Circumcision care

You will need to provide special care until the penis is healed.

For about seven days, you need to:

  • Completely cover the tip of the penis with petroleum jelly after each diaper change. Or, use an antibiotic ointment if your baby's health care provider ordered it.
  • Look at the tip of the penis each time you change your baby's diaper. A yellowish-white film will appear on the tip of the penis until the healing is complete. This is normal.
  • Do not use baby wipes on the penis until the circumcision has healed

Give your son a sponge bath until the penis has healed. This can take from 7 to 20 days.

When to call your baby's health care provider

Problems with circumcision are rare. However, call your baby's health care provider right away if there is:

  • bleeding that doesn't stop
  • new bleeding
  • new or increased swelling
  • a foul-smelling drainage
  • redness on the shaft of the penis
  • redness at the tip of the penis that seems to be getting worse

In addition, if your baby is circumcised after he leaves the hospital, call your baby's health care provider if he doesn't urinate normally within 12 hours after the circumcision.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, seventh edition, ob-ah-90026
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/02/2015

Is circumcision right for my son?

Circumcision device

Some health care providers use a circumcision device called a plastibell. This is a plastic ring that is placed under the foreskin and secured.

It will fall off in five to eight days. This kind of circumcision needs the same kind of care except do not put petroleum jelly or ointment on the tip of the penis.