Ear Piercing: How young is too young to pierce baby's ears?
Back in 2013 when we lived in Dublin City, Jacob attended a local creche and his best mate was 'Mia Mouse.'
I would come to pick him up and find that he and Mia were having 'dinner' together at the toy kitchen, or were reading books to each other, laughing and holding hands. They were mad about each other and I have all the photos to prove it.
Mia was gorgeous, pretty and had a fantastic laugh, just like all the other little girls at the centre but there was one difference between her and the other two-year-olds in there: she had her ears pierced.
I never really thought about it or commented on it - mostly because it was none of my business - but also because I understood that it was a cultural thing. Her mum was this gregarious Spanish woman whose laugh could carry you down to the nearby coffee shop and back again, and whose hugs were the most genuine of anyone else's I have ever encountered.
I enjoyed witnessing the subtle cultural differences between her toddler and mine, from the amazing clothes she had brought over from Spain, to picking up a few Spanish words and phrases, even to the incredible baby perfumes that Manuela spritzed over her daughter's clothes every morning. Mia always smelled amazing.
In certain continental countries such as Spain, babies can have their ears pierced as young as days old. One ex-Pat pal of mine living in the Canaries tells me that babies can have the piercing done before they leave the maternity hospital. I'll just leave that one there with you, shall I...
But with petitions in the UK calling for a ban on ear piercing in very young kids, the debate rages on about whether ear piercing is considered a 'cruelty' or not.
A quick poll of my Irish parenting pals online today revealed that the majority of parents think that seven or eight is a decent enough age to allow their kids to have their ears pierced, others think that parents should wait until their child is old enough to ask about it and discuss the pain and maintenance required to keep infections at bay, and then there was the occasional 'Never!'
What do you think? Join the conversation and let us know where you stand on this issue.