How do you clean an uncircumsized boy?

Kerry - posted on 11/23/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My son frekas out whever we try to help him clean his penis. Are we doing something wrong? He's 5, and old enough to learn how to keep himself clean.

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Kerry, my 20 month old is uncircumcised & we've never had any problems. Retracting & cleaning under the foreskin is outdated (there is a very wide age range when the foreskin naturally becomes retractile & forcing it is not a good idea). The best thing to do is leave it alone, clean the outside of the foreskin by gently wiping it (kind of like you would clean a finger). If you feel it is necessary to consult with a doctor make sure they are familiar with uncircumcised penises & what is normal, many docs are still not very familiar with what is normal for an uncircumcised penis & how to care for it. Mothering magazine ran several good articles on circumcision, I believe they are available to read on mothering.com or check out http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/only-clea... for a wonderful explanation of the myths & facts of cleaning an uncircumcised penis.

Hope everything works out.

Sara - posted on 01/10/2010

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I have never had an kids of my own let alone a boy. We adopted a little boy who at the time was 3 weeks old. I don't really know whole lot about circumcision but my other-in-law i telling me I should get him circumcised but his doctor said he wouldn't worry about it at his age that it is a more difficult process as they get older. What do you all think?

Jo Marie - posted on 12/13/2009

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pulling the skin back so that you can clean it well should always start from the time they are first born. Although he's old enough to learn, it may take a little longer for him to understand the importance of doing so or wanting to. You know how it is, most kids do not like bathing as it is. Though my oldest boy wasn't circumcised as a baby, we didn't have any problems as you discuss needing help in. Due to other complications that developed irregardless , we ended up having my next boy circumcised at 1 yr. old. so by the time I had my 3rd boy, we went ahead with getting him circumcised to avoid any other complications.

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Gabriele - posted on 12/25/2011

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I come from Switzerland and there we did not circumcise boys. My brother's had a harder time keeping themselves clean than the children I later babysat. When I had my own children I had them circumsized mainly because of cleanliness and less infections (yeast bladder etc) My brother on the other hand decided not to have his youngest son done. Big mistake for him, at 4 the foreskin started closing around the penis and he could not pee anymore. They would sit him in water to try to relax him enough so that he could try to at least trickle through the little hole that was now left. Didn't work, so at 4 he had to have surgery to removed the foreskin so he could pee again. It's a very personal decision. I advice that you read up on it and talk to some Pediatricians. Good luck with your new baby ;0)

Gabriele - posted on 12/25/2011

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ya at 5 he can do it himself. Show him how to do it and tell him he needs to make sure that he pulls the foreskin all the way back so he can get all the fibers and etc that come from his clothing and toilet paper, because he can get a pretty good infection if he doesn't keep it clean. The best way to teach a child is to be honest then explain why he needs to do it a specific way. That there really is a good reason. I have circumcised boys and even with them we had to pull the lose skin back and clean underneath the rim. ;0)

Eva - posted on 12/06/2011

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The foreskin starts retracting on its' own between the age of 3 and puberty, with the majority of boys landing on the older end of the scale. Until then, the foreskin should NOT be pulled back, not even a little, not by ANYONE. "Clean it like a finger" is what I have always been advised, and my son has never had the slightest problem.

Dorothea - posted on 12/05/2011

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At 5, my son pulls his own foreskin back, then "spashes" water on it. He freaks out if I or my husband tries to do it, but is ok if he does it. At 5, he's old enough to do it himself, with supervision.

Cari - posted on 02/19/2010

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All 3 of my boys are not circumcised. In my mom's generation, they recommended gently pulling the skin back around age 3. She insisted this be done with my first and he ended up with phimosis (scarred tissue that is very tight and difficult to pull back). When I took him to a urologist, he recommended getting him circumcised at age 7! No thank you! I did a ton of research and talked with other parents and the current recommendation out there for an uncircumcised penis is to leave it alone. You can encourage your son to pull the skin back when he is ready, but you don't have to do it. When I bathed my boys, I barely put soap on and around their penis and rinsed it off. No more pulling skin back for me at all. I never did get my oldest circumcised and he is almost 10 now. I have explained the importance of pulling his skin back when he takes a shower and preferably every time he goes to the bathroom to let his skin stretch out. He rarely remembers to do it, unless I remind him... But he reports that it is pulling back just fine.

Clarisse - posted on 01/21/2010

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have you talked to his pediatrician to see if there's a medical reason why he's freaking out? my brother had issues and the foreskin would stick and hurt every time he had to clean himself. the doctor suggested him to use vaseline so that it wouldn't hurt as much, but he eventually needed surgery to have the problem taken care of. if that's not the problem, then i'd have daddy show the kid how to do it. it may take a while for him to feel comfortable, but this is a good opportunity for your child to develop a relationship of trust with his father. good luck! ;)

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