Umbilical cord care is one of the things parents need to perform on a regular basis (same goes for making more breast milk for breast feeding moms). In order to keep your baby away from any infection or allergies, it is best to follow these tips:
The umbilical cords usually falls off within two weeks after delivery. To ensure that the umbilical cord is free from infections, make sure to keep it clean and dry at all times. Instead of submersing your newborn’s entire body in a tub, it may be best to dry sponge your baby. The diaper should be folded below the cord at all times so the stump falls easily at any time. There may be traces of blood on the uppermost part of the diaper, but do consider this as normal when the stump falls off. However in the case that the cord bleeds continuously, make sure to seek medical help immediately. In case of infection, you will need to go to the hospital to get emergency medical attention. Although infection of the umbilical cord is rare, make sure to keep an eye of these signs and symptoms:
- Roul, yellowish discharge from the cord
- Warm, red skin around the base of the cord
- Crying when on contact to the cord or the surrounding skin regions
At the latest, the umbilical cord should fall off at eight weeks. If the cord still remains attached beyond this timeline, make sure to seek the help of your pediatrician.
- Always keep the stump clean at all time
Make sure to swab the stump with rubbing alcohol every time you change your baby’s diaper. However, recent research tells us that it is best to leave the umbilical cord alone until it falls off. However, if it becomes dirty or sticky, simply clean it with plain water. Dry the stump by placing clean, absorbent cloth around the stump or fanning it with a piece of cloth or paper.
- Always keep the stump dry
Expose the stump to air to facilitate drying. Make sure that the diaper belt is below the stump. During warm weather, keep the baby dry by dressing them in a diaper and shirt only to enhance circulation.
- Stick with sponge balls
Sponge baths is most practical and facilitates the natural falling off of the umbilical cord. Once the cord falls off, you can then bathe your baby in a tub.