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
- 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