If you choose to circumcise your baby boy (which is a personal decision and not one that we will debate here) you may be worried about using cloth diapers after the procedure. Please don't fear - you can still use cloth diapers if you want to.
Your child’s doctor may recommend applying a little petroleum jelly on the tip of this baby’s penis and wrap with a little gauze. This is usually recommended to prevent the baby’s diaper from rubbing against his circumcised penis. It only takes about 7-10 days for the penis to heal if cared for properly.
If you get petroleum jelly on your baby’s cloth diapers it may clog the fibers of the fabric and prevent them from absorbing properly. Here are some tips that you can use to help keep the petroleum jelly off of your cloth diapers:
- Use Fleece Liners - Apply the vaseline (or preferred ointment) to the penis but be sure to use fleece liners to prevent the vaseline from transferring to your cloth diapers. The only warning with this method is that liners do slip and move. Plus you will need to wash them separate from your diapers to prevent the vaseline from transferring in the laundry.
- Disposable liners - These are usually very thin and may not prevent the vaseline from seeping through. Most people don't have as good success with this method for circumcision but they do work great for diaper rash cream should you need to use it later (since you don't apply as much cream for rashes).
- Gauze - Can be messy but it will work.
- Cotton makeup pad (the flat kind) - These work great, don't cost much, and are disposable! Apply a bit of vaseline (or preferred ointment) and place the pad over the penis.
- Plastibell - This type of circumcision sounds like it's easier to clean and care for. Parents say that it's also easier to care for this type of circumcision when using cloth diapers.
- Use a more eco-friendly and cloth diaper friendly ointment (with your doctor’s approval of course). You may still want to protect your diapers by using a fleece or disposable liner.
You’ll want to keep an eye on the circumcised penis and contact your pediatrician if there is persistent bleeding, fever, swelling, oozing, or trouble urinating. Once your baby’s penis is fully healed, you can begin using your cloth diapers without petroleum jelly and liners.
Note: Circumcision itself is a very sensitive and personal decision for YOUR family. If you are interested in learning more about the pros & cons of circumcision please do your own research on the subject and always consult with your child’s doctor.