Discharge Instructions for Circumcision

Your baby had a procedure called circumcision. This is a procedure to remove the baby’s foreskin (layer of skin that covers the head of the penis). Circumcision is usually done before a baby boy goes home from the hospital. Your baby's healthcare provider explained the procedure and told you what to expect. Follow the guidelines on this sheet to care for your baby after his circumcision.

What to expect

  • You will probably see a crust of blood or yellowish coating around the head of the penis. Don’t clean off too much of this crust or it may bleed.

  • The penis will swell a little, or it may bleed a little around the incision.

  • The head of the penis will be a little red or slightly black-and-blue.

  • Your baby may cry at first when he urinates, or he may be fussy for the first few days.

  • Give your child pain relievers as instructed by your baby's healthcare provider. Ask your baby's healthcare provider whether over-the-counter pain relievers are OK to use.

  • Healing takes about 2 weeks.

Cleaning your baby’s penis

  • Coat the head of your baby’s penis with petroleum jelly every time you change his diaper during the first 2 weeks.

  • Use a soft washcloth and warm water to gently clean your baby’s penis if it has stool on it. You may use mild soap if the baby’s penis has stool on it. But most of the time no soap is needed.

  • Don’t dry the penis with a towel. Let it air dry after cleaning.

  • To help prevent infection, change your baby’s diapers right away after he urinates or has a bowel movement.

Caring for your baby’s bandage

  • If your baby has a gauze bandage, change or remove the bandage according to your doctor's instructions. You will either remove the bandage the day after the surgery or you will change it each time you change your baby’s diaper.

  • If your baby has a plastic-ring device, let the cap fall off by itself. This takes 3 to 10 days. Call your baby's healthcare provider if the cap falls off within the first 2 days or stays on for more than 10 days.


Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

 When to call your baby's healthcare provider

Call your baby's healthcare provider right away if your child has any of the following:

  • A very red penis

  • Excessive swelling of the penis

  • Fever above 100.4°F or 38°C (rectal)

  • Discharge from the penis that is heavy, has a greenish color, or lasts more than a week

  • Bleeding that isn’t stopped by applying gentle pressure