An uncircumcised penis (that has the foreskin intact), just as a penis that is circumcised should be kept clean to reduce the risk of problems such as infection. Simply wash the genital area with mild soap and warm water on a regular basis (just like any other part of the body), when you bathe your baby boy and also rinse with water or wipe the genital area clean with baby wipes at diaper changes.
When cleansing the genital area, wash the external parts of the penis only. A newborn boy normally has foreskin tightly fitted over the head of the penis. Leave the foreskin alone and don’t try to force the foreskin to retract. Never allow others to retract it, either, including your baby’s doctor or nurses. It isn’t necessary to clean inside the foreskin and may cause major damage to the penis. Forcibly retracting (or pulling back) the foreskin can cause such problems as bleeding, tears, scarring, permanent damage and even make retraction painful or difficult later in life, when your son is an adult. Natural separation of the foreskin and glans will happen over a period of time and should not be forced.
Generally, foreskins become looser and are able to retract by the time a boy is 5 years old, although sometimes it may occur years before or after. Occasionally foreskins may not become fully retractable until adolescence. Penile hygiene will become a part of your son’s total body hygiene, just like brushing his teeth. When the foreskin is ready to retract, your son should be taught how to retract the foreskin and clean the skin underneath himself on a daily basis, during his bath or shower (although excessive washing may irritate the penis). You’ll need to teach him how to gently pull the foreskin back from the glans, wash the glans and the inside of the foreskin with soap and water, then pull the foreskin back over the head of the penis. Don’t let the foreskin stay retracted for long periods of time, because it could lead to swelling and may cause problems.
If your baby boy develops redness or irritation of the foreskin area or tip of his penis, usually applying an ointment such as A & D ointment or an anti-fungal cream will clear up the problem within a couple of days. If your baby appears to have discomfort when urinating, you notice a discharge or bleeding or the foreskin becomes swollen and red, you should call your son’s pediatrician.