: Umblilical Care
Within about one to three weeks after birth, your newborn's umbilical
stump will turn black, dry out and fall off.
Here are some tips on taking care of baby's umbilical stump:
Clean the base of the stump two or three times a day with a sterile
cotton ball or gauze soaked with water. Recent studies suggest
that alcohol swabbing is not necessary, as it may delay the stump
from falling off.
In order to keep the stump dry, fasten diapers below the navel.
The baby's shirt should also be rolled above the stump, to allow
free circulation of air.
Until the umbilical stump has fallen off, avoid tub-bathing. Instead,
sponge-bathe, or wash baby with your hands, keeping the stump
area as dry as possible.
When the cord falls, there may be slight bleeding in the navel
area. This isn't cause for concern and should disappear in two
or three days.
If you notice any foul smell, reddening or oozing around the umbilical
stump, be sure to report it to your doctor, as well as any bleeding
that lasts for more than three days.
Other Newborn Issues
The information provided in this site is
designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to
replace the advice and care of your child's physician, nor is
it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If
you suspect that your child has a medical condition, always
consult a physician.
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