How to Care for Your Baby Boy’s Penis


If it’s your first time caring for a baby boy, you might feel a bit unsure about the right way to care for his genitals. But don’t worry -- it’s pretty straightforward. Here’s everything you need to know to keep the area clean and healthy.

If He’s Circumcised

If your son was circumcised, that means the loose skin covering the head of his penis was removed and the tip exposed.

After the procedure, his care team covered his penis with petroleum jelly and wrapped it in gauze. You can keep that covering on until it comes off naturally, usually after a couple of diaper changes.

For the first couple of days after the surgery, your doctor may recommend keeping the area covered with a glob of petroleum jelly on a square gauze pad. Change the pad after poopy diapers to prevent an infection.

After a couple of days, once the area starts to heal, you can stop using a bandage and just put some petroleum jelly on the tip. This will keep his healing penis from sticking to his diaper.

Change his diaper often, and use a mild soap and water to clean off any poop that gets on his penis.

It’s normal for the tip of the penis to look red and appear to have a crusty white or yellow discharge. That helps the area heal -- don’t wipe it off.

Once the penis is healed, usually after 7-10 days, you can wash it with soap and water.

Problems are rare, but let your doctor know if:

  • Your baby doesn’t pee within 6-8 hours after the circumcision
  • The bleeding doesn’t stop
  • Redness gets worse after a few days
  • You notice swelling or crusted yellow sores

Usually once the circumcision is healed, you don’t need to do anything special. Just keep the area clean and dry so your son stays healthy and comfortable.

If He’s Uncircumcised

If your baby wasn't circumcised, meaning you chose not to remove the skin at the head of his penis, you don’t have to do any special cleaning. Just wipe the area during diaper changes and rinse with warm, soapy water at bath time.

Don’t ever try to pull down the foreskin to clean under it. At this age, it’s fused to the head of the penis, and forcing it back can cause pain or bleeding. Your doctor will let you know when the skin has separated, which won’t happen until he’s 3-5 years old. At that point, the foreskin will easily move back and forth, and you can teach your son to regularly wash the area underneath.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on June 12, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Newborn Circumcision.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Care for an Uncircumcised Penis,” “What Is Circumcision,” “Caring for Your Son’s Penis.”

Ari Brown, MD, pediatrician, American Academy of Pediatrics spokeswoman, Austin, TX.

Mayo Clinic: “Circumcision (Male).”

© 2017 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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