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Circumcision of your Baby


What you need to know about a circumcision:

A circumcision is a procedure to remove the foreskin of your baby's penis. The foreskin is the fold of skin that covers the tip of the penis. A circumcision can be done within a day or 2 after birth for most baby boys. If your baby is premature or has other health concerns, the circumcision may be delayed.

How your baby will be prepared for a circumcision:

Numbing cream may be put on his penis 20 to 40 minutes before the procedure. Numbing medicine may also be given as a shot at the base of his penis. Your baby may be given a pacifier dipped in sugar water for comfort. He may also be swaddled to decrease stress.

What will happen during your baby's circumcision:

Your baby's healthcare provider will use a special tool to remove the foreskin. Once the foreskin is removed, the provider will put petroleum jelly and piece of gauze on your baby's penis. This will help keep the area from getting irritated from the diaper and your baby's urine. It will also keep the gauze from sticking to the area.

What will happen after your baby's circumcision:

Your baby will be taken to a room where he can rest after the procedure. Healthcare providers will watch him closely. When healthcare providers see that your baby is okay, he may be allowed to go home. If your baby is a newborn, he may be brought back to your hospital room. If healthcare providers want your baby to stay in the hospital, he will be taken back to his hospital room.

Risks of a circumcision:

Your baby may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your baby's foreskin may be cut too short or not short enough. Damage may be done to your baby's urethra and penis. Reconstructive surgery may need to be done.

Contact your baby's healthcare provider if:

  • Your baby has more than a quarter-sized blood stain in his diaper.
  • Your baby has a fever.
  • Your baby's penis has increased swelling, redness, or pus coming out.
  • Your baby is not urinating normally within 12 hours of the circumcision.

Circumcision site care:

For each diaper change, do the following as long as directed:

  • Clean the area with clean, warm water. Do not use wipes.
  • Let the area air dry.
  • Put petroleum jelly and a clean gauze to decrease irritation.

Follow up with your child's doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.