Many new moms and dads are nervous about caring for their baby’s umbilical cord stump. It’s not difficult, but you need to pay attention to make sure it doesn’t get infected.
Your baby’s umbilical cord stump will drop off at about 10 days after birth. Until then, keep it clean and dry.
• Tuck the diaper below the cord so that the cord is exposed to the air.
• Be sure the area around the cord is clean and dry. If it gets dirty, clean the area with a baby wipe. Or dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol, and gently clean around the cord.
• Call your baby’s provider if you see pus or redness or if he cries when you touch the area. These could be signs of infection.
To learn how to give your baby a sponge bath until his belly button heals, read Bathing Your Baby.