How to care for a baby’s umbilical cord

The umbilical cord is the lifeline to your baby. Be gentle and keep these important guidelines in mind as you take care of this special part of your baby’s body.

Umbilical cord care guidelines

Watch for signs of infection, such as redness or leakage

Keep skin around the base of the cord clean and dry

Allow skin to air dry before any skin-to-skin contact or clothes are put on

Do not let your baby use soap when bathing

Do not allow soap to get near the top half of the cord

Do not let anything near your baby’s vagina before 6 weeks after delivery

When wiping the genitals, dab the area only with toilet paper or gauze pads moistened with warm water.Use a clean, dry diaper instead of a wet one.

Clean the umbilical cord area with a clean, dry washcloth two to three times a day.

Avoid touching the cord or wrapping the cord around anything.

Do not wrap or tie the cord.

Do not pull on the cord.

Never leave a cord dangling.

Do not wrap the cord around the baby’s neck.

Do not use a tape or adhesive strip to tie off your baby’s cord.

Do not microwave the umbilical cord.

If there are any signs of infection or infection in your child, call your healthcare provider.

How to Use a Baby Monitor

This page provides general information for using a baby monitor. For more specific information about your specific model, refer to your user manual or call the manufacturer.

Your baby’s umbilical stump: what to expect

Most babies have a cord stump. It is usually pink or purple colored and is usually covered by skin.

The stump is a part of the umbilical cord and it gets cut off when the baby is born.

The stump usually falls off on its own after the baby is born.

There may be a small piece of the stump that remains.

The stump will be covered with a loose, pink or purple skin until it falls off.

The stump is usually soft and can be tender to touch.

The stump should be cleaned with a dry washcloth.

Caring for your baby’s umbilical stump

Keep your baby’s umbilical stump clean.

Do not clean the stump with soap or any other product.

Do not use a wet washcloth or any other product that may damage the skin.

Keep your baby’s umbilical stump dry and clean.

For most babies, the umbilical cord stump falls off within a few weeks of delivery.

Some babies may have a small piece of cord stump (about 1/2 inch long) that will not fall off.

It is very rare for a baby to need to have the umbilical stump reattached.

What to do if the umbilical stump is not falling off

If the umbilical stump is not falling off, it may be because it is not attached.

The umbilical stump is attached to the placenta.

The umbilical cord is connected to the placenta, and the placenta is connected to the mother.

If the umbilical stump is not attached, the baby does not have both umbilical cords.

The baby has only the cord that is attached to the placenta.

The placenta is also attached to the mother, but not the baby.

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