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Torn about piercing baby's ears
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LuckyMum




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 10:11 am
Do you also wait to vaccinate your kids until they are old enough to consent? That is also making a permenant change to their bodies without asking them first.
What about choosing their name? That's also pretty permanent and personal.
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sky




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 10:13 am
amother wrote:
Simcha2, they're babies and they can give consent for anything! Thats why we're their mom and we take care of their needs. If a girl decides late on that she does not want earrings, she can always decide not to wear them and the hole will close up. Piercing is not permanent.


It leaves a scar and sometimes doesnt close fully.

I actually think it’s a good idea to also wait to see how ears look later. When my daughters ears were pierced it was centered but one ear was flatter making the earring look ‘wrong’. We ended up removing it and Repiercing.

We were told had we waited longer the whole from the first piercing would never really go away and it’s about $400 to close so it’s not visible. Had I done it as a baby we wouldn’t have seen it until much later.

Vaccinations are a bad example because it’s for your child’s health. Earings are for your own enjoyment.
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keym




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 10:16 am
I kind of agree with simcha2. She really solidified my thought.
When my dd was born, my husband and I decided that we would not do anything that's painful or uncomfortable for her that's not medically required until she asked.
She got her ears pierced for a family wedding when she was 5. She was begging by then.
The same way I won't drag her for a waxing, force her to wear high heels, push her to wear a girdle or anything like that until she asks even if I personally think she'd look nicer, be happier etc.
We give shots, blood work, other medical stuff because its necessary.
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amother




Wine


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 10:17 am
amother wrote:
I just had my first girl after many boys and am really enjoying dressing her up in pretty pink girly clothing and bracelets. I always thought that if I would have a girl, I would pierce her ears from the start. Now that she's here, I'm having a hard time with the thought of electively inflicting pain upon her just for my enjoyment. I'm not the type who struggles with my babies getting blood tests or vaccines since I know they're for their own benefit and the pain is short lived, but with ear piercing, even though the pain is just as short, it's totally unnecessary and really just for my own fun.

Recently I was discussing this with a teenage girl relative, and she made a point which made me think again. She said that she has a few friends who never pierced their ears and really want to but are too afraid of the pain. They wish their parents would have had it done to them when they were babies and too young to be afraid. She thinks I would actually be doing her a chessed by getting them pierced when she's still this young. She also said that it hurts much less on tiny babies.

I would love to hear opinions on this.


There is a great life lesson to be learned here - overcoming a fear to get what you want. Once those girls gather their strength and go for it - they will always have that moment to look back on and draw strength from it - as the time they were brave.

I don't think their parents did them a disservice. Their fears are real - but the pain is minor and momentary.

(compare that to parents who don't give their children sufficient education - thinking they will get it when they need it.... much more difficult to deal with later in life).
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amother




Gold


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 10:19 am
OP here. After reading all the replies, I can't say I'm much closer to making a decision. Smile It's interesting to hear both perspectives though.

I don't have a issue with how babies look with earrings. I'm really enjoying anything girly right now. My only question was whether it's right of me to inflict pain upon her or not when it's just for my enjoyment.

I haven't thought about the aspect of altering her body without her permission. It's definitely something to think about, but as parents, sometimes we do make decisions for our children that they may not agree with when they get older, and many of them are irreversible. I'm sure there are kids who resent that their parents vaccinated or circumcised them or had cochlear implants put in when they were babies. Obviously there's a difference between something halachic or medical and something cosmetic, but it's hard to draw the line as to how far a parent's rights extend when making decisions for their child.
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amother




Wine


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 10:29 am
amother wrote:
OP here. After reading all the replies, I can't say I'm much closer to making a decision. Smile It's interesting to hear both perspectives though.

I don't have a issue with how babies look with earrings. I'm really enjoying anything girly right now. My only question was whether it's right of me to inflict pain upon her or not when it's just for my enjoyment.

I haven't thought about the aspect of altering her body without her permission. It's definitely something to think about, but as parents, sometimes we do make decisions for our children that they may not agree with when they get older, and many of them are irreversible. I'm sure there are kids who resent that their parents vaccinated or circumcised them or had cochlear implants put in when they were babies. Obviously there's a difference between something halachic or medical and something cosmetic, but it's hard to draw the line as to how far a parent's rights extend when making decisions for their child.


here is the line. if you think there is any chance she may not be interested in having pierced ears - you don't do it.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 10:33 am
Is anyone on this thread Sephardic? In my kehillah, girl babies always had earrings, no exception. Moms would look at you like you were crazy if you didn't.

My mom waited until I asked for earrings, and I wanted them when I was 12. They used those horrible old fashioned piercing guns, and it HURT! The first thing I said after I could catch my breath, was "Why didn't you do this when I was a baby???"

Then, I realized that I only had one earring in, and would have to do the other one. I was so scared, because I knew how bad the first one was, but I didn't want to go around with only one earring. I can clearly remember that as being pretty traumatic.

Today, I would never let anyone near me with a needle unless they were a professional body piercer.
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studying_torah




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 10:36 am
Allergies to pierced ears/infections etc. seems to run in my family, so I decided to wait.
I'm glad I did bec my dd had a lot of trouble with infections . Ended up needing to let it close and repierce later on.
I would not want my dd to deal w that as a baby.
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chanie18




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 10:59 am
FranticFrummie wrote:
"Why didn't you do this when I was a baby???"


Infections, tearing, pulling.....
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SixOfWands




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 11:07 am
thunderstorm wrote:
My mother waited until I was eleven and I resented it. Firstly since age three I'd been begging for earrings. Secondly I still remember how it hurt. The actual piercing was not that bad. It was the fact that the posts were put on too tight and they were pinching my earlobes which caused me agonizing pain for a few days until my mother realized something didn't make sense.
Now I also had my first girl after a few boys and I decided to go ahead with it. My pediatrician actually does the ear piercing in the doctors office, so I felt secure that it was being done in a sterile and safe environment. The doctor doesn't do it before the baby is 4 months old. She got her ears pierced the day of her 4 month checkup along with whatever shots she needed that visit. She cried for a few minutes and then we gave her Tylenol per the doctors instructions . She calmed down and didn't kvetch about it since. She actually had more discomfort and was feverish the next day from the the shots. She never cried when I cleaned them etc . I'm happy I did it. She will never remember it and truthfully, it wasn't that a big deal.


So, at age 11 you were unable to communicate to your mother that the earring backs were on too tight, or unable to figure it out for yourself. But you think that a newborn should have her ears pierced, because .... because she'd be better at communicating her discomfort?

In any case, somewhere between 10% and 20% of American women don't have pierced ears, so its not particularly uncommon.
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simcha2




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 11:13 am
LuckyMum wrote:
Do you also wait to vaccinate your kids until they are old enough to consent? That is also making a permenant change to their bodies without asking them first.
What about choosing their name? That's also pretty permanent and personal.


I would argue that vaccination is a need. A name doesn't effect their bodily autonomy, (and I think is also a need). But if my child chooses to go by a nickname, middle name etc., I respect that.

If you want to pierce your infant, kol hakavod to you. But don't pretend that it is not permanently changing your child's body to fit your aesthetic ideal.
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amother




Magenta


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 11:19 am
Simcha2, we can say that to many things regarding a baby's care. Babies dont care what they wear or in what strollers they sit in. We do it all for ourselves. If piercing the ears would be a controversial issue medically like vaccines are, more people won't do it. But there are no medical issues related to piercing a baby's ears.
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bigsis144




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 11:23 am
I am the eldest girl in my family, and my mother waited until I was 6 to pierce my ears. I refused to let her clean them and ended up getting infections and letting the holes close up. I wanted pierced ears, though so I ended up getting my ears pierced and closed back up four times before I was responsible enough to take care of it at age 12.

All my other sisters got their ears pierced as babies, as have my nieces.


Last edited by bigsis144 on Wed, Dec 19 2018, 11:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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simcha2




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 11:24 am
amother wrote:
Simcha2, we can say that to many things regarding a baby's care. Babies dont care what they wear or in what strollers they sit in. We do it all for ourselves. If piercing the ears would be a controversial issue medically like vaccines are, more people won't do it. But there are no medical issues related to piercing a baby's ears.


What they wear doesn't permanently change their body.

I'm not saying it's medically controversial, I'm saying it's changing your child's body, without consent, to fit your idea of beauty.

You are welcome to do it. I think it's wrong because of the messages it sends regarding beauty and bodily autonomy. I think you can say these messages are not important to you, but I don't think you can say threat they are not there.

We can agree to disagree.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 11:26 am
simcha2 wrote:
Logically the earrings are for your gratification. It's ok to say "I like my infant girls to have their ears pierced" (even though I personally don't think it is), but you also have to recognize that it is taking away some of their bodily autonomy. You may think it's a worthwhile payoff, but you can't say it isn't making a permanent decision about their body without their consent.


I make decisions about their bodies without their consent from the moment they are born. I opt in for standard tests and vaccines that they do in the hospital. I take them for their well-visits on schedule. If any of my kids would require anything medically, I would make those decisions for their bodies.

In the same vein, I make the decision that my girls will 99.99% want earrings, and I take the fear of going thru with that away from them by giving it to them as babies. Yes, I like it too, but I don't think it's all about my own gratification. I'm glad my mother did this for me, and I pass this on to my girls. If there's some percent of my making decisions about their bodies without their consent in this, it's a drop in the bucket with regard to the many decisions I make for them before they are old enough to do so.

If you believe in them making their own decisions about their bodies, then in that vein I wouldn't understand allowing your child to get earrings before she's 18, at all. How can you allow a minor to make a permanent decision like that? Especially a young child, like a 5 year old....

My 10 year old has a small beauty mark on her chin, and she doesn't like it. I took her to a dermatologist, and she strongly advocated waiting to have it removed until my daughter is old enough to understand that it can leave a small scar, and that she accepts and really truly wants that....I went with that and persuaded her that it really is not so important to remove it now.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 11:29 am
simcha2 wrote:
But it's not a need. It's a want on the part of the mother.

And closed holes leave scars.


And a strongly-presumed want on the part of the daughter.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 11:30 am
Quote:

FranticFrummie wrote:
"Why didn't you do this when I was a baby???"


Quote:

Infections, tearing, pulling.....


A mother can bathe, diaper, and clean earrings. Once you leave things in the hands of a stubborn child or young teen, the regular cleanings are not guaranteed.

A toddler may tug or pull on earrings, but I can't imagine a newborn doing it. Once the baby is old enough to notice earrings, they will be healed and not a big deal. No way would I do a toddler's earrings.
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amother




Silver


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 11:32 am
If you're going to do it now, do it soon, and only if you think you can handle taking care of the piercings properly. Once the baby is old enough to grab things, you should wait until she's old enough to rake care of her own piercings. I asked for pierced ears when I was five and got them, then I didn't properly care for the holes and had to let them close. I got my ears repeirced shortly before my bat mitzvah. It doesn't bother me that my parents didn't do it when I was an infant, and I don't think it would have been wrong if they had. Where I feel they did mess up was in allowing me to get it done at an age when I should not have been expected to be fully responsible for caring for the holes.
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simcha2




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 11:33 am
Chayalle wrote:
I make decisions about their bodies without their consent from the moment they are born. I opt in for standard tests and vaccines that they do in the hospital. I take them for their well-visits on schedule. If any of my kids would require anything medically, I would make those decisions for their bodies.

In the same vein, I make the decision that my girls will 99.99% want earrings, and I take the fear of going thru with that away from them by giving it to them as babies. Yes, I like it too, but I don't think it's all about my own gratification. I'm glad my mother did this for me, and I pass this on to my girls. If there's some percent of my making decisions about their bodies without their consent in this, it's a drop in the bucket with regard to the many decisions I make for them before they are old enough to do so.

If you believe in them making their own decisions about their bodies, then in that vein I wouldn't understand allowing your child to get earrings before she's 18, at all. How can you allow a minor to make a permanent decision like that? Especially a young child, like a 5 year old....

My 10 year old has a small beauty mark on her chin, and she doesn't like it. I took her to a dermatologist, and she strongly advocated waiting to have it removed until my daughter is old enough to understand that it can leave a small scar, and that she accepts and really truly wants that....I went with that and persuaded her that it really is not so important to remove it now.


If you didn't like how earrings looked on infants or young girls, would you still take them on the assumption that they will likely want them?
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amother




Magenta


Post  Wed, Dec 19 2018, 11:35 am
Simcha2, we can do with our babies as we see fit, we dont need their consent on anything. They depend on us for life. Earrings dont scar girls for life and they're not dangerous.
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