How to Care for a Circumcised Infant
Baby boys have foreskin covering the tip of the penis when they’re born. When they are circumcised, the foreskin is removed so the head of the penis is exposed. Parents often choose to circumcise their infants due to religious beliefs, but they may also be circumcised for hygienic or social reasons.
Infants are typically circumcised sometime in the first 10 days following birth, and it’s important for parents and caregivers to properly take care of the circumcised area of the penis to prevent infection and irritation.
Things You’ll Need
- Soft Washcloths
- Petroleum jelly
6 Steps to Care for a Circumcised Infant
1. Change the infant’s diaper promptly after he urinates or has a bowel movement after the circumcision procedure and until the wound heals.
This will help prevent discomfort associated with the circumcised area.
2. Keep the circumcised and surrounding area clean.
Wipe the penis with a soft washcloth and warm water when changing his diapers rather than with baby wipes, which can irritate the area. Wipe gently, making sure to get any stool particles off the penis, and wipe in the grooves around the head of the penis.
Sometimes a small piece of foreskin will remain on the penis. If this is the case, pull it back gently to wipe this area during each diaper change.
3. Coat the tip of the penis with petroleum jelly before putting on a clean diaper.
This will help prevent irritation and friction from the penis rubbing against the diaper. Secure the diaper loosely around the infant.
4. Change the bandage on the circumcised area with each diaper change.
This will likely only be necessary for the first couple of days after circumcision. Put a small dab of petroleum jelly onto the bandage to keep it from irritating the skin.
Once any discharge has stopped and the area begins to heal, a bandage is no longer necessary. If your infant has a plastic ring around the penis instead of a bandage, do not bother the ring. It will fall off on its own within about a week.
5. Hold your infant with care so you don’t hurt the circumcised area.
Avoid applying pressure to the groin area when you’re holding him.
6. Bathe your infant with just water until the penis has healed.
Wash the area with a soft washcloth and warm water every few days when you bathe him. Once the circumcised area has healed, it’s fine to bathe him with soap and water.
Contact your child’s doctor if he doesn’t resume normal urination within 12 hours of the procedure; there is persistent blood, or a foul-smelling discharge from the tip of the penis; or if he develops a fever or increasing redness in the circumcised area. Redness and yellow discharge are normal for the first few days after circumcision, but if the area looks like it’s becoming worse instead of better, contact the doctor.
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