Umbilical Cord Care

Caring for your baby’s umbilical stump is fairly simple.

Your baby’s umbilical cord stump usually dries and falls off two to three weeks after birth. Until then, it takes a little care and attention to prevent infection.

Caring for Baby’s Umbilical Cord

  • Clean the base of the cord stump at each diaper change with a cotton ball soaked with alcohol. Your baby may cry when you touch him with the cold alcohol, but this is not painful to him.
  • Try to keep the diaper positioned below the navel to avoid irritation.
  • Wash with water if the cord is soiled with urine or stool.
  • Give sponge baths until the cord stump falls off and the navel is completely healed.
  • It’s normal to see a little blood on the diaper when the stump falls off.

Call the doctor if the cord:

  • Becomes red
  • Bleeds
  • Smells bad
  • Has pus or red skin at its base
  • Is so sensitive that your baby cries when you touch the cord or the skin next to it