Umbilical cord care
Category : Baby Advice
Proper care can help your baby’s umbilical cord heal. Be sure to clean the cord with alcohol after each diaper change, if instructed to do so by your doctor. Do not pull or pick at the cord. It should fall off on its own within 2 weeks after the birth. Even after the cord falls off, keep cleaning your baby’s bellybutton for about a week. Use the steps below as a guide.
To clean the cord, you’ll need rubbing alcohol and cotton balls or swabs. Keep these supplies handy by storing them where you change baby’s diapers.
There are no nerves in the cord, so cleaning it won’t hurt your baby.
Wet a cotton ball or swab with alcohol. If your baby cries, it may be because the alcohol feels cold against baby’s skin.
Use the cotton ball or swab to wipe around the base of the cord next to the skin. Clean all the nooks and crannies between the cord and skin.
Keep the Cord Dry
To speed healing, keep the cord dry and open to the air.
Fold down the top edge of the diaper. This way the diaper will not cover or rub against the cord.
Give your baby sponge baths to keep from getting the cord wet during bathing.
If the cord gets wet, clean it with alcohol. This helps it dry.
Call your baby’s health care provider if you see any of the following:
Redness or swelling around the cord
Discharge or bad odor coming from the cord
The cord doesn’t fall off by 3 weeks after the birth
Your baby has a fever (rectal temperature of 100.5°F (38.1°C) or more
The cord stays moist after 2 to 3 days