Friday, January 6, 2012

new mom tip: boys have a penis, girls have a vagina

There are some things I learned about having a baby boy that I never knew about until he was born. This post is mainly aimed at women who are pregnant with a boy or have a newborn boy and haven't yet figured these things out on their own.

1. Circumcision: I didn't realize how trendy this topic is nowadays. Evidently, it is very trendy to cast a negative light on people who circumcise their boys ("OMG you are mutilating him." "OMG we would never do that to a female baby." "OMG you could have the surgery botched.") I initially wrote this long rant at this point but decided to remove it since I guess it could be a little less than PC...and I don't want people to think I believe all boys should be circumcised. I don't think that at all, I just think people are grossly misinformed on the topic.

Ok sorry, back to the post.

First off, make sure you know what kind of circumcision you want. There are 2 main types. I have seen these done in school, and the one you want is the Gomco (or Sheldon) clamp type. You don't want the plastibell. The reason is cosmetic (and unless you are doing it for religious purposes, your entire goal is good cosmesis). In my (limited) experience, the plastibell just does not look as good. See this link for more info http://www.cpmc.org/services/pregnancy/information/circumcised_care.html


Second, I didn't realize that a circumcised penis still requires foreskin cleaning. There is still a "lip" of foreskin left, and this part needs to be retracted and cleaned once a day. This is really important because if not done, the foreskin can re-adhese to the penis, and the adhesions will have to be broken by the pediatrician (an extremely unpleasant experience for your little man and probably a worse one for the parent in the room).

Third: Circumcision care. If you have the clamp type circ, you will care for it will petroleum jelly. Instead of using gauze or trying to put the jelly directly on the penis, just smear a whole bunch of it on the front of the diaper. I found this the easiest way.

2. Infantile erections: I kind of knew about this before I had Parker, but in case you don't know, baby boys get little baby erections. They are purely physiologic, so don't let them freak you out. The thing you need to know (besides the fact that it happens) is that you need to point the penis down when you do a diaper change. If you put the diaper on your boy and his man part is pointing north, you guarantee yourself a urine explosion out the top of the diaper.

3. Hair tourniquets: Long hair (like from your head) can get wrapped around the baby's penis (very very tightly) and can cause a hair tourniquet. This can also happen on the fingers and toes. If you have an inconsolable baby, you should always keep this in the back of your mind. It's kind of a medical emergency, so if you actually discover one, get your baby to the emergency room immediately. That being said, this is extremely uncommon. Just be careful when you change his diaper and if you see your hair has fallen in the diaper, pull it out.

4. At some point, your baby will probably discover his genitals and they will be his new favorite toy (probably for life haha). When this happens, be extra fast with poopy diaper changes. It will be a race to see who has the faster hands. If your boy wins, it usually results in poop on his hands, which can quickly lead to poop in the mouth. Use a toy to try to distract his hands (Parker's favorite is the tube of butt creme).

5. I heard of someone who didn't realize that poop gets under the scrotum folds (this sounds like a mom off of Teen Mom). No big shocker here, it does...so make sure you clean in the folds.

6. I almost feel dumb saying this, but I think this would be incomplete without mentioning that boys pee on you when you change their diaper. I'm sure almost everyone knows this. I have found that it's not so much that Parker peed on me as he peed on himself. I never found a good way to prevent this (some people put a wipe over it during the change, some use a peepee teepee), other than trying to be very quick with the change.

If anyone has anything to add to this, I would love to hear! 

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