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Would You Pierce Your Baby’s Ears?

Erin Zammett Ruddy

Is there a right time to get your daughter’s ears pierced? Do you like the look of a baby sporting earrings? I have an opinion on this that I hope won’t offend anyone (wishful thinking).

My friend, Annette, recently had her daughter’s ears pierced at 10-months-old, which is why I ask these questions. Her husband wasn’t into it but Annette always said that if she had a baby girl, she would have the baby’s ears pierced. I admire her conviction and while I would never pierce my own baby’s ears (it’s not for me) I love that she felt strongly about it and doesn’t care what others think. And her daughter, who’s adorable to begin with, looks extra cute with her little sparkly studs. To each her own, right?

I think in many cases ear piercing is a cultural thing. My sister’s mother-in-law is from Venezuela and was shocked when my sister brought her daughter home from the hospital without pierced ears. She has asked me numerous times when I plan to pierce Nora’s and I’m all, “nunca,” which she can’t believe. Of course I don’t really mean never, I just don’t have a plan to do it any time soon. I guess when she asks and when I feel that she (and I) are ready? It’s just not on my radar and not just because of the aesthetics but because of the work I imagine it involves to keep them clean and not lost and then, of course, to coordinate earrings with headbands and shoes and all that (we’ve talked about my lack of hairstyling/girlie-girl ability, right?).

My ears were pierced when I was in kindergarten, which was early compared to my friends, but I had a good reason. I had a super short boy haircut (my mom claims I asked for this look; I disagree) and some kid called me a guy and I came home crying so my mom took me to the mall and we pierced it up. I got silver hearts and I loved them. My sister, Melissa, got hers done then too and she was seven at the time (she went with gold balls). Meghan, my younger sister, got hers pierced on her 9th birthday (she got topaz studs in honor of her birthstone). I am definitely leaning toward older for Nora, and making a special occasion out of it like my mom did for Meghan (she just texted me that they went to Friday’s beforehand—score!).

But knowing Nora she’ll be demanding earrings before she’s three. Probably want a toe ring too. Do you have daughters? When did you/do you plan to have their ears pierced? Was it a special occasion/rite of passage? When did you get yours pierced?