Piercing an infant’s ears is an ongoing debate. On one side, some people believe that the choice should be up to the child once she grows up. Parents shouldn’t put their babies under a painful modification without their consent. On the other side, piercing an infant’s ears is common in many cultures. Many women who had their ears pierced as babies are grateful that they don’t remember the experience. However, trouble arises when a couple disagrees on this issue.
A mother took to Reddit when she found out her husband had pierced her infant’s ears behind her back. Here is the full story.
Piercing an Infant’s Ears Without the Mother’s Consent
The couple was together for three years, and they have a beautiful one-year-old, the post explains. But the conflict began six months prior when the husband wanted to get her ears pierced.
“I disagreed,” wrote the mom. “I’m personally against babies getting their ears pierced for a variety of different reasons. It causes pain for no reason; you have to take care of it to avoid infection, the ears are still growing, etc.” 
However, the husband’s sisters had their ears pierced when they were babies. He thought earrings on their daughter “would be cute” and “be the perfect accessory.” Despite the mother’s persistent no’s, he continued to try and persuade her. Eventually, he stopped, and the mom assumed he had given up the matter. But he seemed to have other plans.
“About a week ago, I had to go stay with my Dad for a few days to help him with something. My husband works from home, so he stayed with our daughter until I got back,” the post continued.
“Yesterday I came home, and when I went to go give my daughter a hug, I saw that she had 2 big studs in her ears. I flipped out, put her in her playpen, went downstairs, and demanded to know what the hell did he do.
“He said he thought I would change my mind once I saw how pretty the earrings were. I cussed him out and told him that he had no right to go against me like that. He got mad and said that she’s his daughter too, that I need to be more open-minded and stop being such a prude. I took out the earrings, and now neither of us are speaking to each other.”
Both Parents Should Be Involved
The consensus of the responses was that parents need to agree. But if one says no to ear-piercing their child, then it’s a no—end of story. The father’s actions gave people a bad impression of him, and many people agreed with the mother’s feelings about not being able to trust him anymore.
“Pierced ears are a one-parent automatic veto deal: if one of you doesn’t want to make alterations to your kid’s body, even relatively benign and/or reversible ones, then it shouldn’t be happening,” said one commenter. “The fact he went behind your back is very not okay, and I think you two need to get to counseling to sort out why he thought it would be.”
Some people pointed out the dad’s odd motivation about earrings being the perfect accessory. The mother responded to such a comment with, “My husband is a very fashion-centered person and loves anything to do with fashion. He was very excited to have a baby girl because he thought he would have more style ideas for her. He also doesn’t really like the fact that I’m more of a TomBoy, so because he can’t really dress me up, maybe our daughter is his new model?”
Some people took issue with this idea that the dad seemed to view his daughter as a dress-up doll. Additionally, there was the issue of his dismissing the mom’s feelings about earrings, perhaps because he assumes “she doesn’t ‘get’ fashion.” Of course, these two ideas were more speculation and not confirmed by the original poster. Either way, some serious communication about trust and boundaries is needed for this relationship to continue.
Should Parents Pierce Infant’s Ears?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, ear piercings for cosmetic reasons are safe at any age. However, regarding preventing earlobe infections, they do recommend parents to “postpone the piercing until your child is mature enough to take care of the pierced site herself.” 
Dr. Tanya Altmann, a pediatrician in West Lake Village, California, pierces infants’ ears regularly in her office. However, she does prefer to wait until they are at least four months old. By then, they would have had vaccinations and a clean bill of health. “Anytime you pierce the skin, you have a risk of infection,” she says. “And that risk is always higher if you’re piercing a baby’s ear outside of a doctor’s office environment.”
Still, she rarely sees infections in the babies, as the mothers are careful to treat the area. However, older kids tend to touch and play with their earrings, making them more vulnerable to infections. 
For parents who choose this, it’s vital to use a professional with sterile equipment. Also, buy real gold studs to avoid any allergic reactions. 
In short, it’s up to the parents to decide about piercing an infant’s ears. They should research the process first and make an informed decision. Oh yeah, and both parents need to be on board.
Keep Reading: It’s Officially Time to Retire the ‘Gender Reveal Party’
- “AITA For cussing out my husband after he got our daughters ears pierced?” Reddit. February 2021.
- “Avoiding Infection After Ear Piercing.” Healthy Children. American Academy of Pediatrics.
- “Cute or cruel? Parents debate whether it’s OK to pierce babies’ ears.” Today. Jacoba Urist. January 14, 2013
- “What You Should Know Before Getting Your Baby’s Ears Pierced.” Healthline. Dorian Smith-Garcia. September 21, 2020