Cloth Diapers and Your Circumcised Baby

Cloth Diapers and Your Circumcised babyThose first weeks after baby’s birth are filled with interesting things happening in and around the diaper. There is meconium; the umbilical cord stump also needs a little attention. For some families, their newborn’s care needs include aftercare for circumcision. Whatever brought you to the need to diaper your circumcised son is not my interest here.  You may choose to use disposables until the site is healed. Instead of (or addition to) that option, below are a few helpful hints that doctors and nurses may not know when dealing with circumcision and cloth diapers. To be clear, please follow your doctor’s instructions for aftercare as it can vary by procedure, individual baby needs, and physician preferences.

The major obstacle is the petroleum jelly that most physicians suggest to aid in the healing process. Petroleum jelly sticks to diapers and can cause them to repel (not soak in) moisture.  Ask your doctor if unscented CJ’s BUTTer is an appropriate alternative. Some pediatricians give it the green light while others are hesitant due to lack of research to ensure its safety in caring for a circumcision. Talk with your physician. Be prepared with a sample and ingredient list if possible.

To care for your child’s incision site, you likely need a dollop of your ointment loosely covered with a barrier. Gauze is the go-to in the hospital, but a fleece liner, cotton make-up pad, or cut-up cotton shirt, or receiving blanket are all great options. If you want additional protection for your diaper, add a disposable liner in the diaper (though a disposable liner offers minimal protection).

If you are particularly cautious, you could diaper using flats for those first few days. Flats, with just one thin layer, wash most easily. They don’t have PUL or TPU (the waterproof material that a pocket, AIO, or AI2 have), so you can wash them in very, very hot water without concern of causing damage to your diapers. In the end, if a smudge of Vaseline winds up on your diaper, add a dab of blue Dawn to very hot water and scrub with a toothbrush. Do this before washing the diaper with others so that they are not also inflicted with the jelly.

If you are still considering leaving your son intact or are unsure about the concerns, consider this information on the circumcision decision. If you have your babe here already, enjoy your new squish and look forward to this stage lasting just a few more days. Congratulations!

Lynette Moran shares her life with her husband and two sons, ages 1 and 3 years. She has cloth diapered both since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Tags: circumcision, cloth diapering, Cloth Diapers, newborns, troubleshooting

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