How the heck do you care for an Umbilical Cord?

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If you’ve never cared for an umbilical cord it can be a little daunting. A recent change in recommendations comes with just what you clean it with. The recommendation used to be to just rubbing alcohol to disinfect and dry the area, however because of its drying effect it’s been found to irritate your baby’s sensitive skin.  

Now in place of alcohol, it’s recommended to take a hands-off approach.

  • It’s most important to keep the area clean and dry.
  • To avoid irritation try to let it air dry versus drying it with a towel.
  • To avoid friction from a diaper, newborn diapers are cut specially to ensure there is minimal rubbing.
  • Giving sponge baths is most sanitary during the healing process
  • Allow the cord to fall off on its own, even if it’s barely holding on allow it to take its time
  • Remember a little bit of dried blood or crust is normal

 

What is something seems a little off?

If you notice any sign of infection, it is recommended to call your pediatrician swiftly.

  • Redness or swelling
  • Yellowish pus
  • Continuous bleeding
  • Foul smell
  • Seems tender or painful to your baby

This period of time can be stressful, you have the baby at home and you may or may not have a lot of active support. Remember it’s okay to ask for a helping hand, and it is okay to ask questions. This extra task of caring for your baby’s umbilical cord site typically lasts about 1-2 weeks.

 

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