Question for moms of little baby boys - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-18-2008, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all!
My 6 month old son has recently discovered his genital area, and has been touching himself a lot down there, including every diaper change. Today , he pulled off his diaper by himself and was touching his penis, etc...

I have basically just kind of ignored it, and don't stop him at all but inside I feel somewhat upset! What if he has a problem, etc.... My husband, a ped has assured me that his behaviour is normal, but I wanted to ask you moms if your babies have done that, and what do you do?

It just seems so strange to me, do you know what could cause him to be doing this? I mean, I know that he is just exploring his body, but still?...

aloha,
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Mommy to one adorable little boy and expecting another little bundle of joy in June 2011
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:39 PM
 
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Yep, they all do it. It's "caused" by the fact that he has better manual dexterity, so he can. Before, he couldn't because younger babies don't have such good control over their hands.

What exactly are you worried is wrong with him?
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yep, they all do it. It's "caused" by the fact that he has better manual dexterity, so he can. Before, he couldn't because younger babies don't have such good control over their hands.

What exactly are you worried is wrong with him?
Thank you for your quick answer.

I'm not exactly sure what I'm worried about. I used to babysit a lot when I was younger and never saw this kind of behaviour.
Maybe I was naive and didn't realize that babies would do this,... I realize I am irrationally "weirded" out by it...
It seems like it feels good to him or something, and why would that be the case when he is only 6 months old?

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Old 07-18-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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Um it does feel good. Scratching your head feels good.....rubbing your eyes feels good...touch one of the most sensitive parts of your body is bound to feel good. (Fyi baby boys also get erections....in case you didn't already know)
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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This may sound funny, but if I woke up one day and found a penis on my body, I would mess with it too. I mean, what's the difference in a baby playing with a penis or toes? My DS also giggles and smiles when I wipe his genital area. I think it's cute.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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Aloha--
Always fun to see a post from another Hawaii mama. My son is about 7 months and hasn't started to do this--yet--but I remember my sister's son doing it around this age. Totally normal, and if it eases your mind at all he got over in a month or so and moved on to exploring other things.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I'm somewhat surprised because he seems to be touching it all the time, even when his diaper is on, his hand is touching through the diaper.

To you mamas whose boys did this, did they stop doing it, or did it just continue?

Mommy to one adorable little boy and expecting another little bundle of joy in June 2011
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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SO nice to see another Hawaii mom too!! I'm on Oahu in Manoa! Where are you?

Mommy to one adorable little boy and expecting another little bundle of joy in June 2011
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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My ds makes scratching movements on everything, including the crotch of his diaper. It is really funny to watch. He'll just be sitting there and then scratch himself. Like father like son
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:10 PM
 
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I think the length of time it lasts varies with each child. Some just may do it for a month or so, some years. I used to live with my bf and her son. When he was 3-4 and still touching his penis on a regular (read - all the time) basis, we would tell him that if he wanted to play with his penis he had to go to his room. I don't want him to feel shame for it, just there is a time and place for it and it isn't in the living room or while we are eating dinner.

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Old 07-18-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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My son is 2 yo old and stopped playing with his genitals long ago. Now he still touches himself, mind you, but it's not the hand-clamp-on-the-penis it was when he was your LO's age, lol!

Trying to remember, I think it didn't last long, just until he realized it wasn't going anywhere. Maybe even less than a month.

It's all good, mama, he'll get over it!
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:20 PM
 
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My DS is 8 mo and grabs his penis at every diaper change. I think that when the air hit its, the sensation brings it to his attention and he starts exploring. He also has an erection almost every morning.
I am sure he will be exploring his penis at different levels his whole life.

When he is older we will gently direct him to the bathroom or bedroom for self exploration. As of right now, I only redirect his hands if he had a bowel movement so he wont get feces on his hands.

It is normal and healthy.

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Old 07-18-2008, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you mamas for all your kind replies. I feel much better, I'm not sure why I was so freaked out in the first place!

Mommy to one adorable little boy and expecting another little bundle of joy in June 2011
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:49 PM
 
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Oh yeah, totally 100 percent garden variety normal. My 6 month old recently discovered what I figure will be his favorite toy for the rest of his life. The only problem is sometimes he makes a dive for it during a poopy diaper change.
At this point, one body part is just the same as another to them. It's just the same as chewing on their toes or sucking their thumb.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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Old 07-18-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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my DS is almost 11 months now and has loved to grab himself for a while now. Sometimes he's so forceful I think he will hurt himself! I remember when he first "discovered" himself and he had not developed the ability to let go yet...there were a couple tears then. I also have the problem with him wanting to grab himself when I am changing a poopy diaper. I have found though that if I give him my Lansioh nipple cream bottle to play with he tottaly forgets about my changing him.
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Old 07-18-2008, 06:32 PM
 
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Don't do anything. It's totally normal. Give him a minute, then tell him it's time to put his diaper back on.

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Old 07-18-2008, 06:33 PM
 
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We call our 7 month old Mr. Grabby Hands, he goes for his penis, every diaper change.. The only time it's a problem is when he has a poop, and I'm trying to wrangle two ankles and his hands. Good thing I have long fingers.

Don't trust anyone under 5! Mom to 3 boys under 5. Blogging to save my sanity.
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:47 PM
 
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DS still does this- he's 14 months. Not every diaper change, but enough- usually when it's dirty. He has gotten quite good at washing his hands in the sink as a result!

Kirsten, mama to Monkey since May 2007 and Bean born 11/7/09
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:52 PM
 
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Ds is almost 3 and his little hand is on his penis all the time. It's fine.

Mary, Mama to 3 boys! 9/05 & 8/08 & 7/12
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:28 PM
 
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Yep DS found his penis two weeks ago and every diaper change he is down there scratching, grabbing and pulling. I was worried that he would hurt himself but DH assures me he wont. It is only a problem when he has a poo, and he is quick I also think that because his penis and testicles are covered with a diaper most of the day he takes ever opportunity he has to explore.

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Old 07-18-2008, 09:56 PM
 
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Very normal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aloha girl View Post
I guess I'm somewhat surprised because he seems to be touching it all the time, even when his diaper is on, his hand is touching through the diaper.

To you mamas whose boys did this, did they stop doing it, or did it just continue?
All three of my sons discovered their penises at about the same age as yours...and once they discovered it, they never let go. Ok, the constant grabbing does slow down at some point. My 7 month old doesn't touch himself over the diaper, but the second the diaper is off, his hands dive down. The others were the same way. Now, at 3 y/o and 5.5 y/o, they're not *that* obsessed, although they still play with themselves quite a bit.

Just as an FYI, your son might pull/stretch his penis in ways that look horrifying. I'm amazed at what boys can and will do. I just remind myself that they are unlikely to do anything that doesn't feel good, and therefore unlikely to hurt themselves.

I'm actually pretty glad that I don't have one, they seem to be terribly distracting.
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Originally Posted by aloha girl View Post
It seems like it feels good to him or something, and why would that be the case when he is only 6 months old?
It does feel good! That area is chock full o' nerve endings wired for pleasure. I think maybe parents feel concerned because they perceive it as sexual behavior. A baby grabbing at his own genitals is not a sexual creature, he hasn't been socialized with respect to sex yet, but he is a sensual creature.

BTW, a friend has a son the same age as my youngest and he isn't doing this yet. She polled some other friends with 7 month old baby boys and some are doing it, some not. Friends with older boys reported a wide range of ages (with 6-7 months being the early end) for when boys find their penis. She called my baby a "penis protege".

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know  - e.e. cummings
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