How do I deal with my baby’s umbilical cord stump?
The short answer is: Leave it alone. The cord stump is dead tissue. It’s like a scab, and it takes anywhere from a week to a month to fall off. Just like a scab, it’s OK for it to get wet when you bathe your baby. Use soap and water to clean it gently. I don’t recommend applying rubbing alcohol, because it can irritate the skin and will kill off not just the unhealthy bacteria but the healthy bacteria as well.
Newborn care: Everything you need to know about baby groomingWhen the cord starts to loosen, you’ll notice some drops of blood or pus. This is normal and will resolve in a day or two. The dried cord will smell, as it is dead tissue. Infections are rare, but look out for signs of infection, which include a fever, redness and swelling around the cord that increases over time. If you notice any of these, you should see a doctor right away.
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