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Are Baby Erections Normal?

My baby boy sometimes gets erections. Is that normal?
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profile picture of Alanna Levine, MD
Pediatrician
Updated
March 9, 2020
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Image: Sonja Peneueta

Yup, totally normal. It’s unclear exactly why baby boys get erections, but they do, often while you’re changing their diaper. Just chalk it up to biology keeping everything functioning properly down there.

If you notice your baby’s erection goes down quickly and doesn’t seem uncomfortable, then don’t worry about it at all. But if the erection lasts more than an hour, there’s redness or swelling, or he seems uncomfortable, take him to the pediatrician. You’ll want to make sure there aren’t any obstructions of the penis.

Other boy-specific symptoms you’ll want to watch out for are a painful or swollen scrotum; any pain that lasts over 24 hours or is severe; trouble peeing; foreskin that’s red, swollen or looks infected (if he’s not circumcised); a rash that worsens or lasts more than three days; pus or bloody penile discharge; tiny water blisters; sores; or any of those symptoms accompanied by a fever. All of these are worth a trip to baby’s doctor.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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