Typically a baby’s newly circumcised penis will be wrapped with a long narrow strip of lubricated gauze that will fall off within the first 24 hours. If this gauze does not fall off in this time period, however, you will need to remove it yourself. Occasionally, this gauze will become stuck to the head of the penis, causing a great deal of consternation and stress for new parents.
To remove gauze that has adhered to the penis, apply a large amount of petroleum jelly over the penis and the bandage, allowing it to soak in for 15-20 minutes. Then, gently peel away the gauze from the areas that are no longer stuck. Continue to apply petroleum jelly until the gauze is removed. Alternately, you can gently sit your baby in a shallow tub of warm water and soak the penis until the gauze loosens, taking care to keep his umbilical cord area dry.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019