parent opinion

“She was 3 months old.” 4 parents on when they got their daughter's ears pierced, and why.

The question of if and when to pierce your child’s ears, is something many families are constantly negotiating.

Whether you feel conflicted about having your baby’s ears pierced, or you have a pre-teen desperate to wear earrings because ‘all her friends are’, you probably know what we mean.

Mamamia spoke to four different mums about the age they decided was right to pierce their child’s ears and why.

The six types of sports parents. Post continues below. 

Nat and Frankie

Frankie was aged five when she asked mum Natalie if she could have her ears pierced at the mall in Newcastle, NSW.

Natalie and Frankie. Image supplied.
Natalie and Frankie. Image supplied.

“It was actually quite a spontaneous decision as Frankie mentioned it to me one day whilst we were out shopping with my mother-in-law.

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“I had mine pierced at the same age and so I decided if she felt ready, we would go ahead. I wasn’t sure she would go through with it, as she hates getting needles, but she was very brave!

“It was professional and fast, and she had both ears pierced at one time. She enjoyed how the earrings looked, but after about 12 months one ear got really infected.

“The pain of the infection was much worse than the piercing itself and so now, she really isn’t fussed about going through it all again. I guess when she is older she might ask, but perhaps not until the memory of the infection fades!”

Fiona and Jess

Jess started asking her mum Fiona if she could have her ears pierced at around eight years old.

Fiona and Jess. Image supplied.
Fiona and Jess. Image supplied.

“She was very keen, but also fearful of the pain. She has been known to faint at blood tests, so I wasn’t sure it was the best idea!”

Fiona and husband Rob both had their ears pierced as teenagers and thought that Jess should at least wait until she was in double figures.

“We eventually agreed she could have them pierced when she turned 10. We took her to a reputable beauty salon in Sydney where they used ice blocks to numb both ears so she didn’t feel a thing. The other reason we waited that long was to ensure she was mature enough to look after her ears daily by turning the studs and keeping them clean.”

The threat of infection was another consideration as dad Rob is an emergency paediatric doctor and had some horror stories to tell.

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“Rob had seen a number of badly infected ears where the back of the earring had become so infected, the parents couldn’t remove it and the kids ended up in the emergency department!

“Jess has been really responsible and only wears sterling silver or gold studs mostly.

“Now she is almost 12, she is starting to get into the fashion jewellery that we only allow her to wear at weekends.”

Ana and Emma

In Peru it is traditional for newborn baby girls to have their ears pierced by nurses in hospital, so it was no big deal for Peruvian expat Ana to have Emma’s done when she was three months old.

“We chose a salon recommended by a friend and fellow Peruvian expat. The procedure itself was very quick and professional and the lady did both of her ears simultaneously.

pierced
Ana and Emma. Image supplied.

“Emma cried of course, but I breastfed her and she was immediately comforted.”

Ana’s mum had sent some beautiful gold earrings from Peru as a gift when Emma was born.

“She had to wear the stainless-steel ones initially, which is standard in Australia to help prevent infection. After the first month was up however, we put the gold ones in and Emma has been wearing them day and night, for over two-and-a-half years without any trouble.”

While Ana believes there has been some questioning of the tradition back home, she believes most parents of girls in Peru still have their baby’s ears pierced.

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“It was very fashionable when I was a child but as I have been in Australia for a number of years, I asked my friends in Lima for their opinion. They confirmed it is still common and those that have had baby girls, all chose to have their ears pierced.”

Angela and Lucy

Angela told nine-year-old Lucy that she wouldn’t be allowed her ears pierced until she reached high school.

Angela and Lucy. Image supplied.

“I had my ears pierced at high school, so I have probably been influenced by my upbringing, but the main reason for asking her to wait, is because I feel she is still young and impressionable.

“She is already influenced by so many pop-culture and fashion trends that coerce her into acting older than her age, that this is one of the few things I can still control. At least with make-up and fashion trends they aren’t permanent!

“The other main reason is the nightmare stories I hear about infections. Life is complicated enough that I really don’t need to deal with that!”

Angela is also keen to not always give in to every request she receives as a parent.

“I don’t think she needs to hear yes to every request, and also I want to show her that following trends doesn’t always equate to popularity and acceptance.

“Lucy’s main reason for wanting her ear’s pierced is because her friends have them done and I want her to learn that she can be an individual - real friends will accept her regardless of her ears!”

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