Another day, another parenting controversy out of the Teen Mom crew. But if there’s ever been a tempest in a teapot, the barbs being thrown at Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra for their latest Instagram photo qualify.
Catelynn posted an innocent picture of daughter Novalee flashing a gummy grin and looking strikingly like big sister Carly. So what’s the problem? Nova’s ears. Or rather the tiny little piece of jewelry in said ears:
Yes, Tyler and Catelynn got their baby’s ears pierced. Born in January, the little girl is now 8 months old, and many of their fans took to the comments section to call them out for “abusing” their infant.
Say what now? Piercing a baby’s ears may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and it’s certainly got its drawbacks. If you have a baby who tugs at those earlobes when they’re tired, for example, you could be in for a lot of earlobe ripping issues. Not to mention an earring that falls out of a small baby’s ears is bound to end up in their mouths because, well, everything ends up in small babies’ mouths.
But the Teen Mom stars are hardly guilty of child abuse for this one.
Just ask the experts: The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents put off ear piercing until the child is old enough to care for the piercing on their own, however there’s no ban on it. And Healthy Children, the AAP’s own site, advises parents, “If the piercing is performed carefully and cared for conscientiously, there is little risk, no matter what the age of the child.”
If you want to pierce your child’s ears, the best person to turn to is your pediatrician to find out if it’s advisable. Many doctors will actually do the procedure in the office, and they can provide necessary follow-up care too.
No matter your child’s age, it stands to reason that you need to care for the piercing and watch for infection. But based on this photo alone, Novalee’s ears look fine. They’re not swollen or oozing with pus.
So again, there’s nothing to suggest Tyler and Catelynn are “abusing” their child. If anything, it’s the exact opposite. The baby looks well cared for and absolutely happy.