Do you tie the baby down on a board?

No, the baby is placed on his own regular changing pad and held by the person of your choice. The person who holds the baby on the changing pad is called the Sandak. This is considered a great honor and is usually given to a grandparent.

Do you use any anesthetic?

Yes, I use Lidocaine. This preparation will deaden the mucous membrane, which is inside the foreskin. Most often, the baby will not cry after he is dressed. I also suggest that parents request a prescription for a small tube of EMLA cream from your physician to be used as a topical anesthetic. If your physician has any questions about the EMLA cream, please refer your physician to the April 24, 1997, issue of “The New England Journal of Medicine,” which highly recommends EMLA cream for neo natal circumcision. 1 to 1˝ hours prior to the Brit please apply the EMLA cream to the foreskin and cover the entire penile area with one of the following: A finger guard or the ‘pinky finger,’ cut from a latex or vinyl glove or a piece of saran wrap. If you are unable to obtain the EMLA cream you may utilize a product called “ELA-Max 4% or 5%” in the same way as you would apply the EMLA cream. You don’t need a prescription and may purchase the “ELA-Max 4% or 5%” over the counter (but first call the pharmacy to make sure they have it in stock).

Should the baby be given Tylenol?

No. In most cases when a baby is eight days old, it is not necessary to give Tylenol. Though, I strongly urge you to consult with your baby’s Pediatrician regarding this question.

What are the honors that can be given out at the brit?

Generally, you can give out four to six honors. The godparents usually bring the baby into the room. A grandparent traditionally holds the baby on the changing pad during the brit and another grandparent holds the baby during the naming. Godparents can be included as well. Since each family has its own dynamics, it is a good idea to discuss your needs with me when planning the brit.

How do we arrange the ceremony if our Rabbi is invited?

I encourage all parents not to only invite their Rabbi of their congregation but to ask him/her to participate in the ceremony in any way he/she sees fit. As I mentioned at the outset, I am very flexible and adaptable to creativity, to co-officiate with your Rabbi as well. After all, he/she is a member of your greater family and it is most proper to ask them to officiate.

Can the parents explain how they decided on what names to give the baby?

Yes, by all means I encourage parents to talk about the names and the people after whom the baby is being named. This is very important for all the guests and family.