Diaper Changes after Circumcision

How To Diaper Your Newborn after Circumcision

Despite how commonly it is performed, understand that newborn circumcision is surgery and thus has inherent risks, including infection. Any time foreign matter or objects come in contact with the penis before it heals, there is a risk of infection. Further, improper diapering can be very uncomfortable for the recently circumcised child. After circumcision, it’s important to take particular care when diapering your baby and follow the step-by-step guide from your urologist. Here are some common tips on how to diaper your baby, but bear in mind that your doctor may have other instructions particular to your child’s needs.

Prepare the Area:

  • Before you get started, wash your hands thoroughly. An anti-bacterial soap is not necessary. Just be sure to wash your hands well, including under your nails.
  • Keep all your supplies at hand, including a clean diaper, warm water, baby soap, a washcloth, petroleum jelly, and gauze.

Gently Clean your Baby:

  • Gently wipe the genital area with a soft washcloth dipped in warm water and a little baby soap. This will remove urine and feces from the circumcision area.
  • Dry the area with a second, clean washcloth. Pat the area dry, don’t rub.
  • Do not use wipes containing alcohol or fragrance, as these can irritate the skin and cause significant pain.

Apply Petroleum Jelly:

  • If indicated by your provider, apply a good amount of petroleum jelly (Aquaphor, Vaseline, etc.) to the inside of the diaper and/or on a piece of sterile gauze. This prevents the wound from sticking to the diaper, which can cause pain and slow the healing process.
  • Your doctor may provide instructions on applying petroleum jelly directly to the penis.

Sterile Gauze (if recommended):

  • If your healthcare provider recommends using sterile gauze, place it gently over the circumcision area to protect it. The gauze might also be pre-treated with petroleum jelly.
  • Always use clean, sterile gauze as directed.

Secure the Diaper:

  • Whenever you change the diaper, check the circumcision site for any signs of infection, like excessive redness, swelling, foul-smelling discharge, or persistent bleeding. If you notice any of these, contact your pediatrician right away.
  • Always use a fresh diaper, even if the old one looks clean.
  • Fasten the diaper loosely – securely enough to not slip off but still allow air to flow to the area.

Follow-Up Care and Appointments

  • Avoid submerging the child’s body in water for the first 24 to 48 hours after the circumcision. Sponge or washcloth bathing is acceptable. After the second day, a normal routine
  • Changing your baby’s diaper often throughout the day is good practice to prevent infections and ensure the circumcision area remains clean. This is especially important for the first few days after circumcision.
  • Keep any follow-up appointments with your pediatrician or urologist to ensure the circumcision is healing properly.

The Bottom Line

Remember that circumcision is a surgical procedure and requires proper care, even with something as simple as a diaper. Diapering your child the right way can speed up recovery and avoid pain and discomfort for your child. For any other questions, please contact your TNCC circumcision specialist.