My son just turned 5. When do I start teaching him about his foreskin and how to retract to clean during bathing? He does not explore down there and I'm afraid that if I introduce the idea to him, and he isn't retractable yet that he might tear himself. I suspect he is at least partially retractable right now. I did mention it once, but he didn't understand what I meant and pulled the opposite way, stretching himself out lol so I just let it go. I got a bit worried he might scar himself if he tries that in the other direction.
Another question I just came across this about bubble bath that I hadn't known before. We haven't used it often (used only 1 bottle in 5 years) but just bought another bottle which I'm guessing will be going in the garbage.. Is everyone already aware of this?
My feeling/plan is while they're still taking baths, as opposed to showers, just sitting in water hanging out is all the cleaning they really need. I'm also fairly sure at some point whether he's currently interested or not, he'll start exploring his penis and then a simple reminder to wash your hair, wash your butt, wash your penis, is totally fine. I don't really think he's going to need explicit instructions.
Alison: BFing, BWing, ERFing mama to KidA (12/25/07) and KidO (6/26/10)
My son is five too and it's never crossed my mind to tell him explicitly to clean it, really... I mean, I don't even know how that works, really. I'm *assuming* he's going to figure it out. I don't remember my mom ever telling or showing me how to clean myself either... Just kind of happened.
My boys are 9 and 6, they bathe themselves, and we talk about this a couple times a year. But we also talk about how they are washing their hair, and to make sure they are using soap all over their bodies, and to not pee in the bath water. *shrug* It's very simple, retract as far as you can, swish it in the water, put it all back, continue with the bath, and never use soap under the foreskin.
The whole conversation takes 5min or so, and we all get on with life.
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I am very glad that you kept your son intact and am sure he will thank you for it later on. I thought that this was important to write because i have heard to many stories of constantly over zealous cleaning which can be very damaging to the foreskin. I have heard many mothers here from outside the u.s state that they never teach their sons how to clean themselves, so you really do not need to teach them this. If you feel uncomfortable about it though make sure that you do not use soap or abrasive agents and that you do not do it more than you would give them a bath.
Good luck and good work in protecting your son, i am sure he will not have any problems at all.
I come from a non-circing culture. I have never taught my sons how to clean their penises, and I have never heard of anybody that does. I have never heard any discussion of this. Nobody actually worries about their son's foreskins at all. I guess the boys investigate/play with their penis while in the bath and figure it out by themselves. ;) I would certainly never tell them to pull the foreskin back or anything like that. It sounds a bit intrusive to me, and potentially harmful.
Thanks for the advice... I come from a family of all girls, DH is circ'd, and all my nephews are circ'd (8of them!) so this is new to me and I thought at some point he was supposed to be guided how to clean.. probably from something I read on a webpage once. Oop my mistake. Well that makes my job even easier. Now at some point in the future maybe 3 or 4 years from now should I at least mention to never use soap there because it can be irritating/damaging? (what happens if rinsed with soapy water instead of plain water?) Or is that something not necessary to mention also, will they just know or figure it out? (definitely would not mention anything now.. he is at the age he does exactly what you tell him NOT to do) He washes himself now, but just with a washcloth in plain water, I'm not a soap user myself, I almost never use soap and so when I've given him baths we skip soap completely. My husband uses soap though and I suspect when he gives him a bath he uses soap but most of the time I give him the bath. He has had occasional bubble baths though.. The page I pulled up on bubble bath was very disturbing. He really likes bubble bath and I wonder if there is a safe version somewhere.
I don't use soap either and neither do the kids unless they're seriously greasy/grimy - and that doesn't happen too often. I don't think an infrequent bubble bath is too harmful as a treat, but I too wonder if there are "safer" brands.
You don't typically have to tell a girl not to soap up inside her vagina... I imagine it's similar with penises. Don't even put the thought in their head imo.