Decided to go au naturale, have we?
But you’re a natural parent. You’ve done your research. And you figure, “What the hey! It’s not my body. Would I want someone to make this lifetime choice for me?”
Next step: How to Care For an Intact Penis
Pencils sharpened? Here goes:
Bathe. Your. Son.
Got it? I’ll repeat it: Have him wash with soap and water.
As he gets older, you can discuss with his pediatrician whether is foreskin has retracted enough. But remember, there is a wide range for when normal retraction should occur.
My older son’s pediatrician suggested I pull back the foreskin starting when my son was 2. Little L did not like me to do it, and I tried to reason with him. Then I decided that I wanted my son to have autonomy over his body and know that how it should be touched was his choice. I stopped doing it and will no longer discuss foreskins with that doctor. (Just a note: that ped is wonderful in every other way, which is why my boys continue to see him.)
Or, as I read at an “Intactivist” site:
The pediatrician of a friend of mine told her the only thing she needs to take care of her son’s foreskin is a ruler … to smack anyone’s hand who tries to touch it!
At 3 ½, my intact boy can aim at the bushes with the best of ’em, thank you very much!
Now, as the wonderful Dr. Greene (of “Raising Baby Green”) says,
- Only the outside of the foreskin needs to be cleaned during the first year.
- Wash with soap and water like you would the rest of the diaper area.
- If urine can flow freely, the hole in the foreskin is big enough.
- Do not try to forcibly retract the foreskin or to clean under an adherent foreskin with swabs, antiseptics, or even water.
- Over time, the foreskin naturally retracts because of erections or handling. Both are completely normal for boys.
The summary? Wash his penis area like you would his rump. Teach your son to bathe. And don’t stress it! This is the way his body was meant to be!
Image: nathalielaure at Flickr under a Creative Commons License.