My six-months-old son is in the habit of reaching and grabbing his own penis, as soon as I open the diaper.

This becomes a problem about twice a day, when his diaper gets really filled up and his penis and scrotum are dirty with feces.

The trivial solution is to hold both his hands with one of mine, but that ties up one of my hands, and I really need them both to do the cleanup.

Does anyone have a solution?

3 Answers 3


I do a body block by leaning across the baby's belly (without any weight being put on the baby) until I've got things cleaned up, up front. It also prevents the child rolling over and escaping the area where I am doing the changing. I can then move to a better angle for being certain I've got the back end fully cleaned up while knowing that at least the penis is fairly sanitary while the baby grabs at it.

  • 4
    +1 for "body block". The only thing I'd add is to watch out for the "golden shower" that little baby boys are famous for. With this method, you're right in the line of fire. At 6 months, I'd say you're not quite safe from that yet.
    – Jax
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 3:18

We had similar problems, however not that regularly.

  • What worked for us was saying something like "please keep your hands up until you are cleaned", but honestly I'm not sure at what age this worked.
    In case the baby still tries to move his hands into the dirty area, you could block them just for a short moment with your back of the hand or with your arm like wiping them away to underline your talking. Maybe that's enough to stop him for the moment. If not, Balanced Mamas advice fits better.

  • My other idea would be to give the child a toy or another object in his hands to play with (something that can be cleaned/washed easily in case it should fall in the dirty area...) which might keep him/her busy and avoid him/her touching the (still) dirty parts of his body.


If other suggestions here do not work, I suggest trying to use baby's clothing to gently tie knots to prevent arm movement. This assumes you are not removing baby's clothing completely and you need a long sleeved pajama or body. You then gently pull on the sleeves to encourage baby to retract their arms inside the garment. You then gently pull the sleeves together on top of baby's chest, above their arms inside the garment and tie a knot. To prevent the arms from escaping downwards, you need to either:

  • For a pajamas you can pull the legs around their belly and make a knot below their arms (which are hopefully still inside the pajama)
  • For a body, you can pull around the "flaps" on each side of the tummy and push the buttons together in the front

My baby seems to be quite content with this set-up - no crying or trying to escape, especially if I talk and smile to the baby and give a couple of kisses.

The other suggestion here on toys worked for a while, but I had to be inventive when even that could not quell baby's urge to touch the genitals covered in poop!

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