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The penis olympics (aka my naked 2yr old)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My ds is 28mo old and today he figured out how to retract his foreskin. I'm pretty sure it's the first time it's ever been fully retracted. He thought it was a VERY cool trick, and asked what "it" was (the head) . I told him it was the head of his penis and it looked like daddy's penis. Then he kept doing it, walking around showing my husband how he looks like daddy's. LMAO.

Anyway... here's the question.... it looked to me like there was a small piece of tissue still holding the foreskin on the underside. It obviously didn't hurt him to do this, so I'm not worried that he forced anything. I just was curious if that's an 'adhesion'? Is it something that will go away? And now that he's done it, do we need to pull it back for any specific reason (to wash in the bath? to pee on the potty?). And can this cause harm, as he's quite young?

post #2 of 14
I don't think that's an adhesion - it's possibly the frenulum? I could be wrong as to what structure it is but I think it's totally normal. My ds had the same development in retractibility - I noticed that part that was connected for awhile, then as he grew the foreskin became more fully retractible. I wouldn't worry about any special washing instruction just yet - just be careful to rinse off any soap! And no, don't pull it back - the only person retracting should be your ds.
post #3 of 14
During the first few years of life, the foreskin and glans are connected by a common membrane called the synechia (just as the fingernail is attached to the finger). This connective tissue dissolves naturally - a process that should never be hurried. -AAP

My guess is that the membrane has not fully released yet. This is normal and it is gradual.

Encourage your son to retract and rinse in clean water during bath time. No soaps need to be directly applied. This will form good early hygiene habbits. He should be reminded until he remembers on his own.

PS. Now that he is retractable, there is no need to worry that he will harm himself. His play actually helps to speed the whole process along.
post #4 of 14


That IS the frenulum, and most certainly IS suppose to be there. The frenulum serves a valuable purpose of acting like a screen door hinge to naturally want to push the foreskin forward over the glans to protect it (the glans).

I take it your husband doesn't have his frenulum any more. It's often removed during circumcision, which is a TOTAL shame, since it's THE most sensitive area of a circ'd man's penis. If it isn't removed, it often never fully develops, so it's tiny.

I've educated many, many circ'd men about it and taught them if they still have their's or not based on the description of what it is. If you DON'T have a frenulum, you have an upside down "V"-shape indent where it once was.
post #5 of 14
Picture of the frenulum:

Retracting to pee on the potty is personal preference. And like the pp's have said you can ask him to do it for a quick swish but you shouldnt do it for him and the no retraction rule still applies at the Dr office as well. There is nothing in there they need to see at all. Unless he has a specific complaint then he should retract to show the Dr.
post #6 of 14


on the underside, that's the frænulum. Poor daddy!

He (note "he") probably should not retract to sit on the potty, since that would expose his glans to all the spray with you-know-what in it.

Retracting to pee is for standing to pee - when he does that, that is the time it can be taught - if you wish to.
post #7 of 14
You guys are right. It sure does sound like the frenulum. It's definitely suppose to be there. You have one under your tonge. It helps to hold your tonge to the bottom of your mouth. The one on your son penis also serves a similar purpose.
post #8 of 14
When parents ask me about care of the intact boy, I say "Leave it alone, just
swish his bum in the bath and the penis will be washed. Never retract it. When he's about 2 years old, he'll reach into his diaper and find this amazing toy that is really fun to play with. He will then play with it for 80 years."
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
oh he plays with it all right, LOL. So, i think I'mgoing to just let it be at this point.

I'm not clear still as to if we should be encouraging him to retract in the bath. Honestly I'd prefer not to at this point, only because we'll never get him out of the tub and diapered, LOL. But of course i want him to be healthy, so if he needs to swish the head, we'll do that too.

And yes, my dh is circed.
post #10 of 14
Originally Posted by baybee View Post
When he's about 2 years old, he'll reach into his diaper and find this amazing toy that is really fun to play with.
2 yo is that the normal age? DS has been playing with his ever since his arms were long enough and coordinated enough to reach it. IIRC that was around 4 months old.
post #11 of 14
No need to pull the foreskin back to pee, now or ever. No need to have him pull back to rinse at his age. You run the risk of his not being able to replace it if he leaves it back too long. This is called paraphimosis and requires a doctor to reduce it if it is too swollen so you can't reduce it. When he is about 4 you can suggest that he pull his foreskin back and rinse with water. But this really isn't an issue until he reaches puberty. But not a bad habit to get into,however. Particularly since it is harder to talk to him at puberty.
post #12 of 14
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post #13 of 14
My DS plays with himself alot now that he's not in diapers, but hasn't retracted that far yet! He did ask me one day recently "What is that hardness in there?" (he was erect)
post #14 of 14
It does sound like the frenulum
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