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ear piercing.. what age for a girl?

(74 Posts)
mamaesi Wed 07-Sep-11 16:21:05

Ok I want to start a hot debate on piercing ears on little girls. I reckon I got mine done when I was about 7 years old.

My husbands family are insisting that I pierce my 16 month old daughter. I am aware that it is very much a cultural thing (neither husband nor I are english, but we live in London)...

I was wondering what the mumsnet view is. I personally think its a bit "ghetto fabulous" to have a young baby with earrings. What do you think?

what do you think is the right age?

Paschaelina Wed 07-Sep-11 16:22:09


belgo Wed 07-Sep-11 16:23:20

The mumsnet view is 18 +, done by a tatooist using a needle.

I was 6 when I had mine done and my girls were about the same age. I certainly wouldn't go any younger.

Your dh's family cannot insist on anything, it's your decision, not their's. She cannot have her ears pierced without a parent's consent.

Pootles2010 Wed 07-Sep-11 16:24:02

I don't think its overly nice to make holes in your baby, no. Wait until she can make a proper decision for herself - my mum insisted on 16, as a typical teenager I had them done at 14.

But 16 months is not right. And it's got nothing to do with conceptions of chavviness hmm and everything to do with human decency.

MrsRhettButler Wed 07-Sep-11 16:25:35

oh yawn......

i got dd's done at 8 months but i'm a child abusing chav and did you know that ear piercing is on par with female genital mutilation?

Bangtastic Wed 07-Sep-11 16:26:40

Oh dear god don't do it. My mum threatened to get DD's done for her 2nd birthday and I nearly blew a gasket.

I wouldn't do it until she was old enough to decide whether or not she wanted it doing, and could give me a valid reason for wanting it done. But that's just me.

I can't understand why people would put their baby through pain (and it does bloody hurt, the actual piercing and the aftercare) just so that people can coo over them.

NormaSnorks Wed 07-Sep-11 16:26:40

I would have thought senior school (age 11) is early enough, but was surprised to hear from my DS that 'all the girls in his class' (age 9) have come back after the holidays with them done.

Personally I think piercing a baby's ears is barbaric. How about when she is old enough to make her own, informed, choice (and look after them properly)?

Ineedacleaneriamalazyslattern Wed 07-Sep-11 16:29:28

I'm not sure what the perfect age is TBH. DD is 8 in 3 weeks and wants hers done. I would rather she waited but on the same token I'm also not particularly bothered if she does want them done. ex's wife has the equipment and is trained to do it so I have deferred to them to decide when they are done, I am neither up nor down about it.

16 months though is a no no for me. Also not for any other reason than decency. I know dd is still young but she was adamant for ages after some friends got them done that she would never ever get anyone to put a hole in her ear but now she wants it knowing full well that it will hurt and there is after care to it as well.
My friend had hers done as a baby and is annoyed about it, since she could choose she has never ever worn ear rings and never will yet she has no choice about the holes in her ears.

Pootles2010 Wed 07-Sep-11 17:04:05

No one's saying its on a parr with genital mutilation for heavens sake, its just pointless. You're hurting your baby to make her look nice.

InmaculadaConcepcion Wed 07-Sep-11 17:22:24

Until recently we were living in Spain where the tradition is to pierce girls' ears within a few days of their birth. We didn't get DD's done.

I actually think the right age is when they're big enough to make the decision for themselves and understand about the pain and aftercare involved.

Also, don't lose the opportunity for bribery incentivisation. I had mine done at age 9 because I completed certain goals in my swimming lessons. My niece recently had hers done at age 10 as a reward for classroom achievement.

MrsRhettButler Wed 07-Sep-11 17:29:30

pootles it has been said before on other threads.

yousankmybattleship Wed 07-Sep-11 17:35:32

I think 11 should be the earliest, but hopefully if girls are sensible they will wait a bit longer. I think it looks terrible on a baby and I really don't see the point. Why risk infections or injuries for something so completely pointless?

suburbandream Wed 07-Sep-11 17:37:37

I had mine done when I was 6, but that was about a hundred years ago when the new-fangled piercing guns became popular and everyone was having them done. My mum, sister (10 at the time) and I had them done together.

I've got boys but if I had a girl I would probably make her wait to secondary school. Just personal choice really, it doesn't bother me if little girls have pierced ears, I would worry about them getting ripped out though if they are playing rough and tumble.

mumeeee Wed 07-Sep-11 17:40:03

We said 12 to our DDs.

Sookeh Wed 07-Sep-11 17:52:12

My mum took me to get mine done when I was 3. I threw my head back and the piercer dropped the stud down my throat and it almost ended very badly.

Wait til she can choose it for herself OP.

foreveryours Wed 07-Sep-11 18:00:11

I had my ds's ears done when he was 11months.....he loves having earrings in, goes with his emo style he's accustomed (he's 8 now)

KittyWalker Wed 07-Sep-11 18:01:50

I have told DD (currently 8 and desperate to have her ears pierced) that she can have them done in the summer holidays between primary and secondary school.

Hulababy Wed 07-Sep-11 18:14:15

We have told DD she can have hers done between primary and secondary school, aged 11y.

I was 10y so a little younger but they healed over after an infection. I had them redone at 13y and then again at about 33y - all three times in the same place.

DD is currently 9y and none of her school friends have their ears peirced. they are not allowed earrings in school at all. One school firend left school in the summer to emigrate and her treat for leaving was having her ears pierced, so age 9y. This does mean DD is keen to have hers done but she willhave to wait. Besides because of school rules they can only be one in the very start of the big summer holidays.

Seona1973 Wed 07-Sep-11 20:38:21

loads of dd's friends have their ears done (she is nearly 8). I wouldnt mine if she wanted them done just now but she hasnt expressed an interest yet. Mine were done around the age of 7.

plinkplonk Wed 07-Sep-11 21:21:20

Oh no, can't believe that children of 8 want to have it done. I was 11 and do remember having wanted it for a very long time. I would love not to have holes in my ears now, and shall endeavour to put off dd until 16. She is only 7, so easy to say that now though.

LindsayWagner Wed 07-Sep-11 21:22:38

When she chooses to.

ByTheSea Wed 07-Sep-11 21:24:12

When the child seriously expresses the desire to and can look after them sensibly by herself. Both my DDs were 8 or 9 when they came to me with the request.

mamaesi Wed 07-Sep-11 22:39:18

yes these are my wishes to wait

But so many other places like spain, central america, africa.... they consider it ridiculous not to pierce them. Another member of my husband's family told me that one of the aunts just wisked her child away when 'babysitting' and had them done without their permission!

I honestly would be sooo angry. I have already been given earrings as a present. All I said was 'thank you. of course we will pierce her ears.' But I need to have a solid argument besides 'I think its naff'
I actually dont think its cruel...but I do like the statement that they should be able to decide for them selves....

any other points for my case??any other suggestions?

elphabadefiesgravity Wed 07-Sep-11 22:46:11

DD is 9 and had hers done at the start of the school holidays. She is not allowed to have them in at all at school.

She asked a couple of years ago and again last year but dh was against it. My feeling was she should be old enough to be able to look after them herself and she has been really good with the bathing and everything.

Most of the girls in her class at school have had them done. My neice who is 7 had hers done just before dd and she has been very good about the aftercare too, she had been begging to have it done. Dh saw them and that they looked quite pretty, plus dd got a good school report so she was allowed.

belgo Thu 08-Sep-11 11:51:57

You have to be aware of the physicals effects of piercing a child's ears.

The process itself is very shocking to the body and can result in fainting, vomiting, and huge distress and screaming.

The long term problems can be infection and injury caused by the earring getting caught and pulled eg. during gym /dance class.

The strongest argument against ear piercing is the potential for injury. You need to be firm and say that your daughter will not have her ears pierced before a certain age. You can tell these relatives that schools in the UK have strict rules about ear piercings for health and safety reasons.

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