Umbilical Cord Care
After the umbilical cord is cut at birth, a stump of tissue remains attached to your baby's navel (umbilicus). The stump gradually dries and shrivels until it falls off, usually 1 to 2 weeks after birth. It is important that you keep the umbilical cord stump and surrounding skin clean and dry. This basic care helps prevent infection. It may also help the umbilical cord stump to fall off and the navel to heal more quickly.
Gently clean your baby's umbilical cord stump and the surrounding skin at least once a day and as needed during diaper changes or baths.
The stump usually falls off in a week or two but sometimes it takes longer. Continue to clean around the navel at least once a day until the navel has completely healed.
Keeping the area dry
You can help your baby's umbilical cord stump fall off and heal faster by keeping it dry between cleanings.
Knowing what to expect
When to call a doctor
Call your baby's doctor if you see signs of an infection. These signs include:
Also call your baby's doctor if you notice any other problems with the umbilical cord, such as:
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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