Baby boy: If intact do not retract

Ok someone commented on a previous post of mine (same title) saying that you have to retract infant foreskin to clean intact babies and young children and told me I was wrong.

I wanted to flip out but I simply spammed the comment.

Even the AAP (who is an idiot on circumcision and intact care) knows not to retract infants.

In the first several years your son’s foreskin will separate from the tip of the penis. Some foreskins separate soon after birth or even before birth, but this is rare. When it happens is different for every child. It may take a few weeks, months, or years. Once this happens, the foreskin can be pulled back away from the tip of the penis. This is called foreskin retraction.

Most boys will be able to retract their foreskins by the time they are 5 years old, yet others will not be able to until the teen years. As a boy becomes more aware of his body, he will most likely discover how to retract his own foreskin. But foreskin retraction should never be forced. Until the foreskin fully separates, do not try to pull it back. Forcing the foreskin to retract before it is ready can cause severe pain, bleeding, and tears in the skin.


So how do parents take care of their baby’s uncircumcised penis? With Zen-like wisdom and simplicity: leave it alone. Many people, including many pediatricians, mistakenly believe that it is necessary to retract or pull back the foreskin for cleaning. This is absolutely not the case. In fact, forcibly retracting the foreskin can create serious problems including intense pain and bleeding, even creating scarring and harmful adhesions that can cause long-term problems. Forcibly retracting the foreskin before it is naturally ready is the cause of the majority of childhood complications of the foreskin that necessitate later medical circumcision.

Infant foreskin is not like adult foreskin. The foreskin and glans need not even be considered separate in baby boys. Infant foreskin is naturally sealed to the glans of the penis, much like a fingernail is to the skin beneath. This creates a protective barrier, keeping the sensitive area between the foreskin and glans of the penis clean and free of infection.

Cleaning and hygiene

Intact baby boys only need basic cleaning. Common sense diaper care and washing the outside of the penis with warm water and a mild soap during bath time is all that is necessary. No creams, antiseptics or cotton swabs are needed to clean a healthy penis.

Some babies and children produce a substance called smegma, which appears white and has a waxy consistency. Smegma is normal and is common in intact boys, as well as in girls between their labial folds. Smegma is produced when dead cells slough off. If your little one has some smegma, simply wipe it off during a diaper change or in the bath with warm water.


Ignore the Myths, Get the Facts

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