How to Cloth Diaper a Circumcised Baby

Please note: I know I am touching on a sensitive topic in the cloth diapering world, but I do ask that comments associated with this be respectful. I warmly welcome education on the pros and cons of circumcision, but nothing that may encourage a parent to feel guilty. 

I did a REALLY good job researching cloth diapers for my newborn. I did a great job building his stash under a limited budget. I stalked used diaper sites and found what I considered to be STEALS. I had the teeniest, tinniest diapers that were all ready to be put on my little man. But I neglected to research cloth diapering a circumcised baby. So imagine my horror when I found out that the doctor said that in order to treat my son’s circumcision, we would need to put a big ol’ dollop of Vaseline on it.

My heart sank. Since I cloth diapered my girl, I knew that Vaseline is PURE EVIL for cloth diapers.

So I went home and did my research. I tried every website I could, but soon found out that circumcision is pretty much taboo in the cloth diapering world. Most threads where a Mom is asking what to do about circumcision were hijacked (sorry, I can’t think of a different word to use, I know that sounds a little more aggressive than I want) by many kind and caring people who tried to dissuade the Mom from doing it. Well that didn’t really help me, the deed was done. It just made me feel cruddy.

I tried a few different things based on some tips I heard…

I used fleece liners – The problem was, I would have to throw them away afterwards. There’s no way they would go in the washing machine. In fact, I tried that–I washed them separate from my diapers and got a lovely coating n my machine, that led to me having to strip diapers my first week home from the hospital. And throwing away liners seemed just as wasteful as using a disposable diaper.

I used disposable liners – The problem was, I felt like they weren’t gentle enough against the circumcision. Plus they bunched up with all of the Vaseline.

I used gauze – Oh this was a MESS. First of all, we had to wrap it around it. Have you ever tried wrapping around something that is teeny tiny (sorry son, you were a newborn!)? The gauze popped right off. Plus the petroleum jelly went right through it. And I felt like it took FOREVER.

I tried using CJ’s (a cloth diaper safe cream) – But the doctor told me not to, saying there isn’t enough research out there on those products to determine whether or not it could harm the circumcision. Also, CJ’s is like liquid gold in our house and I didn’t want to use up a dollop of it every single diaper change.

Things were getting frustrating. Not only that, but it took two of us to change the title man’s diaper–one to put on the vaseline, the other person to keep little man’s heels from kicking the vaseline. I swear, that little guy’s heels got in it every.stinking.time.

And then I found the answer:


I got a small, circular cotton makeup pad and stuck my dollop of vaseline on it. I then put it on a weenis….just like a little hat over it. PERFECT. Not only did it keep my cloth diapers free from evil, it also made it even easier to change diapers than with the whole disposable diaper method. I soon got pretty skilled at it, having my dresser lined up with a few of them ready to go. I just put the “hat” on the bugger, then a diaper with a liner in it just in case, and we were good to go. I would even recommend this for someone using disposables.

The solution was so simple and it allowed little man’s circumcision to heal over time. I worry that so many people feel like they can’t use cloth diapers while taking care of a circumcision, but the fact of the matter is, that’s just not true. I hope this tip helps you out.

For those of you who haven’t done the circumcision yet, there are resources in the comments section below for you to look into as you make this important decision.

If you have a tip on using cloth diapers on a circumcised baby, please let us know.

And a friendly reminder, I know many of you have strong opinions about circumcision and I warmly welcome any resources you may want to provide a Mama so that she feels educated going into this. But keep in mind the people who may be reading this after having already done the deed. Please remember that we are all women and men who LOVE our babies and should NEVER feel guilty. I will remove comments that in any way serve to hurt a parent. I warmly welcome education but never judgement or criticism.

Special thanks to everyone who provided comments and information. Due to the high volume of comments, and my limited time to stay on top of them to approve them, I am going to close down the comment thread. I am leaving the present comments up because there is a lot of helpful information here that people can read through. But I think there is a LOT of info here, so hopefully that is enough for people to decide so that I can now close this. Thanks for the discussion everyone!

Tara Porter

Tara Porter began using cloth diapers in 2011 when she felt that using disposable diapers was costing too much money. The problem was, a lot of the highly recommended diapers weren’t working for her baby. What she finally discovered was that her baby was skinny and a heavy wetter, and that diapers worked differently for those baby types. Because of her professional work with survey design and statistics, she designed Padded Tush Stats as a way to determine how different cloth diapers worked on different babies.

Tara moved on to other career endeavors in 2014 but can still be found online blogging about health and fitness at Fit Baby Steps.
  • http://www.greendiaperdemos.com Michelle

    Good for you Tara! We had Michael circumcised and used gauze and vaseline. We won’t be circ’ing the new baby on the way but the makeup pad is an awesome idea since the gauze is so holey.

  • Christina

    GREAT post! Originally I was going to be circumcising my son and I didn’t know what to do with the cloth diapers. I asked somewhere and the topic ended up switching to circumcision vs intact, it was all very well intentioned and no one attacked anyone else, but it still didn’t get my question answered.

    I have since decided that I am not going to circumcise my son, but I am so glad someone was brave enough to post this information! I know there are moms out there that cloth diaper that do circumcise their boys, and it is so hard to get the information they need. Now they finally have it and their diapers won’t be destroyed by evil vaseline, nor will they be forced to buy disposables! I applaud you!

  • http://www.babykicks.com Gina

    I have no doubt this will help a lot of parents out. Great article!

  • Katie

    What a smart idea! I only have a girl, and don’t know whether or not we’ll circ a boy, but this is an excellent tip, thanks!

    • https://www.facebook.com/HeyLLLCircumcisionAffectsBreastfeeding Franny

      I would not circumcise my sons, ever. I have FOUR, 8 and under, and can tell you, I have NEVER ever had any problem. My 8 yr old watched part of a circ video, and siad it was crazy. He could NOT understand why anyone would amputate the most sensitive part of the penis! THere are already risks to circumcision. If your baby is already sick, he can get much worse. And a cut baby makes for a cranky baby who is in LOTS of pain weeks afterword. That makes care a lot worse for him! He will be crying, you will have to take EXTRA care of his penis, to make sure urine and feces do NOT contaminate his open bleeding wound. :( At the very least, if he is sick, call in and tell them he has a big cold etc., and wait! Hopefully, he will get better and you will learn more about this awful thing called circumcision.

      You will never have any problems if you follow this important info for his care:

      Very important is proper INTACT care. 1) Intact, don’t retract; 2) Only clean, what is seen; 3) If he can pee, leave him be.

      NEVER EVER pull back your son’s foreskin, esp. not to try to “clean underneath” or something like that. NO. That can cause serious damage, and even lead to phimosis, which of course, doctors will use a s a reason to circumcise him later. THE ONLY ONE TO PULL BACK THE FORESKIN is the OWNER of the PENIS.

      Watch your son when he is with medical personnel, who often DO try to prematurely retract a foreskin, not knowing any better. INFORM your baby-sitter and day care. Get anyone who is involved in your son’s care to sign an INTACT CARE agreement available from DOC.

  • http://www.mybabywearscloth.com Claudia

    Great article! Thanks for today’s post! I have so many moms ask how to deal with treating a circumcision and cloth diapering at the same time and there needs to be information out there like this to help moms get through this time while being able to keep their newborns in cloth. Great idea, Tara!

  • Hillary

    Thank you so much for posting this! While i may have reservations about circumcision, my husband does not..!! So, if our second is a boy, i REALLY needed this, thank you so very much!!!! xoxo

    • https://www.facebook.com/HeyLLLCircumcisionAffectsBreastfeeding Franny

      Not one national medical organisation in the world recommends routine infant circumcision. NOT ONE. There is no REASON to cut healthy, living tissue off a newborn.The foreskin has a function, which is why GOD or NATURE (whichever you believe) put it there.

      God does not make mistakes. And evolution does not make mistakes either (for every single male to be BORN with a foreskin, there is a reason. He was “BORN THIS WAY”!) Indeed, if you are Christian, you need not, rather MUST NOT circumcise.

      To find out more about what the Bible really says about circumcision, check this out: http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/christian.html

      Circumcision is extremely painful, unnecessary, cosmetic surgery, which can have dire consequences. In extreme cases, the baby can DIE. In others, suffer complications like this infant:
      http://www.drmomma.org/2009/11/massive-infection-takes-over-body-after.html?spref=fb

      “Nothing in life is 100% safe, but circumcision is 100% avoidable.”

      His body, his choice. Leave his private parts alone. 90% of the world’s males are intact. Today, only some 30-35% of baby boys in the USA are circumcised. If you cut off the most sensitive, pleasurable part of his penis, making him lose the equivalent of a 3 x 5 inch index card of skin containing some 40,000 to 100,000 nerve endings, do you REALLY think that he will thank you for it? If someone had cut off YOUR clitoral hood, leaving your clitoris exposed, rubbed, and keratinised since birth, would you be able to enjoy sex as much as you do today?

      There really is NOT MUCH DIFFERENCE AT ALL between “male circ” a.k.a. male genital mutilation (MGM), and female genital mutilation (FGM). To find out the REAL difference between male and female circumcision: http://babiesboobsandblasphemy.blogspot.com/2011/03/boys-versus-girls.html
      As you can see from this link, many types of female circumcision are actually much less invasive than the male kind:
      http://aandes.blogspot.com/2010/04/circumcision.html

      The chances that he will “need” to be circumcised later in life are tiny, as long as you follow two golden rules: “Intact, don’t retract” and “only clean what is seen”.

      The foreskin is fused to the tip of the penis (glans) at birth and for years thereafter, providing effective protection from all the poo and other messes in a diaper, for example, preventing any infection and preventing the glans from being exposed and keratinised, which may lead to sexual dysfunction by the 30’s or 40’s (ever wonder why Viagra was “invented” in the U.S, where until about 5 years ago, some places had as much as 90% of boys sexually assaulted at birth?)

      If you are one of the parents who DID circumcise your son(s), please do not feel bad about it. You did what you thought best at the time, and nobody can or should judge you for it. Know that there are millions of parents who may have regrets. One well-known mom, Marilyn Milos Fayre, turned into an ardent anti-circ CRUSADER (No-CIRC) after her three sons had been circumcised and she was doing a hospital rotation to become an RN. After witnessing a routine infant circumcision (RIC) like that which had been carried out on her own three boys during a hospital rotation the doc turned around nonchalantly to her and said, “There is NO MEDICAL REASON TO DO THIS!” You can read about Marilyn’s story here:
      http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/circumcision-what-i-wish-id-known.html

      You should know that Marilyn is far from being alone. Indeed, just “google” ” parents or mothers” and “regret circumcision”. You will be astounded by the results.

      If you cut your first son, you DO have an alternative and do not need to carry out the same barbaric procedure on your second son. There are support groups for savvy parents just like you, who have learned from their mistakes. One such group on Facebook is “Keeping FUture Sons Intact”.

      There really is no “choice” other than the baby’s, when it comes to the most sensitive part of his perfect little penis. Repeat after me: “His body, his choice. It’s not a “CHOICE” for you to make!

      When my infant was in NICU, I had the great displeasure to witness several circumcisions, and those screams haunt me until today. Often, for newborn circumcision, there is either no anesthesia at all, or just a little bit of local anesthesia, which has been proven NOT TO WORK. An older child or adult can benefit from full general anaesthesia (unsafe for newbrons) as well as a vast array of pain meds, including narcotics (again, dangerous for newborns, as they may suppress respiration.) Quite frankly, the practice is barbaric.

      See this pictorial:
      http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/magcirc.html

      This video is provided here as an educational resource for healthcare professionals and parents/guardians who are interested in learning more about what circumcision entails.
      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6584757516627632617#
      Actual surgery on a baby done by a doctor in a hospital is shown, so viewer discretion is advised. More about this video can be found at the link above.
      Circ trauma: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAGNnqyNidYAdditionally, if you are interested in learning whether foreskin has any purpose from a medical perspective, you may watch that video here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1482347046642439341
      Mercifully, circumcision is slowly but surely becoming unfashionable across North America. In Quebec, the rate is only about 12.3%.
      http://www.courtchallenge.com/refs/yr99p-e.html)

      Have you not heard of all the babies who die from this unnecessary surgery? Here is but one example….real screen shots from the mom who blogged about how she “almost” killed her NICU baby….only to have him die the day after he was circ’d. :( Here is the little guy’s story:
      http://guggiedaly.blogspot.com/2011/01/tragic-story-of-joshuas-death-according.html
      Could your boy be next? Do you not appreciate this special gift that GOD gave you…a perfect little boy in every way…and that HE allowed him to survive? Only to be cut up? NO!

      He died at some six weeks of age…not from his primary condition that was the reason why he was in NICU, but because his parents just could not come to terms with the fact that daddy was circ’d, big brother was circ’d, and hey, he had to be to fit in!

      Worse, they were Christians who did not even know that as per the Bible, only the Jews (Old Testament) are to get circ’d. Christians follow the New Testament, which expressly FORBIDS CIRC.

      Hey YOU, fathers who have been cut! Please read this BEFORE you perpetrate the cycle of unnecessary violence:
      http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/vincent/vulnerability_of_men.html

      MOTHERS: it is YOUR JOB TO PROTECT YOUR VULNERABLE INFANT. Why do you want him to hurt for no good reason?

      However, in some areas in the U.S., it is still very high, and just a couple of decades back, approximately 85% of American males were circumcised at birth. (http://www.mgmbill.org/statistics.htm).
      Happily, overall in the U.S., some 67% of baby boys are being taken home WHOLE, and 84% of ALL babies combined, are going home INTACT, the way nature intended.

      Oh, and for anybody reading this, I have FOUR WHOLE BOYS UNDER EIGHT YEARS OF AGE. Not one of them has EVER had a UTI. Their penises do not smell, look funny, or anything. Remember, the majority (65%) of today’s informed American parents are keeping their baby boys WHOLE. If you actually DO cut your son, when he will be “in the locker room”, he will be the minority. Will the majority of boys with all their body parts laugh at his cosmetically altered penis? Will it be seen as being defective and smaller or shorter than those of his intact counterparts? Do you really want him to be subjected to such humiliation?!

      If you have not already, please take a moment to sign this petition to the La Leche League, asking them to put back information on how circumcision can harm the breastfeeding relationship into their book, the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and to allow LLL leaders to discuss this topic with parents. Baby boys everywhere thank you!

      http://www.petitiononline.com/170211FM/petition.html

      PS: unconvinced? read some of the testimony of moms who had problems breastfeeding after having their sons circumcised in the petition.

  • Michelle B

    What a great post for those that decide to circumcise! We circumcised our first, but were using disposables at the time. I want to use cloth from the beginning for our second and never thought about the issue of vaseline if we have a boy and if we circumcise again. Posts like these are needed! Even if 99% of cloth diaper users (or people looking into it) didn’t circumcise, that one percent still needs to hear how to do it.

  • Debra

    Thanks for the great tip. My son was circ’d and I switched him to disposable diapers for the couple of weeks it took to fully heal. Disposables give him a rash though, so keeping him in cloth would have been much better.

  • Kirsten

    I used the exact same method with my little guy when he was born 4 years ago! We took him home from the hospital in cloth and we never had a problem with having to strip his newborn diapers.

  • Kyndal

    Our Lo did fine with just the liners we used tweedlebugs. That is an awesome idea though with the makeup pad, it definitely would have been easier to get it on, trying to dab it on and make sure not to transfer any into the diaper accidentally was tough.

  • Melissa Benedict

    i’ve only cloth diapered my daughter, i was a bit nieve with my son. good advice if we have more!

  • Mindy

    I didn’t do cloth until he was 8 lbs (I didn’t want to invest in a teeny tiny stash), so my circumcised DS was in disposables while he was healing, but my hospital nurses told me basically to do your tip, but with a gauze square, I wish I would have thought of the cotton round (which I keep on hand) instead if having to buy more gauze.

  • Jasmine

    Aww, this is 11 weeks too late :-( great idea though!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Linda

    Thank you so much for posting this!

  • Amanda H.

    This is a seriously great idea, thank you so much for putting it out there for other parents!

  • http://www.rodgersrachel.blogspot.com Rachel

    That’s a great idea. We started CDing after the newborn phase, but had the plastibell circ, which would be very CD-friendly. The ring protects the circ as it heals, then falls off when healing is complete. There’s no need for vaseline.

  • http://www.allergictoair.com Jessica

    That IS a good idea for disposables, too! It’s been so long since my 4YO was that little, I had forgotten what we did for his weenis (lol!) Good to know with boy #2 on the way.

  • Aviva R

    Thanks for a really clever idea. I hope i get to use it someday… DH wants a son!

  • http://jencrum.blogspot.com Jennifer Crum

    Great idea. Our youngest was in NICU when he was circ’d (not because of that). They actually had TINY prefolds that they slipped into the sposies to protect baby’s tender areas. They recommended using these or guaze in his diapers.

    We used sposies until he was about a month old.

  • melissa olvera

    I would just like to add i did circ my son but i didnt research i just did it cause i thought its what you do. but i came to find out you cutting off the most sesitive part of the penis and when they become men they dont get a good pleasure feel during sex. NOW i feel so bad for it and wont be circ anymore of my boys if i have more.. thats not fair to them. i had a feeling when they wheeled my son away that i shouldnt do it but i couldnt open my mouthh to scream “NO bring him back i change my mind” :( so i just wanna say its not necessary to do it. so dont and cloth diaper him from the begining :)

  • http://www.makingitworkblog.com Carolyn

    That is a brilliant idea (and it could work for rashes or irritation in that region, also!) and I love that you asked people to keep the comments relevant to the topic – this isn’t about whether or not to circumcise (there are PLENTY of threads for that!) but about how to care for it after it’s done :) Kudos to you for having the guts to publish it! And nice problem solving as well :)

    • Trisha W.

      Well put, Carolyn.

  • http://mommawords.com Janice

    Great job Tara! Great resource for parents out there who have made this decision. I would highly encourage for parents to be to really research this topic and not just follow the crowd. I can’t get specific about our choices because my husband just isn’t cool with me publishing comments about the penises in our family! (I guess I don’t blame him…) A great resource for details about circumcision, a video to watch to see what you are getting into, and how to care for an intact male is http:// http://www.drmomma.org
    Thanks for taking on this touchy subject!

  • Dana

    I love this! Thanks for sharing! We circumcised both of our boys but weren’t cloth diapering at the time. I use fleece liners for my oldest since he has frequent yeast infections due to his diabetes. So I hadn’t really thought about how different that huge dollop of vaseline would be on a newborn. This is a genius idea and I will definitely have to remember it.

  • Amanda N.

    If your doctor uses the plastibell method for the circumcision, you won’t have to do anything special to take care of it…so it’s perfectly safe with cloth! If you’ve already circumcised, this won’t help you, but if you’re still researching your options ahead of time, this method is worth looking into! My doctor used the plastibell on my son and it was wonderful! I wouldn’t have it any other way. :-)

  • Susan

    I didn’t circ my son so I never thought about it. Thanks for writing the article. I am always interested in both and did a lot of reading about cloth diapering and circumcision, but never read about the combination.
    I don’t understand why the Dr. wouldn’t allow you to use natural creams. I would think plant oils would be safer than the dead dinosaurs in petroleum jelly.

  • Narelle

    Thanks for the tip! If this baby is a boy, we do plan on it, and like you I’ve been stocking up on cute lil’ diapers, and hadn’t even thought about ointment getting on them! Glad you figured it out for me! :)

  • http://www.greendiaperdemos.com Michelle Bottorff

    I just want to add that this tip is helfpul even if you do not use petroleum based jelly (any substance in that amount can clog a cloth diaper) and it is also helpful for non circ related surgeries to the diaper area. Thank you Tara for sharing this helpful tip. I know this was a difficult subject for you. Hugs mama! What is done is done and we can only move forward, we can’t change the past.

  • kelly ann

    Thank you SO MUCH FOR PUBLISHING THIS! We circumcised our first son (after tons of research), and we’re circumcising our son due in March as well! Our first son wasn’t in cloth till the circumcision healed, but this one will be! Thank you!!!

  • KC

    Great post! I wish I had done a bit more research when my son was born in November, I would have loved to CD from day one. We settled for disposables for the first few weeks and were really shocked at how much extra garbage they created (another FULL bin out every week) so happy to know next time we have the solution. I have a feeling I’m going to get at least one more son. ;)

  • Heather

    I think this is a great tip! I only have a daughter but actually know 2 ladies whos sons had to have surgery as their urethra(sp?) did not come out at the end and the opening was actally in the wrong spot. I often wondered what they would have done if they had used cloth and now there is an answer! There are many reasons parents could use this tip not just for circumcision. I personally have no problems with either way. My husband is not, but I know my father was. This tophic has been brought up many occasions in my family when people are pregnant or little boys are born into my family. Ive heard the arguement about reduced pleasure and have heard from many that since they dont know the difference they dont notice a decrease in pleasure. If it is right for you and your family then it is right! We all parent by what we think is best for our children (or should) and i would never look at any parent different just because this was a choice they had made. There are way worse things parents are doing to their children then circumsising. Thanks for the great post!

  • http://www.memoirofmotherhood.blogspot.com Karyn

    Thanks for this post. I am expecting my first babe in May, and if a boy, we plan on circumcising AND cloth diapering! I have briefly searched my options online, but feel that all I find are commenters being judgemental and treating those parents that choose to circumcise as bad parents (FYI, we are not STUPID. We have done our research too and have made the decision based on what is best for us given our beliefs and family values, just as you have). I love the idea of the makeup pad, and am thinking some flannel rags that you can toss in the garbage would do the trick as well.

  • Vanessa

    Another idea (planning ahead of time..) would be to look into the different ways circumcision is done. My boys were both circumcised, the way theirs was done was with a ring that goes around the penis, by where the foreskin is cut (the ring falls off after a couple days) There was no vaseline or gauze or ANYTHING needed to care for it . We continued cloth diapering just as usual.

  • Heather

    When our son was circumcised, he had the “plasti-bell” and no vaseline was needed. We never had to treat him with anything at all and we used cloth the entire time. This is a wonderful option and well worth asking your doctor about before a circumcision.

  • Rahel Moore

    I started cloth diapering when my 2nd son was about 2 months old so that means I didn’t cloth diaper while he was circumcised. I am wondering because a cloth diaper is more snug than a sposie, if it wouldn’t hurt more?

  • Susan

    My comment must have been offensive or inappropriate in some way. Never got posted. I didn’t think it was, sorry!

    • Tara

      Nope, not at all. I just haven’t gone through all my comments and approved them. I am SLOW!

  • Melissa
  • scott

    I notice several are stating that the plastibel doesn’t need vaseline!?!?!?!?!? I was robbed of my prepuce with a plastibel.It does NOT negate the need for protecting the glans.The glans has the prepuce torn from it,I have pits-grooves in my glans(the prepuce and glans are connected in infants)and that raw wound is still there.I also have meatal stenosis.Pastibel DOES NEED PROTECTION! Of course the best is to not take his foreskin from him.Please protect babies from genital surgery.I am over 40 and have very deep anger,rage and depression over what was done to me.Please,no genital surgery but if that does happen to the boy,please I beg of you. You MUST protect the glans as well as the wound site.Plastibel does NOTHING to protect his exposed glans.

  • Layla

    In case there are parents here who have not given birth yet or are questioning infant genital surgery for baby #2, here is some important info to take into consideration: http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/2011/11/27/the-circumcision-decision/

    http://www.norm-uk.org/circumcision_lost.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/miriam-pollack/circumcision-identity-gen_b_1132896.html

  • Jendayi el-Shazli

    We are taking our daughter to to Egypt where our family Wabau (like American doctor who does boy circ) so she can have her circumcision done. She is almost 3 week old. I am so thankful you share article so I can buy round pads here to take with us. We are using Kissaluv cloth right now and I’m afraid they will stick to her while she heals. I am so nervous but I know it’s for the best and it’s tradition in my culture for her to have circumsise. I just wish we could have it done in California. I don’t know why it okay for boys not girls too? Thank you again for informative article.

    • Tara

      Now I am not totally sure the same technique could work for a girl (as far as the makeup pad). Just because it is easier to put it on a boy…there’s more area to cover with a girl. As far as why it is ok for boys vs girls, I don’t know. I am very grateful for the people who are kindly providing helpful information for those who want to research the differences. There have been some great, informative (but not hurtful) posts on here with some great links to all sides of the issue. You may want to look at those?

    • TheirbodyTheirchoice

      It is not allowed in the US because as a society we now see that surgical sexual assault of an infant is wrong and thankfully the ‘trend’ is going the same way for males. There is no medical, physical, psychological, hygiene, or sexual benefit proven for routine infant circumcision. It is a blessing to live in a country which protects our beautiful baby girls from being ritualistically mutilated. If Egyptian culture started endorsing the mandatory removal of pinky toes because they are most prone to ingrown toenails, are often pretty ugly, are difficult to care for and suddenly became mandated would you have them removed? Circumcision is a harmful procedure. Foreskin are sold to cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies for use in face creams, etc. There is a risk of death that most physicians never disclose. If you are doing SO much research on how to cloth diaper in a green and natural way, why not research how to keep your sons and daughters natural? Let the infant grow into an adult and choose which cultural traditions or societal norm to follow. You aren’t in Egypt anymore. How will she feel as an adult in America where that doesn’t happen and her genitals are mutilated? This is only to make people think, not to judge. I have two boys and a girl who are intact but only because at the last minute my instincts took over and I realized it is NOT my body or my choice.

    • Nora

      @Jendayi el-Shazli, Please research it more, it is Illegal to do on girls because it is a Human Rights Violation. If I am not mistaken, if you have it done, even outside the USA, if you come back to the USA, you could still be arrested for it. The World Health Organization has made it clear it is a Human Rights Violation, and one day Circumcision will be illegal for boys as it is for girls now. Male Circumcision is already illegal, when you think about it, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKGMctd4Lak << is a video by a laywer who is fighting the laws in the USA to include boys as well as girls under the FGM Law. it is just taking time for the authorities to catch up, and start to prosecute those who are involved. Many Doctors who preformed male infant circumcision have already been found guilty in courts of law. Every argument made in this article in regards to female circumcision, could be said about male circumcision http://www.csvr.org.za/wits/papers/papfemc.htm but the people who are on the side of male circumcision just have not realized it as such yet. Please research the legal ramifications before you do this to your perfect baby girl.

    • Mae

      That is a really, really good question. Can anyone answer it? Can anyone please tell me why we can’t circumcise baby girls but we can baby boys? It seems rather hypocritical to me. Especially when the vast majority of female circumcisions are less invasive than the male circumcision done today.

      • Ace

        My honest opinion is that because female circumcision was, for the most part, an ‘other’ we looked at it with a critical eye, as we most often do when we are looking at ‘other’, wether it is a culture, a particular practice or an ideology, etc. However, since male circumcision is a much more engrained part of caucasian and abrahamic faith cultural norms it is not looked at by most with the critical eye applied to ‘other’ as we are naturally ethnocentric… it’s sort of like air to us, it has ‘always been there’ and ‘it’s just the way it is’ so it doesn’t require examination. As a species we are quick to blame or diminish others for what they do, but very slow to apply that same lens toward ourselves and our own culture.

        Also, when feminists and others were working hard to end female circumcision, a noble goal, because of these very issues they made sure to paint the worst possible picture of female circumcision (infibulation and such) and made sure that the ‘other lens’ was securely in place by not highlighting caucasian and abrahamic faiths use of female circumcision. I believe that they wanted so badly to see an end to female circumcision and they knew if they brought up male circumcision as a comparable it would be a much harder fight so, for the most part, they didn’t- and both fortunately and unfortunately the marketing worked…

  • Emily

    Good info for those who have already had their baby boys. :)

    I just wanted to pass along my experience with the subject, to those of you who are expecting or may have little boys in the future. My two little brothers were not circumcised, and we never had to do anything special during diaper changes. The foreskin is the way it is during infancy (fused to the rest of the penis) because that protects it from getting irritated by diapers, pee, and poop. (Girls have the same exact part, it’s just much tinier.) So if that’s an option you can choose for your son, no vaseline or special cleaning needed! My brothers were diapered in both cloth and disposables, and to this day (ages 7 and 11) have never had anything funky going on with their penises. Same situation with my cousins, who are 19 and 23.

    If I have a son (which I hope to!) I’ll leave him as is because it just seems simpler. ( If Tara was compelled to write an article about this, I can’t imagine the heartache so many Mommies must have gone through trying to figure out how to help their little guys heal and be comfy.) The foreskin offers the same protection that vaseline would, and although I’ve seen so many studies about circumcision reducing the risk of this and that, but if those studies are correct why aren’t the rates of HIV, penile cancer, UTIs, and cervical cancer way lower in the U.S. than in all the countries who don’t circ? IMO it’s a very personal decision that my son can make when he’s grown. Meanwhile I’ll make the diapering decisions…is there an article about how to convince your husband that cloth diapers aren’t vomitrocious? ; )

    • Tara

      Thanks Emily, this was worded so well and so informative (P.S. While I did to a convincing your hubby to cloth diaper series, by golly I totally left out an article on vomitrociousness…is that a word?)

      • Emily

        LOL I stole that word from Six Feet Under, my favorite show! I just saw your “cheezy animated video” on how to convince your hubby…I loved it! We are about a year and a half away from starting to TTC, so it was probably unnecessary for me to mention cloth diapers during dinner tonight, but I like to be prepared!

        I’ve been spending a lot of time DrMomma.org, (in all my unnecessary preparation), and I recommend it highly to every woman of childbearing age! There’s articles on everything; birth, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, baby sleep habits, circumcision, discipline, you name it. I just discovered your site and will keep it bookmarked for when it comes time to get into all the specifics of cloth diapers!

  • Kelly

    I just want to extend a huge, big hug to all the mothers who could potentially be reading this thread with heavy hearts, or questions lingering, and have a beloved little baby who was already circumcised. I know the feeling. I’ve been there. I didn’t look into things ahead of time, and I am the product of a subculture where cutting was not even questioned – not even thought about, until after the fact.

    You all don’t need big long stories in this thread (although I know many of us have them, and have cried through nights remembering them), but just know you’re not alone. There are thousands (literally!) of parents with both circumcised sons and intact sons gathered over at the Keeping Future Sons Intact page http://www.Facebook.com/FutureSons and as Maya Angelou said, “Now that I know better, I do better.” My story, and several others who have chosen to share are all linked from DrMomma.org here: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/05/i-circumcised-my-son-healing-from.html

    I adore cloth diapering (am addicted, really!) and it is both brave and helpful of you to post this piece, so I thank you, even though it was really, really hard for me to get through. And I am sure some others know the feeling too if you’re standing in similar shoes of remorse.

    ((Hugs)) to you all. As you said, we all love our babies deeply.

  • Jenn

    There are surely some parents out there that are never going to change their minds about circumcision. There is nothing you can really say or do to try to have them see that the baby is a human being with rights. Someday, this baby will be a man and he has the right to his whole body. I would encourage any parent to take a very strong look at their reasons to circumcise, and see that many of them are myths that are perpetuated by the medical industry that makes millions off of circ’s each year. I personally feel that my son is perfect, and needs no genital cutting to look like his dad, stay cleaner (we do have soap), and someday if he so desires to be circ’d he can be. I just feel like it is MY first “job” as a parent to protect his body, his rights, and his choice”. I do not own the penis, nor does my hubby, my son does. He can do with it what he likes.

  • Mae

    What was wrong with my question? I asked a very sincere question but it never got posted. I was genuinely wondering why the discrepancy between male and female circumcision just like the above poster.

    • Tara

      Hi Mae,
      There is nothing wrong with your comment. I have the comments awaiting moderation and I don’t know if you caught my post yesterday, but I said that I really need to cut down on blog time right now to focus on my school and my children, so I may take a bit to get to the comments. Have no fear, I am just behind. But I have deleted very few (I think maybe one?) comments. The name calling stuff that isn’t necessarily sensitive to those who already did it (the audience of which I assume is the majority for reading this article) or attacking those who are opposed to it –those I would remove. But goodness, I am loving the wonderful resources people are providing here. It is great that you guys have information you can give to parents as they prepare to make these decisions (if they haven’t made it yet). I am considering closing the comments shortly, not necessarily because I want to censor anything (because I truly am grateful for this conversation), but simply because I can’t keep up with the comments and don’t want people to think I am deleting their comments. Plus, wow, there are a lot of great comments and resources posted here for people to look at.

    • Nora

      Mae, I think the main reason for it being Legal for boys and not girls, is because we live in a male dominated society. Men have been making the major decisions for women for generations, and it is not a threat to them to make it illegal for women. Most of the Doctors preforming this surgery on infants are men who were victims of this as infants. If they stop doing it, it would mean they would have to look at what was taken from them, and also for a Doctor who has preformed more then 30,000 circumcisions, that would be an awfully big pill to swallow if they admit it was wrong to do. Before it can be illegal for men, they would have to look at what is lost, and that is not easy. Men who were genitally altered as infants, can not possibly know what it feels like to have an Intact penis, and if they were to admit it was wrong, it would be like admitting they are not full men. The main way to stop it is for Mothers to stand up for their infant boys, and for Mothers to see the truth in this all. It is a very sensitive topic to consider, and it will take generations before the ones hurt by it to heal. The mothers are as much victims of medical fraud as the infant boys who have been altered, and we have to start to open our eyes to it, before we can see the truth in this.

  • Emily

    Great tips! I will definitely be doing this when I circumcise my daughter after she’s born.

  • Gabriel Thomas

    When our first baby was circumcised we decided not to put our second son through this grueling procedure – and then we didn’t have to worry about what kind of diaper to use. Since he was intact and healthy, and we had done nothing to mess with his perfect body, we didn’t need to compensate.

    I’m not sure what this statement has to do with your topic, except to alleviate your guilt at having circumcised your son. “Most threads where a Mom is asking what to do about circumcision were hijacked (sorry, I can’t think of a different word to use, I know that sounds a little more aggressive than I want) by many kind and caring people who tried to dissuade the Mom from doing it.” This is not an article about the decision to circumcise or not but since you brought it up – it’s not the parents’ choice, it’s the child’s. His body. His choice. Simple.

    It makes things a whole lot easier when taking care of your baby – we found that out with our second son.

  • Ace

    Did you know that male circumcision cuts off the MOST SENSITIVE part of the penis?…

    For anyone who is interested I’m going to post links to a bunch of information- check it out, spend a couple hours, what can it hurt right? It’s a big decision and a really personal one that you might be making for someone else someday.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ceht-3xu84I

    For more information on infant circumcision the first link is to the Royal Dutch Medical Association’s policy against infant male circumcision. It is the first of their ‘Publications in English’ on the right hand side. The second link is to the College of Physician and Surgeons of British Columbia, also against infant male circumcision.

    http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Over-KNMG/about-knmg.htm

    https://www.cpsbc.ca/files/u6/Circumcision-Infant-Male.pdf

    Even the American Pediatric Association’s policy statement makes it clear that infant male circumcision is unnecessary when they state, “these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.”

    Here is a British Journal of Urology article showing what is lost during circumcision, namely the most sensitive parts of the penis.

    http://www.nocirc.org/touch-test/bju_6685.pdf

    And here is a link to Mothering Magazine’s pamphlet all about circumcision
    http://wisewomencare.com/downloadables/circ.pdf

    I would also suggest watching these videos…

    Penn and Teller Bullshit on Circumcision
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=416_1218124584

    Brave Nurses
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbpQY6t3oIw

    And checking out these links to tons more information and intact care- wipe what it seen and leave the retraction to the boy and ONLY the boy…

    Peaceful Parenting- Are you fully informed?
    http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/are-you-fully-informed.html

    The Whole Network
    http://www.thewholenetwork.org

    National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers- articles
    http://www.nocirc.org/articles/

    • Tara

      Thank you so much for this list of resources!

  • Erin

    Are you sure it’s a good idea to recommend putting a crude oil by-product on the raw glans of an infant’s penis? What about alternatives to petroleum? Also, would these tips be good for circumcised baby girls who are in cloth diapers too?

    • Tara

      Hi Erin, I’m not sure. This is standard recommendations by a doctor. Not sure other alternatives available. Maybe CJ’s? I think I talked about my concern over whether it would work on girl’s too, I worry about it sliding. Putting it on like a “hat” kind of kept it in place. So hard to explain!

      • Erin

        Thanks. I looked up the CJs and if it’s the right one, it has TTO in it. I know there were some studies a while back showing that TTO use in baby boys can cause them to develop breasts so I’d probably steer clear of that.

  • Cyn

    Most parents have no clue just how harmful and traumatic circumcision is for their baby. Nor do they understand the importance and function of foreskin.

    http://www.norm-uk.org/circumcision_lost.html

    Circumcision always involves some form of ripping, cutting, and clamping. It’s *extremely* painful, does all sorts of crazy things to the child’s stress levels, heart rate, blood pressure, limbic system – and babies often go into shock. Many parents think their child ‘slept through’ the procedure, but unless the child was completely put to sleep (which doctors don’t usually do for a circ – and most of the time they don’t provide *any* analgesic), the child is not sleeping, he’s in shock.

    Some more videos of circumcision in America:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDuDhkiDdns
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXVFFI76ff0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k6dWrtUDg0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MLtxCwdMv0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2PKdDOjooA&feature=related

    Circumcision trauma:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAGNnqyNidY

    Circumcision can and has killed babies. It happens more than you might realize. Numbers are hard to pin down but estimations range from 100+ deaths per year to 400 or 500. Deaths caused by circ are often attributed to something else such as blood loss or heart attack – which ultimately hides the true cause. Also, sometimes circs are botched so badly that further surgery is required. And *all* circs involve permanent damage to the child’s penis because he will be forever denied the full functionality of his genitalia, as nature intended.

    Doctors Opposing Circumcision
    This Genital Integrity Policy Statement is quite comprehensive; please take the time to look through the information. It should be required reading for all medical students and parents.
    http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/DOC/statement0.html

    Additionally:
    A study in Finland found that the rate of medically necessary circumcision is just under 0.006%. And complication rates from circ are much, much higher than this, so statistically it’s better to leave the child alone.
    http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/denniston/

    Here’s a story about the number of botched circs one particular medical practice in Richmond, VA has to tend to – more than 1600 ‘fixes’ that have to be done over the course of three years. And that’s just ONE city – and ONE medical practice.
    http://www.wtvr.com/wtvr-botched-circumcisions-20110517,0,4411553.story

    All of this … the risks, complications, pain, damage … all for a genital surgery that is not medically necessary, except in rare cases. No medical organization in the world recommends the routine cutting of infants, and there’s a darn good reason for that.

  • https://www.facebook.com/HeyLLLCircumcisionAffectsBreastfeeding Franny

    And I do agree that this article is helpful for those who have already circumcised their son, and want to use cloth. BUT, I strongly urge anyone wanting to cloth diaper to just keep their boy intact! That is PAINLESS, and LESS WORK than the special care required for a circumcised baby! Save your money for the circumcision on his college fund instead!