Circumcision Care for the Newborn

What might I see after the circumcision?

Your baby may be restless for about 2 to 3 hours after the circumcision and may refuse a feeding. For the next day or two, you can comfort him by giving him extra cuddling, extra feeding (if he wants) and letting him suck whenever he wants.

While the site is healing, you might see crusted blood, or a white or crusted yellow-colored tissue around the circumcision site. This is a normal part of healing. It is not an infection and it will go away on its own. Do not try to rub it off. The head of the penis may be black and blue or in some cases, bright red. The shaft of the foreskin may swell and become black and blue as well. All of these are normal findings.


  1. Change your baby’s diaper and check the circumcision site at least every 4 hours.
  2. At each diaper change, gently wash the penis with warm water and pat dry. Do not rub. Do not use soaps, lotions or powder.
  3. For the first 24 hours, apply petroleum jelly to the penis and diaper at each diaper change. This will keep the diaper from sticking to the penis. Continue applying the jelly, until the redness of the penis goes away. If the gauze dressing or diaper is stuck when you are trying to remove it, do not pull it off. Soak the area with a warm, wet cloth, until it comes off easily.
  4. At each diaper change, check for bleeding at the circumcision site, blood on the diaper, or swelling of the penis.
  5. If the circumcision site is bleeding, put gentle pressure on the area with a clean cloth.

Reasons to call your doctor:

  • There is bleeding that does not stop with the gentle pressure. Keep gentle pressure on the area as long as the bleeding continues.
  • If there is a greenish or bad smelling discharge from the circumcision site or the penis looks red or swollen. There may be an infection in the circumcised area.
  • If your baby does not pass urine in 8 hours. Your baby should have at least 3 wet diapers in 24 hours.