Piercing Baby’s Ears: Cute, Mean or Trashy?

Seems a little mean

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / johnnydevil

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / johnnydevil

I couldn’t help but notice the large crowd that surrounded a young mother and her infant daughter in a costume jewelry shop in the mall this past weekend. The poor baby. She was all smiles, oblivious to what was coming next. As the attendant drew marks on the infant’s ear lobes, she just sat there taking in the passerby as they stared into the glass, causing a gaper’s delay. The baby’s cosmetic ritual into adulthood was on display for the whole world to know. She had no clue what was coming next.

What this little baby didn’t know, she was about to get a sharp jab of pain, but not to protect her from disease or illness, but in order to don something sparkly embedded in her flesh. She was about to get her ears pierced.

I didn’t bother staying for the puncture. It really bothered me. Pain for aesthetics, at only 6 months or so? It didn’t seem right. In fact, it seemed cruel.

I guess one could make an argument; little girls with earrings are cute. But it’s cute for adults, no 6-month-old can appreciate they look “pretty.”


I remember getting my ears pierced after begging my mother for years as a young girl. She finally relented when I was 10 or so. As much as I tried to care for them, having a somewhat inattentive mother didn’t help the healing process and I wound up with serious infections and scar tissue that had to be removed years later. While I’m glad I have my ears pierced now, I always thought I should have listened to my mother and waited until I was more mature. I also recall my earlobes throbbing for a good three days or so. It’s not the kind of pain I wish upon any non-consenting infant.

So, what do you think? Am I right or wrong? Is piercing a baby’s ears cute, trashy or just plain mean?

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  • Erin

    I had my daughter’s ears pierced as a baby, and I honestly regret it. Not because of infection or anything, but ears change as kids get older. The holes are now really low on her lobes, they weren’t that way as baby. So now, she can’t wear earrings that dangle or have any heft to them. She just turned 10, and I keep hoping that they’ll eventually close up. If she wanted to get them repierced later, that will be her choice. I don’t think it’s trashy, but it ends up not being cute later on down the road. It’s best to wait until they’re between 8-11. Just my opinion, of course.

    • Giselle

      You’re clearly missing the point of the article. It’s sad that you only regret it for aesthetic reasons. Get a clue.

    • Wow,you are sick..only regretting it for aesthetic reasons…Shame…on..you..

    • I’d be more worried about her being in pain and infections if you ask ME.

  • Not a very good idea at all..it’s sad..the babies have no idea what’s happening to them. 🙁

  • Granny Gruntz

    *Piercing a baby girl’s ears is TACKY! *IT IS NOT CUTE!! *It is satisfying the vanity of the mother only!! *The baby girl should be allowed to make her own decision when she is older. *PERSONALLY, to me, girls should be at least 15 BEFORE having their ears pierced! *For her 15th bday, I took my daughter to a reputable local jeweler and she was allowed to have her ears pierced professionally and safely. *I am now 85 – AND – have never had any desire to have my ears pierced! *I have ALWAYS preferred “clip on” style earrings.

  • Liz

    I think there’s a big cultural component that you’re missing. In many Hispanic cultures, it is just something that parents do to all baby girls, even before they leave the hospital (not in unsterile costume mall shops). I have always thought that babies with pierced ears is tacky and artificial, but my husband and mother in law were horrified and saddened that I never want a baby daughter’s ears pierced. They say it’s a needed sign to show that it is a girl and her parents love her. I still don’t understand it an will refuse the procedure in my baby girl, but I try to be sensitive to their opinions.