The right way to care for your baby’s penis and bottom

February 12, 2019
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    Got a baby boy? Here’s what you should know about cleaning his genitals and how you can prevent diaper rash.

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  • How should I clean my baby's penis?
    2 / 8 How should I clean my baby's penis?

    During each diaper change, always clean carefully and thoroughly in all the creases, says Dr Natalie Epton, a specialist paediatrician and neonatologist.

    With a little boy, remember that the foreskin is not supposed to retract until puberty. So, don’t try to pull it down to clean beneath the foreskin, as you may cause damage.


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  • Why does my son’s penis look sore and red?
    3 / 8 Why does my son’s penis look sore and red?

    His skin could be rubbing against the diaper. Make sure the diaper isn’t fastened too tightly, Dr Epton reminds.

    Meanwhile, use a barrier cream to protect the tip of the penis and keep the area clean. If it becomes swollen, or the redness won’t go away, it may be a sign that there is some infection, most commonly due to yeast. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-fungal cream. 

    Related: Organic and natural skin care products for Baby: what you must know

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  • How can I prevent diaper rash?
    4 / 8 How can I prevent diaper rash?

    Baby’s bum is in frequent contact with pee and poop in a diaper. Excessive wetness, ammonia in urine and friction against the diaper can break down his skin’s natural protective barrier, resulting in an angry-looking rash, Dr Epton explains.

    To prevent your child’s bum from a breakout, use diapers with good absorbency and of a good fit. If they are fastened too tightly and rub against the skin can also cause irritation. 

    Change the diaper frequently – ideally as soon as you realise it is soiled. Avoid soap and wet wipes that are scented, especially if your baby has very sensitive skin. Or simply use cotton wool and water to clean his bottom.

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  • What’s the best way to treat the inflamed area?
    5 / 8 What’s the best way to treat the inflamed area?

    Sometimes, despite all the care you take, the skin does break out. If this happens, allow Baby to go butt-naked for a few hours. This works very well, but can be a very messy experience!

    When you do put the diaper back on, apply barrier cream to relieve the discomfort and protect the skin, Dr Epton says.

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  • When will he get smooth skin again?
    6 / 8 When will he get smooth skin again?

    A normal diaper rash should clear up in about three days. But, sometimes, it may be complicated by thrush, a bacterial infection. You’ll see tiny red spots outside the main area of soreness.

    If you suspect that it is thrush, ask your doctor for advice.

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  • Should I use barrier cream on his bum even when he doesn’t have a breakout?
    7 / 8 Should I use barrier cream on his bum even when he doesn’t have a breakout?

    If he has particularly sensitive skin and tends to get rashes often, it’s a good practice to apply it sparingly after each diaper change.

    The cream is a protective layer between your baby’s skin and any pee and poop.

    Related: Cloth diapers? These mums explain their choice

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  • How about talcum powder?
    8 / 8 How about talcum powder?

    Skip this. Grandma may feel that it absorbs moisture better and prevents friction between Baby’s bum and the diaper.

    But doctors are not in favour of using powder because it contains fine particles, which may get into his respiratory tract. Read more about baby powder here.


    Related: Why you should not use baby powder


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