Baby's Umbilical Cord Care
Baby's umbilical cord care can be confusing for new parents. We've got tips to help you out!
- Your newborn baby's umbilical cord will probably look swollen right after you leave the hospital, but it will begin to dry up over the next few days.
- The umbilical cord stump usually falls off by the time your baby is a week or two old.
- It's perfectly normal for your baby's umbilical cord to be unattractive and sometimes slightly stinky. Just think of it as the only uncute thing on your gorgeous new kid! (If your baby's stump becomes extra stinky or has any discharge, however, you'll want to contact your doc.)
- The advice to swab the umbilical cord with rubbing alcohol varies among health care practitioners. Because some research has shown that alcohol might kill off the good bacteria that help the cord dry up and fall off, some doctors recommend against it. If you're unsure about whether or not to use alcohol, talk to your doctor.
- Leave baby's umbilical cord exposed to air to help it dry up more quickly and to prevent rubbing and bleeding. You can either roll baby's diaper down in the front or purchase specially made diapers, with a cut out for the cord.
- If baby's cord does bleed slightly, it isn't harmful to baby, but contact your doctor if you're particularly worried.
- You'll want to avoid immersing baby's stump in water while it's healing, so sponge baths only until that stump falls off!