I will confess that my ears are not pierced. Although it is not due to a lack of trying or a philosophical decision against it. The first time my ears were pierced I was about 5-years-old and due to an infection, I eventually had to let those holes close up. We attempted it again when I was around twelve, driven by my own interest to wear earrings like my friends, but alas my earlobes were still intolerant. Finally, I decided to try one last time in the months before my wedding. After having an allergic reaction and nearly fainting in a fancy jewelry store, I decided it was time to give up on having pierced ears and started shopping for necklaces and rings instead.
Besides having naked lobes at my wedding and having to shelve the diamond studs my dad bought me at age 5, I haven’t missed having piercings. Now that I am having a daughter though, I have started to think about when I would consider piercing her ears. Should it be when she’s too young to remember having it done or when she’s old enough to make the decision herself? Should she be expected to clean and care for the piercings, or would I take on that responsibility anyway?
Parents in my clinic often ask me when it is safe to pierce their daughters’ ears. This leads to a discussion on immunizations, infection control, and finding a reliable technician. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has also published some advice on this topic to help parents in preventing infections. Ultimately though, there is no answer about when the “right” age is.
Recently though, supermodel Giselle Bundchen posted a photo of her 7-month-old with gold studs on Instagram, stirring up the how young is too young for pierced ears controversy in the mommy blog community. Some claim this is cultural, while others say it is traumatic or cruel. I have to say that when I saw this photo I saw a beautiful and intimate moment between a mother and daughter, so sweet that I would not have noticed the earrings without the headlines. I wish that people could focus more on those tender moments of motherhood and less on her child’s accessories. This photo made me even more excited to hold my own daughter in my arms in a few months. Whether or not she will be wearing studs, you’ll just have to keep reading to find out…