Umbilical Cord Care

Baby Umbilical Cord Basics

Here, we’ve listed a few steps you can take to ensure proper cleaning of the umbilical cord and other safety measures:

  • The first and most important rule in umbilical cord care is to keep the area, clean, dry and exposed to air.
  • In order to avoid any umbilical cord infection, clean the area with cotton balls soaked in surgical grade alcohol, after every nappy change and bath. Make sure you clean the area under the sides of the cord, try lifting it slightly so that you can clean the area well. Your baby will cry, but its best to avoid infection in this way. If you keep doing this, the cord should fall off within eight to ten days.
  • A newborn umbilical cord can get irritated if a diaper rubs against it too often. Just roll in or fold the diaper in order to keep the area from friction.
  • Never pull the stump off yourself, even if it’s hanging by a mere thread, which is one of the most important factors in umbilical cord care.
  • Some recommend not bathing baby while the cord is still there but, in my opinion this is not necessary. I have had two children and with both, I bathed them everyday and just cleaned the area with surgical alcohol, both my babies umbilical cords fell off within 8 to 9 days after birth.

Dad gets to Cut Baby’s Umbilical Cord Himself

Umbilical cord picture

Umbilical Cord Falling off?

Once the umbilical cord starts to fall off, which is normally within 2 weeks, you might notice a pinkish area at the bottom of the belly button, which is perfectly normal.

Signs of infection

You also need to be alert to spot any signs of an infected umbilical cord. A few important signs of probable infection could include:

  • Red or swollen skin around the cord area.
  • Green or yellow liquid or pus in the belly button.
  • Bad odor around the area.
  • Bleeding from the end of the cord.
  • Fever or other signs of sickness in the baby.

By Jasmin Pannu

Did you know that the way you change your baby's diaper can cause and/or prevent colic!? This is a must read for all mothers.

Newborn Umbilical Cord Care

Top of umbilical cord care page

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