Intact & Circumcision Care for Baby Boys

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Whether you’ve chosen to circumcise your baby or keep him uncircumcised, understanding how to care for his little parts is crucial. Let’s dive into the essentials of circumcision care as well as tips for penis care with an uncircumcised newborn, ensuring your baby stays comfortable and healthy.

Circumcision Care for A Newborn

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin that covers the tip of the penis. Here are the simple steps you can take as a parent to promote circumcision care, healing, and prevent infection after the procedure.

Post-Circumcision Care:

1. Keep It Clean

  • Gentle Cleansing: Clean the area with warm water at least once a day, or if any stool gets on the area. You can do this during bath time or with a soft, damp cloth or cotton ball during diaper changes. Avoid using soap directly on the healing area initially.
  • Pat Dry: Gently pat the area dry with a soft cloth. Avoid rubbing, as this can irritate the sensitive skin.

2. Apply a Barrier

  • Petroleum Jelly: Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the penis or the inside of the diaper. This helps prevent the penis from sticking to the diaper, reducing discomfort. Another option is to put a large dab of Vaseline on a gauze pad, and placing the gauze pad between the penis and the diaper.
  • Change Frequently: Change your baby’s diaper frequently to keep the area clean and dry.

3. Monitor Healing

  • Normal Healing Signs: It’s normal to see a little redness and some swelling after the procedure. There might also be a yellowish crust that forms on the head of the penis; this is part of the normal healing process and should not be removed.
  • Healing Time: Healing typically takes about 7 to 10 days.
  • Plastibell: If a Plastibell was used, it should fall of within 10 to 12 days.

4. Circumcision Care: When to Contact a Doctor

  • Infection Indicators: Contact your pediatrician if you notice excessive redness, swelling, persistent bleeding, foul-smelling discharge, or if your baby seems unusually fussy or has a fever. These could be signs of infection.
  • Bleeding: A small amount of bleeding is not unusual, but if the blood stain is bigger than a quarter, call your doctor.
  • Prolonged Healing: Call your doctor if a Plastibell was used and hasn’t fallen off within 12 days

5. Avoid Tight Diapers

  • Loose Diapers: Ensure your baby’s diaper is not too tight. A looser fit helps to avoid putting pressure on the penis.

Penis Care for an Uncircumcised Newborn

In uncircumcised newborns, the foreskin remains intact, and care is simple.

Care for Uncircumcised Penis:

1. Gentle Cleaning

  • Clean the penis with warm water during bath time. Gently wash the outside of the penis, but there’s no need to pull back the foreskin.
  • Your baby might have a white, cheesy substance known as smegma under the foreskin at birth. You should not pull back the foreskin–it’s unnecessary to remove the smegma and it will go away on it’s own.

2. No Forced Retraction

  • A tight foreskin is common in newborns. The foreskin should not be retracted forcibly. Over time, the foreskin will separate naturally and can be retracted easily.

3. Keep It Dry

  • Pat the area dry gently after cleaning to keep it free from moisture.

4. Regular Check-Ups

  • During regular pediatric visits, your doctor will check the penis and advise on any care needed as your baby grows.

Whether performing circumcision care or not, proper genital care is essential for your son’s health and comfort. Remember to keep the penis clean and dry with frequent diaper changes. Ensure your baby is urinating regularly. And if you ever have concerns about your baby’s penis health or hygiene, your pediatrician is your best resource.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2022). Newborn Male Circumcision. Retrieved at

Hockenberry, Marilyn and Wilson, David (2011). Wong’s Nursing Care of Infants and Children, 9th Edition. pg 249.

Johns Hopkins Medicine. Circumcision. Retrieved at

Meet Katie Griffin

I’m a registered nurse, Lamaze certified childbirth educator, and the mother of 7. I help women realize their dream of a natural, intimate, and empowering hospital birth.

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Whether you’ve chosen to circumcise your baby or keep him uncircumcised, understanding how to care for his little parts is crucial. Let’s dive into the essentials of circumcision care as