There is a family that I have known for over 5 years. We have very different views on parenting, discipline, child rearing, etc. But one practice of this family (that I thought to be interesting) is that, about 1 month after each of their sons were born, they would pierce their son's left ear.

Normally, I would write this off as something unique to these particular parents, except there is no central motivating reason for the parents (i.e. neither of the parents have any piercings). Also, I recently encountered another family who seems to have the same practice of piercing their sons' left ears when they are about a month old.

Not having seen this before and knowing that this is not a common practice among parents, I just want to learn more.
Are there reasons (other than preference) for parents to do this? Or is this just a new fad that is on the rise?

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    Have you asked them? – A E Oct 16 '15 at 6:04
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    Sounds like a cultural tradition. They generally have no real reasons for being done, other than "cultural tradition". – Erik Oct 16 '15 at 8:47
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    I disagree with the down votes. The OP is politely asking for clarification on a cultural difference involving 1 month old babies. That seems very appropriate to me. – user7678 Oct 16 '15 at 12:02
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    I know that the Italian culture likes to pierce baby girls ears very young. I know several toddler girls right now with sparkly earrings. Also, displaying rich cloths and jewelry on infants is a way to show the household wealth in Irish culture. That's easier to do with pierced ears. Or, maybe the dad just has his ear pierced and assumes the son will want it too. – user7678 Oct 16 '15 at 12:05
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    Don't have an answer but a couple of thoughts... 1. Left ear could be significant as that is the "straight ear" stereotypically. I wonder if some homophobic parents might think this will make their kid straight? 2. Piercing at that age will be likely be far easier (I think), similar to why tongue clipping for tongue ties is easier at that age (a few weeks old), so perhaps they're thinking he'll want it pierced later and avoid it hurting more/bleeding more? – Joe Oct 16 '15 at 14:36

Some cultures practice infant ear piercing. It's common to pierce the ears of infants in the Latino community for example. But this would be both ears, and it's usually just girls.

Hindus pierce a single ear, and they pierce the ears of both boys and girls. This can be performed as early as the 10th or 12th day after birth, but is often delayed until the 6th or 7th month. This practice is called Karnvedh Sanskar. But Hindus would pierce the right ear of boys and the left ear of girls.

So it seems your friends are just following something they've always done.


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