The pediatrician told my friend to start retracting gently her 2year old boy. I thought we were supposed to leave the penis alone and let them do it when they want to. He said that he has to know how to retract by the age of 5 and that she has start helping him do it now.
She doesn't know what to do- listen to the dr or not. Please help me find info online to send to her saying that we should let her son do it on his own when he's ready.
I like these links for an explanation of normal development and care.
NEVER RETRACT! It causes pain and can lead to infection and adhesions.
The average age of full foreskin retraction is 10 years and some never retract--that's not a problem. Here are some baby care pages on the anatomy and development of the foreskin. Plus, a washing technique that includes teaching him how to wash himself. It's OK if he retracts because he'll stop if it hurts.
What is with these doctors and "age 5"? Sheesh! There's nothing the child needs to be retractable for at age 5 that he didn't need it for at age 4. There's nothing magical that happens at that age. Most boys retract close to puberty...their bodies are growing up and preparing for sexual activity (not that we want our kids having sex at 10 and 11, but it's just gearing up for it, kwim, like a girl getting her period). While I know some boys/men have sex when they aren't retractable, I imagine it makes it easier and more pleasurable to be retractable. And basically that's the only reason you would NEED to pull it back...to have sex. He's not going to have sex at 5, period. Until it's able to be pulled back, there's no reason to need to clean under it either.
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