How Do I Care for Baby’s Uncircumcised Penis?

My son isn’t circumcised. What are the ways that I can take care of his uncircumcised penis?
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By Jeffrey Berkowitz, MD, Pediatrician
Updated March 9, 2020
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Baby’s penis has two parts: the shaft and the glans, which are covered by a continuous layer of skin. When circumcision is performed, the part of the skin covering the glans is removed. If baby has an uncircumcised penis, his foreskin will retract. In most boys, the foreskin will retract by two years old, but sometimes it may take longer than that. You can keep your baby’s, um, member in shape by following a couple of easy maintenance steps.

If baby’s penis hasn’t retracted yet:

1) Clean his penis with some soap and water when you bathe him.

2) Be gentle and don’t pull the foreskin back forcefully.

3) You shouldn’t pull the foreskin back or try to retract it if it hasn’t separated from the tip of the penis yet. If you do, it can cause bleeding and adhesions (ouch!).

If baby’s penis has retracted:

1) Clean it by pulling back the foreskin and cleaning beneath it with soap and water.

2) Make sure you rinse and dry it completely before you put his foreskin back in place. Leaving the foreskin retracted can cause it to get stuck, and baby could be seriously injured or in pain.

3) When your child gets older, you should teach him how to clean it properly and regularly.
If baby seems to be in pain while urinating or if the foreskin becomes red and itchy, you should talk to his pediatrician.

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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