Special Instructions & Supplies Needed
I have found that arranging the baby’s schedule so that he is a bit hungry going into the ceremony works best. This is so we can distract him with a bottled substitute for mother during the circumcision. I’ve spoken with many nursing specialists who agree that this is acceptable in this brief situation. I recommend having a glucose water bottle from the hospital nearby, or preparing a bottle with a teaspoon of sugar into about three ounces of water for this purpose. (Please check with your pediatrician if a family member has any issues with this.) Note that the baby will join us fully dressed, freshly diapered and wrapped in a receiving blanket. I will not need to fully unclothe him during the ceremony.
The actual area in which the Bris will take place will be determined by a number of factors that I will have to consider when I arrive. I generally look for a roomy, well-lit area where everyone can comfortably gather. The dining room table, kitchen table or island often work best. Multiple ceiling fixtures are also desirable, for its best that I see what I’m doing.
What You Will Need:
- A small unopened bottle of Kosher Wine (Kosher grape juice is fine, too, if a family member has an issue with alcohol)
- A Kiddush Cup or Wine Goblet
- Kippah for Baby I will provide an infant-sized keepsake yarmulke for the ceremony if you do not have one.
- 6 - 8 clean cloth diapers (or similarly-sized hand, face, dish towels, cloths or receiving blankets) that I can spread out on table, providing baby with a clean area.
- Box of 25 3”/3” sterile gauze pads
- 1-ounce tube NEOSPORIN® +Pain Relief Antibiotic Ointment
A Few Cautionary Notes
On taking photos: Photographing and videotaping lifecycle events is important, however, it is not the time for pictures while the baby is exposed and undergoing the circumcision. The intense emotional content of those 20 seconds should be a personal memory, not a preserved public one. With that in mind, I also rate this portion of the service PG-13, bring children back in for the naming part of the ceremony.
EMLA cream: A popular numbing product some families are advised to apply to the area an hour before the circumcision. DON’T! It toughens some baby’s foreskins to a consistency of shoe-leather. I’ve had to postpone circumcision on several babies for at least a week while the effect of the EMLA wore off. I apply three differently acting topical spray numbing products at appropriate moments during the procedure in an effort to spare the baby any unnecessary pain, a system evolved over many years of experimentation.