When an infant needs a routine-but-painful medical procedure, such as a vaccination or blood draw, nobody’s happy. “It troubles parents, it stresses health care providers, and the adults transmit their anxiety to the baby,” says Neil Schechter, M.D., director of the Pain Relief Program at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. Happily, some simple techniques can reduce stress and tension for everyone without the need for medications.
It’s a good idea to discuss circumcision—the surgical removal of the foreskin that covers the tip of the penis—with your obstetrician or pediatrician during your pregnancy. Families may have strong feelings, but medically there’s no wrong choice, says Andrew Satin, M.D., a professor of gynecology and obstetrics at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. “Mostly I see parents deciding based on cultural tradition and whether daddy is circumcised or not,” he says.
Follow these simple, doctor-recommended tips for keeping your baby clean and comfy.
It’s disconcerting to see a newborn with a red, blotchy face, but baby acne is a common and harmless condition.
Care tip: Wash your baby’s face daily with a mild baby soap.
Foreskin removal has become a mainstream practice in the United States, mainly for cultural or personal reasons. Many circumcised fathers want their son’s penis to look like theirs, and some people just think it’s “cleaner” (although cleanliness really isn’t an issue, as long as the boy is taught good hygiene). However, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) official policy is that there are not sufficient data to recommend routine newborn circumcision.
The demands of modern fatherhood have today's new and expecting dads experiencing things previous generations of men were excused from doing, for the most part. Or ran screaming from. Or just flat out laughed at. Here's a preview of just a few of the awkward situations and how you can handle them.
For my husband and me, an even bigger decision than naming our son Nicolo or Dante—and this was huge—was whether we'd have him circumcised.
To be honest, neither of us had ever actually seen an "intact" penis in the flesh, so we Googled it. Along with checking out photos (yes, some were on porn sites), we read extensively about the pros and cons of foreskin removal, queried parents and sought advice from doctors.
Just like most first-time mothers-to-be, I had a lot of concerns—OK, neuroses—about caring for a newborn. After all, what did I know about changing a diaper (something I hadn't done since babysitting in my teens), let alone cleaning an umbilical cord stump or, most terrifying of all, a fresh circumcision (oy vey)? But I was fairly confident I could master the whole breastfeeding gig.