Q&A: How should I care for my toddler's uncircumcised penis?
My son is uncircumcised and is turning 2. Do we need to do anything special to help keep his genitals clean?
The penis consists of two parts, the shaft and the glans. A layer of skin called the foreskin covers the glans, which is at the top of the penis. When a baby is circumcised, the foreskin is removed, exposing the glans. When parents choose not to have their baby circumcised, the foreskin is left intact.
As time passes, a young boy’s foreskin will loosen from the glans and be able to naturally retract. The length of time it takes for this to happen on its own varies widely from child to child. The time can range from days or weeks to even years after birth.
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) tells parents to avoid retracting the foreskin until it is easily retractable. Trying to retract the foreskin to clean when it is still intact can cause pain or even bleeding. So until the foreskin is easily retractable, leave it alone. Routine baths and diaper care are sufficient to keep your baby boy clean. When it is retractable, you can teach your son to gently retract the foreskin and clean his own genitals.
Talk to your pediatrician at your son’s next physical if you have additional questions or concerns.