hassle to get it done than get into a fight with all my family members.

Crazypetlady Sun 25-Oct-15 23:15:18

You do not need to explain yourself to anyone regardless of culture.
You are doing the right thing,YANBU at all.
Stay firm

Katinkka Sun 25-Oct-15 23:15:31

It should be illegal. A baby cannot consent to this cosmetic procedure.

shitebag Sun 25-Oct-15 23:15:56

How do you feel about your culture and do you practice the traditions yourself or is it just your family?

I must admit I don't agree with it purely because I believe a person has the right to consent over their anatomy regardless of age but I understand that the fallout of breaking a cultural tradition can make it a difficult choice.

Skiptonlass Sun 25-Oct-15 23:18:04


Screw culture. I'm sick of culture being held up as a reason to do things that are harmful/unreasonable or that you just plain feel uncomfortable with.

I remember getting my ears pierced - it did hurt at the time and it did hurt for a while after. I wouldn't do that to a baby.

Perhaps gently point out that a radiologist wouldn't exactly see a case of infected earlobe, just as a dermatologist wouldn't see a pelvic fracture..,

RiverTam Sun 25-Oct-15 23:18:15

One thing I have always noticed but only recently worked out why, is that a lot of adult Asian women's ear piercings seem very low on the earlobe, like the earring is about to drop off. I assume this is because the shape if the lobe can alter as the child grows? Always looks most odd.

Anyway. Good for you. I hate this kind of bullshit in the name of one's 'culture'. Stick to your guns.

Magic69 Sun 25-Oct-15 23:20:38

I am sorry it is not my way or the highway...

Young women's opinions in my culture are often unheard and dismissed. If the man sides with the woman then things will happen- the choices of a man always trumps the wishes of a woman, and more often than not, the women in the family support this practice.

My DH has been so understanding about our DS1; he allows him to be himself and wear what he likes and has defended him to everyone who has 'expressed concern'.

However on this matter he says she is getting her ears pierced.....which case, I really haven't got a leg to stand on

Emilyjane101 Sun 25-Oct-15 23:22:18

What if your daughter doesn't want her ears pierced? You would have made a decision to modify her body without consent. I had my ears pierced when I was younger, but never really wear them now, But the holes are always there, annoying really.

If 'shame' on other people is a reason to do something to your child I would say buggar off. Parents and Inlaws always want their opinion followed on things - weaning, potty training, sleeping, etc etc I just think say what works for you doesn't always work for me, my baby my rules.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Sun 25-Oct-15 23:28:11

YANBU at all, but you are in a difficult situation.

It sounds like your best bet will be to try and convince your husband this is the wrong thing to do rather than try to convince everyone. If you get him onside it should be easier. It sounds like he can be fairly open minded, so maybe a reasonable and calm discussion with him might be a good starting point?

Goldmandra Sun 25-Oct-15 23:28:21

It's people like you who help cultures to drop cruel practices like these and move forward in terms of bodily autonomy and basic common sense.

Stand your ground because you are right; "Everybody else does it" has got to be the worst reason for inflicting pain and injury on your child.

Anybody who considers your family to be shameful because your DD doesn't have holes in her ears or laughs at her because she 'looks like a boy' isn't the kind of person you should bother with anyway.

I hope you do have a lot of explaining to do. It will mean you are challenging people's thinking which is really important when it comes to practices like piercing babies' ears.

Sending you good wishes and strength.

coconutpie Sun 25-Oct-15 23:28:49

Err you DO have a leg to stand on - presumably 2 legs. Tell your parents to fuck right off if they think they can bully you into sticking a needle into your DD's tiny ear lobes for cosmetic reasons. And your husband can fuck off too. I fucking hate it when I see babies going around with pierced ears - it is horrid.

Also, they can't sterilise those ear piercing guns that they use on babies / young children. Those guns could be crawling with all sorts of deadly crap. No way would I subject my DD to such a procedure at an age where she cannot consent for herself and also because there is zero hygiene involved when it comes to piercing guns.

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