Mothering Forum banner

DS is uncut - do I give a new sitter "do not retract" instructions for diap changes?

811 Views 14 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Eben'sMama
I really don't think anyone would get that detailed while changing a wet diaper, but do you think this is something I should bring up?
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
i would definitely mention it, in case the sitter had never come in contact with an intact dont want the sitter retracting because they are uneducated about the intact penis...

You might want to mention it just because, if she is experienced at sitting and has only sat for circumcised boys (or even if she sat for an intact boy whose parents still went for the old "retract and clean" myth) she might think it is what she is suppose to do.

You could phrase it as if you have run into someone who believes the myth kinda thing- "I doubt you would ever do this, but a friend ran into this problem with her son, so I thought I would mention it. He's not circumcised and there's no special cleaning needed. Just treat his penis like a finger if he gets dirty."
I always mention it to sitters. No one's been offended.
When DS started daycare at four months old, I wrote it on the sheet for his file. Our daycare provider wasn't phased at all, but I really don't think any of her other dc kids were intact.

I think it's best to just say it before they are alone with him and are staring in confusion at the intact penis. Better to have a possibly awkward moment than to come home and find that DS has an injured penis.

I would definatly say something. The risk is to great for damage. Just phrase it in a way that is gentle for example.

"I am not sure if you have ever delt with a boy who was not circed, so I wanted to mention to you that when you change his diaper not to push his foreskin back at all. If the diaper a really messy one gently wipe it like a finger and leave it be and I will give him a bath when we get home."

If she indicates that she already knew that great if she acts like this is new to her the give more detail about the bad things that can happen if his foreskin is pushed back. Make sure that if she has a helper come in that they know to leave him alone as well. I would use the words "Push back" instead of "retract" because some people only see retraction as pushing it all the way back when in fact any movement back toward the body is considered retraction.

It is always better safe than sorry.
Yep, use the basic phrases like "not circed", "don't push back or retract", etc. so she knows exactly what you're talking about. I think, imo, that some of the miscommunication between caregivers and parents might stem from using "lingo" that the caregiver isn't familiar with, like intact or retraction. Definetly tell her though, and heck, you could even SHOW her how to change him if you want to go that far. I would!
Yes! Better safe than sorry- and the new sitter may not have any idea, or may have been told wrong info previously. I would definitely bring it up.
Yes! I would give instructions to wipe off just like you'd wipe his finger and not to pull anything back. I told MIL "just leave his penis alone" and she took that to mean not to wipe him at all :
I told one sitter "he is not circ'd" and she said "oh, so just pull it back and wipe" So detailed instructions are the way to go for sure! And if it turns out that the sitter already knew, that's great! But I'd rather make sure than to come home and find out they'd retracted/tore my son.
See less See more
Yes! Just like you would tell a sitter things like, "he prefers his bottles of breastmilk be warmed. Put the bottle in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. Don't ever boil or microwave a bottle."

You wouldn't want him scalded from hot milk any more than you want him retracted, right? It isn't anything to be awkward or embarrassed about and as long as you are "firm but gentle" when giving the sitter directions...about diaper changes or anything shouldn't run into any hurt feelings. I like PPs suggestion of saying, "you probably already know this, but...".

But I would HAVE TO say something...just to reassure myself that he will be ok while I'm away so that i could not be distracted with more than the normal levels of worry, you know?

None of the childcare providers DS has had been the least bit offended when DH or I tell them how to change his diaper. One lady said, "oh, so that's how you want it done?" and another said, "I know all about not is very bad for them".

Good luck!
See less See more
The way the people I used to nanny for brought it up was "So, this is kind of awkward, and you probably already know this, but he's not circ'd..." And I interjected and said "So don't retract?" We talked about it for a moment and when he realized I knew more about it than probably he did, he let it go.

I told him I was glad he told me even though I already knew, and that not everyone does. I hope they tell all their babysitters. I'm actually a little disappointed when the parents don't tell me, because then I think they might think you are supposed to retract. So definitely tell the babysitters! It might even become an opportunity to teach them a little something!
Yes, say something ( I WOULD show the sitter, but that's just me).

I once had a coworker at the child care center I worked for (as a teenager) tell every other worker there (she was young and without children also) that you need to, "pull it back or it won't get clean under there." She was a very bossy, loud girl to begin with and others around her followed this advice without question. She retracted these poor boys (twins) for EVERY change; no matter if they were wet or more.

So say something and if this is her first time cleaning an intact kiddo than show her too. It can't hurt to be careful but it can hurt if things go unsaid. Good luck!
I'd say something like this:

"By the way, my son is intact - which means not circumcised - and you just wipe the outside of the penis for a diaper change like you would a finger. Don't pull the skin back at all for any reason whatsoever. You'll get used to it quick - I used to be a sitter too and let me tell you, cut boys are actually harder to clean so don't be worried at all."
I say something to anyone I live my son with, for any amount of time. I am amazed at the number of people who don't know you are just suppose to leave it alone (even my pro-intact step-mom didn't know). Every time I live him at church nursery (we are still pretty new) I tell them he isn't circumcised and to not pull back his foreskin at all. To just clean it like a finger.

We live in a primarly circumcised area. I only know a hand full of babies who weren't cut.
Yes, yes, yes! It's just part of her getting to know how to care for him, which is what you're paying her for. Just like you'd tell her, "This is his favorite toy," "He hates peas," etc., this is something that she *absolutely* needs to know, and you'll regret it if you don't say anything and she retracts your poor DS! Also stress to her that if she were to retract him, it could cause permanent damage and lots of pain, just to stress that this is of the utmost importance.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.