How to Change a Newborn Baby Boy Who Has Been Circumcised

After circumcision, a newborn baby boy will need special care to ensure that the incision site heals properly without complication. Because cleanliness is critical for optimal healing and to avoid infection from occurring, diaper changes will be an important part of circumcision aftercare for the baby. It’s also important that you protect the baby from pain and injury while the circumcision heals.

Listen carefully to aftercare instructions you receive from your physician. The aftercare you perform depends on the circumcision method your baby received – Gomco or Plastibell – according to the Sutter Health website. If your baby received a Gomco circumcision, use petroleum jelly to dress the incision and protect it from sticking to the diaper. Alternatively, if your baby received a Plastibell circumcision, you will see a protective plastic rim in place at the circumcision site. You will not need to apply petroleum jelly to the circumcision site as aftercare only requires careful attention to cleanliness.

Remove the gauze dressing and the petroleum jelly from around the circumcision carefully when beginning a diaper change. The petroleum jelly should make it possible to gently pull the gauze away without hurting your baby. Discard the used gauze dressing.

Inspect the circumcision site to ensure it appears within normal parameters. Swelling of the circumcised area is normal and it may appear pink or red for several days 1. You may also see a small amount of blood at the circumcision site, according to the Streeterville Pediatrics website. Approximately 24 hours after the surgery, the circumcision site will secrete a yellow substance. Do not attempt to remove this secretion.

Wash the diaper area carefully with plain, warm water to remove urine and feces from the area completely. Alternatively, drizzle water gently over the diaper area as that may be more comfortable for the baby than wiping or rubbing with a cloth. Pat the diaper area dry gently, using a clean towel.

Reapply a fresh square of gauze with petroleum jelly on it to cover the tip of the penis (Gomco). This will protect the circumcision site from contact with the diaper. Place a clean diaper on the baby to finish.

Continue using the petroleum jelly dressing for as long as your physician instructs.


If you notice more than a tiny amount of blood or a green or white substance oozing from the penis, call your physician for guidance.

If your baby develops an abnormal temperature, this may also indicate complications.

The initial sore and red appearance of the circumcision site should fade within two to three days, according to the KidsHealth website.