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  • Your Baby's Privates: All The Questions You're Too Embarrassed To Ask, Answered

    Too shy to ask? We might be able to help with your query here.
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
Your Baby's Privates: All The Questions You're Too Embarrassed To Ask, Answered
PHOTO BY @poplasen/iStock
  • When it comes to babies, somehow it doesn’t sound right to refer to their private parts as “sex organs.” It almost seems obscene since these infants are so pure and fragile. There is no doubt, though, that you have questions about them, but maybe you’re too embarrassed to ask—is that correct? 

    “It’s much better to ask a question that might be perceived as embarrassing than not to ask and find out that it is actually an important question,” says pediatrician Peter J. Everett, MD.

    Here are some of the most common queries, answered by experts.

    Why does my baby seem to have an erection? Is this normal?

    You are correct — your baby does get an erection from time to time. But, pediatrician Molly O’Shea, MD, clarifies, “Before puberty, erections aren’t caused by sexual feelings. [They] are normal and indicate that a baby boy’s equipment is working just fine.” A baby boy’s penis usually stiffens when the penile tissue becomes filled with blood, which can be triggered by a diaper change or when he has an urge to pee. 

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    My baby seems to touch herself. Am I correct in thinking this?

    Think of your baby’s sex organs like you would any other body part. At an age when your child is exploring the world around her and herself, so, too, will she find out about her private parts.

    “Think about it: most of the time genitalia are tucked away inside a diaper, so it’s a whole new experience for them to be able to actually reach down and feel what’s there,” pediatrician Jessica Kaplan, MD, told Parents

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    Sometimes poop gets into my baby’s vagina. Will this harm her?

    The vagina is so designed that the tissue lining it should be able to protect the insides. Simply use a clean piece of wipes and remember to go from front to back. Rinse if necessary, but never insert anything into the vagina to clean it.

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    How do you clean under the foreskin of a baby’s penis if he is uncircumcised?

    If your baby is not circumcised, it isn’t necessary to clean under the foreskin until your child is age 5 years old or so, or when the foreskin can be easily pulled back over the head of the penis. Don’t force it, too, as this could do your baby harm. However, if you notice an accumulation of the white discharge around the area, let your doctor know so he could recommend what to do to prevent an infection.

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