When does the foreskin retract naturally? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-04-2014, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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My intact son is 2.5 and has been touching his foreskin and retracting it slightly.


I heard somewhere that around a certain age, the foreskin retracts or the child retracts the foreskin and then it is important to teach them to retract it and clean it.


Any one care to remind me at what age this naturally happens? And how to teach him to take care of it when it does.

Wife to - Mama to DS 6/08 and DS 9/11
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#2 of 5 Old 05-05-2014, 05:41 PM
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I've read it becomes more important to clean after puberty.
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#3 of 5 Old 05-05-2014, 06:59 PM
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My oldest son is only 8 so not puberty yet, but getting closer.  I've read here that moms haven't had much of anything to do w/ their son's penises past early childhood.  I've read from guys that the boys figure it out.  


Soap isn't needed for the genitals, boys, girls or intersex, & can seriously mess w/ the flora of the region.  It is my opinion based on years of reading that a great deal of the issues that parents run into w/ their boys genitals have to do w/ an imbalance of bacteria in the region.  


So, what would I do or suggest you do at this point?  Continue to do what you have.  Wash like a finger & use clear water on his genitals.


There is a section in this nocirc.org pamphlet about washing: http://nocirc.org/publish/4pam.pdf

And from intactamerica.org, this resource http://intactamerica.org/sites/default/files/Foreskin_Care_Guide_for_Parents.pdf says this: "Use warm, clear water to bathe him. Soaps and bubble 
baths can cause skin irritation. When he’s ready, he can be 
taught to keep himself clean. As his foreskin begins to 
naturally retract, he should be encouraged to gently pull his 
foreskin back, rinse himself, and return it to its forward 
position. Talk with him about germs and proper hygiene, and 
caution him about touching his bottom—his fingers might 
transfer germs to his penis."




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#4 of 5 Old 05-06-2014, 08:43 AM
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When a boy's foreskin is able to be retracted is hugely variable.  A very few are retractable right from birth and a few men live their whole lives very happily with a foreskin that never retracts.  The average age is reckoned to be 10 1/2 in cultures who don't mess with it. See:  www.cirp.org/library/anatomy/normal .  What Mama24-7 stated above is worth heeding because most of the horror stories of a boy "having to be circumcised" later in life are caused by early (forced) retraction resulting in  either the introduction of germs or damage to the foreskin opening.  The inner lining of a foreskin is a mucous membrane which is self cleaning just like our eyelids.

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#5 of 5 Old 05-06-2014, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay so I guess I jumped the gun a little! I have a long way to go before I have to worry about this one. Between DS jumping off of tables and eating bugs, I guess that's one thing I dont have to think about for a few more years!


Thanks for the info gals. Ill revisit this thread when he's a little older :)

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