Keep the front of your baby’s diaper folded down to avoid covering the stump. Stick with sponge baths. While there’s no harm in getting the stump wet, sponge baths might make it easier to keep the stump dry. Let the stump fall off on its own.
Keep the navel (belly button) clean and dry. If there are any secretions, clean them away. Use a wet cotton swab. Then, dry carefully.
- After the cord falls off, continue sponge baths for a few more days.
- Help the belly button area dry up.
- Then, tub baths will be fine.
Use clean cotton clothing on your newborn and their healing belly button. It’s ok to pull light clothing over the stump, but avoid anything too tight, or fabrics that don’t breathe well.
How long does it take for the belly button to heal after the umbilical cord falls off? The skin underneath the stump may be a little red when the dried stump first falls off, but it should soon heal—usually within two weeks.
Pediatricians used to recommend cleaning the base of the cord with rubbing alcohol. However, most now recommend leaving the stump completely alone because alcohol is believed to irritate the skin and sometimes delays healing.
Why do you bury a baby’s umbilical cord?
“Umbilical cords were intended to be buried because this “anchors the baby to the earth” (Knoki-Wilson, 8/10/92). Baring the umbilical cord in the Earth establishes lifelong connection between the baby and the place.
At first, the stump might look shiny and yellow. But as it dries out, it may turn brown or gray or even purplish or blue. It’ll shrivel and turn black before it falls off on its own. Usually, it comes off between 10 and 14 days after your baby is born, but can take as long as 21 days.
How do you clean a newborn’s tongue?
To clean your baby’s tongue and gums correctly, you should:
- Make a habit of cleaning after feeding.
- Gently cradle your baby in one arm during the cleaning.
- Use a damp gauze or washcloth, or a silicone baby tongue cleaner.
- Gently massage their gums, tongue, and inner cheeks.
During the healing process, it’s normal to see a little blood near the stump. Much like a scab, the cord stump might bleed a little when it falls off. However, contact your baby’s doctor if the umbilical area oozes pus, the surrounding skin becomes red and swollen, or the area develops a pink moist bump.
A navel stone forms when sebum and keratin from dead skin cells collect in your belly button. The material accumulates and hardens into a tight mass. When it’s exposed to oxygen in the air, it turns black through a process called oxidation.
Slight bleeding from the umbilical cord stump is generally not serious and usually resolves within the first few weeks after birth. In rare cases, newborn belly button bleeding can indicate the baby has an infection at the site of the umbilical cord stump.