IS IT ABUSIVE?

Bows, flowered headbands, tutus and frilly dresses are just some of the accessories that get most moms of baby girls very excited.

Well, what about piercing your little baby girl's ears? Not all too long ago, diamond studs in your baby's ears didn't warrant a second thought. Now, however, it's a hot-button issue.

It is going too far with the baby adornments?

Sure those diamond studs in miniature ear lobes, like Vivienne Jolie Pitt's look oh-so-cute. But unlike the big flower headbands, earrings are more permanent and the act of getting the holes causes a bit of discomfort. There are reasons parents want to pierce their babies' ears. One is for cultural reasons, another is just because it looks cute. And some say if the girl is going to do it anyway, why not pierce them now when she won't remember the pain? Needless to say, the debate over piercing a baby's ears is heated. Some even call it child abuse. Over-dramatization? Perhaps. Though, many who remember the experience can attest it wasn't the most pleasant. Is it right to subject a baby or child who can't yet speak to this, albeit minimal, uncomfortable experience? Ultimately, the decision remains up to the parent. But the topic generates a firestorm of opinions on both sides just as circumcision, breastfeeding in public and co-sleeping do.

Do your research

Good to know: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until children are old enough to care for piercings on their own.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until children are old enough to care for piercings on their own. This may be too long for some parents who want their kids to sport a little bling from the get-go. There are some considerations parents should look into before getting their kids' lobes pierced. There can be an increased risk for infection if the wounds are not diligently cared for and even tiny hoop earrings should be avoided because they get caught on clothing and fabric easily.

Doctor Cheryl Morell, a San Diego area pediatrician, said she recommends that parents avoid piercings for the first six weeks of life because of an infant's immature immune system. But after that, it's a personal preference.

"If parents ask, I just give them the options so they can make an informed decision, and encourage them to be sure that they are pierced under sterile conditions, with packaged, single use surgical steel earrings," Morell said.

Some moms' perspectives

Liz Matthews had her daughter's ears pierced at three months and never had a problem with infection.

"It's sort of standard in my family to do it early," Matthews said. "I don't have any family members who got their ears pierced at a later age."

Kimbra Birchler, a mother of two daughters, including new baby Emma, said neither has their ears pierced yet.

"A few people have told me I should get Emma's done while she is little, she won't remember it, it looks cute, yaddy yadda," Birchler said. "I'm not convinced those are good enough reasons, though."

Tell us

Are you in favor of little girls getting their ears pierced? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Comments

Comments on "Objectifying your baby with ear piercings"

NK June 18, 2012 | 2:59 PM

I think it's wrong at an early age,because earlobes are the most common and simple locations for piercing,but kids will think it's ok with any other body part,and have a nasty accident.

Sam June 11, 2012 | 8:47 AM

I'm going to wait to pierce my child's ears until she is able to tell me it's something she wants. Truth be told, I'm slightly afraid if I pierce them when she's little, she will be asking for a double or triple piercing by the time she is seven! That is definitely not something I want to debate her about.

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