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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

To pierce or not to pierce; that is the question



First, a disclaimer: This is not about finding world peace, taking on global Mom_babyear warming or solving the financial crisis. This is about piercings, specifically whether or not to pierce my little girl’s ears.

My daughter is 8 months old, just about the age many people suggest getting an infant’s ears pierced while they are young enough to quickly forget the pain and, with any luck, leave the earrings alone.

Doctors say there is typically little danger in piercing an infant’s ears once they reach three to four months of age. But the procedure is not without risk including possible infection. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents wait to pierce a child’s ears until she is old enough to care for it herself.

Still, some pediatricians pierce ears at parents’ request. For $50, my daughter’s doctor will outfit her ears with little gold studs. The pain only lasts a second, the office manager said, proffering advice that the older an infant is the more painful the experience for parents and child.

Though charming and cute as can be, my child is also fiercely determined. And did I mention that she’s strong and has curiosity in spades? If she sees a ribbon in her hair, she’s likely to pull it out for closer inspection. Same for bows, socks, book pages and, probably, earrings. Even if the earrings had safety guards, I’d worry that she’d tug her way to an infection.

My mother didn’t get her ears pierced until she was in college –- mostly because she lived on a farm and ear piercing wasn’t accessible. But she took me to a mall and put me under the gun when I was a wee one. Having pierced ears is all I’ve ever known, so I don’t mind. But is this a decision I should make now for my daughter?

A gal pal told me she had her ears pierced at 12. She said it was a special event, hyped by her mother with talk about becoming a big girl. She remembers it well. I like the idea of slowing things down and creating milestones my little girl can look forward to and remember.

-- Sherri Day

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:57am]


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