It’s no secret that boys are different from girls. Even as infants, boys come with a myriad of unique surprises, including the ability to mimic a car noise at merely a few months old, the uncanny knack for spotting an airplane, and the serious squirting power of that thing between their legs.
When you have a baby boy, that little penis can cause a lot of trouble, like getting sprayed in the face every time you open his diaper. You also have to face the circumcision decision, an extremely hot topic among parents and a decision that must be made well before birth. So, when to circumcise a baby boy? There’s really only two options. When it comes to making the snip, parents basically have two options: circumcise immediately or not at all.
Some choose to circumcise based on religious beliefs, hygienic concerns, or social reasons—they want their sons to be like daddy. Circumcision can be done at the hospital or your pediatrician’s office, but it needs to be performed preferably within the first 48-72 hours of birth. Most doctors and hospitals won’t circumcise infants over two weeks old because the procedure becomes more complicated, more painful, and usually requires general anesthesia. Infant circumcision is a quick procedure and takes only minutes. Since newborns already have stress-resistance hormones from the trauma of birth, and because most doctors use a local anesthesia, there is purportedly minimal pain.
The Pros: Circumcised infants are less likely to have urinary tract infections, circumcised men have a lower risk for penile cancer and STDs, and it is easier to keep a circumcised penis clean.
The Cons: Between .2% and .3% of infants experience complications like minor bleeding and local infection, which can both be easily treated by your doctor.
Don’t Circumcise At All
In the U.S., approximately 55-65% of newborn boys are circumcised each year, but that number has declined from decades past due to a growing opinion that circumcision is unnecessary, painful, and a breech of the child’s freedom to choose for himself.
Waiting until your son is old enough to decide to be circumcised is a valiant gesture, and it is true there are no medical reasons for circumcision. However, if your older child, teenager, or adult son decides he wants to be circumcised, the procedure requires general anesthesia and he’ll have to deal with revealing to his buddies the reason he can’t play tackle football for a while.
Why I Chose To Circumcise
This will most definitely fuel some infernal opinions, but what the heck; it’s my article and my opinion. We chose to have our first baby boy circumcised immediately, and it went wonderfully and without incident. I didn’t have to watch the procedure; it was done quickly and efficiently, and when they brought baby Nixon back to me, he wasn’t even crying. Caring for his circumcised penis was simple and it healed quickly. The entire experience was easier than I ever imagined. Nixon’s baby brother is due this November and will also be circumcised.
My baby boys will be circumcised because I’m thinking years down the road to awkward middle school locker rooms where one boy will inevitably be nicknamed “Anteater” and it won’t be my boy. I’m thinking about him as a grown man, saving him from a painful and awkward procedure when he will remember it, versus being an infant with no memory of the short ordeal. Read any circumcision forum and you’ll know people not only have strong opinions, they can get downright mean.
The bottom line is, circumcision is a personal decision that each family makes and a decision must be respected. Whether or not you choose to circumcise your son, the earth will keep spinning, the sun will rise and set, and little Johnny will be a happy, healthy little boy who will get into plenty of trouble with or without his foreskin.