Knowing how to wipe a baby boy in a healthy, hygienic and safe way is essential to keep your little man feeling clean and happy. As first-time parents to a young son, there are a few things to learn so you can wipe with confidence.
Unlike wiping a baby girl, the obvious difference is that his genitals are on the outside. So, the process needs a different approach if you’re used to wiping baby girls. But in some ways, it can be much easier.
When wiping a boy’s bum, firstly make sure you get all the poo left behind. Secondly, try and wipe away from the testicles. Poo can get caught up in the folds of the skin here, so wipe front to back when possible.
You might notice your baby boy‘s private parts are swollen when cleaning down there. Swelling in the testicles is normal in newborn baby boys for a few months but if it’s still noticeable any longer contact your doctor.
Techniques to clean with confidence
There aren’t many specific techniques for wiping your son other than being gentle and thorough. A few tips around how to wipe a baby boy include:
- Point his penis down – Accidents happen when wiping, as boys have a strange knack of starting to wee when their penis is freed from a nappy. It’s also worth keeping it pointed down when putting the nappy back on to prevent leakage.
- Cover all areas – Don’t just scrub around the penis, but be sure to clean the scrotum and inside all the little folds to create a poo-free zone.
- Towel dry – Pat down the area with a soft towel so they’re dry and comfortable for the rest of the day.
Challenges of wiping a circumcised or uncircumcised baby boy
The main difference to be aware of when wiping and changing baby boys is whether they’re circumcised or not. This can affect how best to clean them:
- Uncircumcised – No special cleaning is required, just wipe their bum when changing their nappy and wash with warm, soapy water at bath time. Do not pull back the foreskin to clean beneath it as at such a young age it can cause pain or bleeding.
- Circumcised – Straight after circumcision, you may cover the area with a square gauze pad and petroleum jelly to keep it clean and protected. Change the pad every time you change a poo-filled nappy. The tip may be red with a white or yellow coating but do not wash this off, as it helps it heal. Once healed, wash with warm soapy water and keep the area clean and dry.
Either way, your boy’s private parts can be sensitive in his early years. Clean with fragrance-free and sensitive baby wipes or water and cotton wool, with only mild baby cleanser to avoid damaging their skin. Light scrubbing and towel drying should keep them and their bits safe.
Baby boy care
Look after your newborn son in a careful and clean way by knowing what to look for down there. Find out when to take action with these common questions.
What is balanitis in a baby?
Balanitis is a condition where the head of the penis becomes swollen and sore. It can be common in young boys as it’s often caused by not washing the penis properly – which can be a challenge for uncircumcised boys or those with a tight foreskin. Thankfully, it’s not usually serious and can be treated with a mild steroid, antifungal cream or ointment by your doctor, and proper cleaning by you:
- Gently wash their penis daily
- Use warm water and dry it carefully
- Change their nappies regularly
My baby boy’s private parts are swollen, what should I do?
Firstly, don’t worry as many newborn babies have swollen genitals for a few days after birth. This is due to the hormones passed on and/or extra fluid around one or both testicles – which is perfectly normal. It’s a common condition known as hydrocele and should go down over a few months (by the time he’s two at the latest).
If your baby boy’s private parts are swollen and you’re still concerned, take him to your GP for a proper check-up to ease any concerns. Should you notice little red bumps on your baby boy’s privates though, it could be a sign of nappy rash. You can help prevent this and ease the symptoms by:
- Changing your son’s nappy regularly
- Washing the area thoroughly with warm water and mild soap
- Leaving their nappy off until their skin in this sensitive area has dried properly
Should you wipe a baby boy after peeing?
There’s no real need to wipe your boy down after a wee. Modern nappies are highly absorbent to quickly soak up most of it, while urine rarely irritates their skin even if it does come into contact. Always wipe after a number two though.