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My 3-year-old has retracted his foreskin

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Is this normal? He just did it right now and it didn't seem to hurt him. He just seemed amused, like "Wow!" and kept doing it over and over. Now, about 30 minutes later, he seems to have forgotten about it.

What now? Do I need to have him retract it to clean it?

My husband just got home and he says he remembers doing this a lot as a young child and never remembers retracting it to clean it; until he was in his early teens when he took a special interest in it.

He said that while he was always, as far as he can remember, able to retract it, fully, that there was a period from about 13-15 where it wouldn't retract all the way and it would hurt if he tried. This worried him, but he never told anyone.

Everything I keep reading online says that his foreskin is NOT supposed to retract until late childhood, even to his late teens. Articles that talk about it being retracted are more aimed at "forceful," retraction by someone other than the child.

If he stops doing this will it fuse together again? Isn't it self-cleaning even if it's retracted?
post #2 of 21
My ds detached his around the same age. Just through fiddling I think. No one had ever tried to retract it and we'd never emphasised it needing to be done or whatever. He just showed me one day. He is now almost 7 and we've only ever told him to give it a swish around in the bathwater (when we remember), otherwise, I figure just being in the water is enough to keep it clean at this stage?

I come from a country where circumcision is not common, so all we're told about is that no cleaning is required and no special attention until they are older (but I hadn't really thought about when that might be?).

ETA: no idea about refusing. My ds's hand is hardly off it long enough for that to happen lol.
post #3 of 21
Not an expert but I thought it was supposed to be retracted BY the teenage years by the boy himself. So - you're good!



I think.......
post #4 of 21
Don't worry this is normal. The age at when he can start doing it varies boy to boy it can be as early as this or sometimes much later in childhood or early teens. It also might become not retractable periodically along the road too.

There is not really anything you need to do at this point. If you want you can start to teach the three Rs in the bath: Retract, Rinse, and Replace. It's not necessary at this point though but it might be good to start the habit. Congratulations to your son.
post #5 of 21
My 7yo could retract by the age of 3, then couldn't retract (or said it hurt), and then recently said he could do it again. I don't know - I don't ask to see it.

My 3.5yo can almost completely retract. He does this on regular basis. *shrug*

I don't have either of them retract on a regular basis, but I have talked to them about the necessity to do so when they are older (retract, rinse, replace). But right now, it's not that big of an issue.

peace...
post #6 of 21
The normal age for retraction is anywhere from birth to adulthood with the avg age being 10.5yo. Whenever it happens for each boy is different just like every girl will get her period at a different age. When the time is right that is when it will happen.

3 seems to be the age where a lot of posters come on about issues with their ds's penis so the retraction process seems to start for many at that time.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the reassuring responses! : ) I kinda figured it must be normal since it's something that happened naturally and I know he didn't hurt himself, but it's always good to hear it from others!
post #8 of 21
DS2 was about 2.5 when he started retracting himself. That was about 9mnths ago, and we haven't given it any special care. He still just takes soaking baths with no soap in the water, and we haven't had any issues. His 5yr old brother hasn't retracted at all yet. There's a lot of variations to normal.
post #9 of 21
Totally normal as everyone else says, but with such a young child you do have to be aware that he might try to stick stuff up inside. Guess how I know this .
post #10 of 21
Thank you for this thread! DS (almost 3) retracted his foreskin yesterday. It hurt him though so I had to gently guide it back down for him. It's nice to know that it can be retract as early as 3 on its own though. I'll have to keep an eye on it.
post #11 of 21
Yep definitely make sure to remind him that he must put it back down after he pulls it up. It could get stuck behind the glans and cause paraphimosis a scary and potentially dangerous condition.

I am glad you where able to help him get it back down without trouble.
post #12 of 21
My son did this at age 3. We didn't see him for like a week. It was pretty funny! For awhile we told him to retract and rinse but we don't say anything anymore and he is fine without any special care.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galatea View Post
My son did this at age 3. We didn't see him for like a week. It was pretty funny!
Yeah - one of my boys plopped himself down beside me, at about 2.5 or 3, and announced, "look, mommy - I have a cool new trick" - shows me - "isn't that the coolest??". He demonstrated a lot for a few days.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Yeah - one of my boys plopped himself down beside me, at about 2.5 or 3, and announced, "look, mommy - I have a cool new trick" - shows me - "isn't that the coolest??". He demonstrated a lot for a few days.
Mine announced, "I had another penis inside my penis and it was there the whole time and I didn't know! I can't wait to tell Mrs. D and Mrs. M! [preschool teachers]" I was like, "Um, no, let's not tell them, honey."
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galatea View Post
Mine announced, "I had another penis inside my penis and it was there the whole time and I didn't know! I can't wait to tell Mrs. D and Mrs. M! [preschool teachers]" I was like, "Um, no, let's not tell them, honey."
post #16 of 21
My 38-month old starting retracting within the last 2-3 months. He showed me this new things he had discovered and I was a little surprised that e could do it already, but figure it is good but perhaps early? Good to hear that lots of others have this experience at this age.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
Totally normal as everyone else says, but with such a young child you do have to be aware that he might try to stick stuff up inside. Guess how I know this .
Ds (almost 2) cant retract it completely but recently discovered how close he can come to doing it. He will now pull his foreskin back and then put his finger against his penis and pull the foreskin over it. It is like one of those finger trap toys we had as kids.
post #18 of 21
My 3-yr-old just started being able to retract this week. He's very proud of his "new trick." He says it starts to hurt if he does to repeatedly. It's been amusing to observe him treading the fine line of this self-imposed moderation, LOL!
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by a-sorta-fairytale View Post
Ds (almost 2) cant retract it completely but recently discovered how close he can come to doing it. He will now pull his foreskin back and then put his finger against his penis and pull the foreskin over it. It is like one of those finger trap toys we had as kids.
This is what my son does!! He retracted around 3 as well. I ask him to pull his skin back and swish his penis in the water...when I remember.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by a-sorta-fairytale View Post
Ds (almost 2) cant retract it completely but recently discovered how close he can come to doing it. He will now pull his foreskin back and then put his finger against his penis and pull the foreskin over it. It is like one of those finger trap toys we had as kids.
Mine does this too! He also like to dangle toys from it
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