Dip a cotton swab in warm water. Squeeze the tip to remove the excess water. Gently clean around the base of the cord and then the surrounding skin, then hold the stump with a clean absorbent cloth to dry it completely. It is important that the umbilical cord remain clean and dry until it falls off naturally.
If there’s dirt, feces, or urine around the cord, add a little gentle baby cleanser to your water and use this to clean the area with a fresh cotton swab. Use a gentle wiping motion; there’s no need to harshly scrub. Dry the cord thoroughly. Use a clean, dry cloth to hold the umbilical stump until it is completely dry.
Cleaning and caring for your baby’s belly button
- Wash your hands before handling the cord stump. …
- Use only water to keep your baby’s belly button area clean, except if the area gets wee or poo on it. …
- Make sure the stump dries properly after bathing.
“After the cord falls off, the stump may be moist and have bit of bleeding around the edges,” says Gritchen. You can “simply wash with soap and water and pat dry,” she adds. After the belly button area is completely healed and dry, you can begin a normal bath rountine for your baby.
Caring for a newborn belly button
To keep it clean, you don’t need to wash it regularly. Instead, you should avoid getting it dirty. Keeping the stump dry is the best way to promote healthy healing and a natural break off. … If the cord gets wet, gently pat it dry with a clean baby washcloth.
They occur when part of the intestine bulges through the umbilical opening in the abdominal muscles. This creates a soft bulge or swelling near the navel that might become more noticeable when the baby cries or strains. They are more common in premature babies, low birth weight babies, and Black infants.
Normal Navel Care:
- Keep the navel (belly button) clean and dry.
- If there are any secretions, clean them away. Use a wet cotton swab. Then, dry carefully.
- Do this gently to prevent any bleeding.
- Caution: Don’t use any rubbing alcohol. Reason: can interfere with healing.
Gently wipe his navel with a wet washcloth that has a few drops of soap and rinse. This daily practice can prevent dirt from accumulating in your baby’s navel. Don’t forget to make sure the inside is thoroughly dry (use a cotton swab).
How to identify an umbilical cord infection
- red, swollen, warm, or tender skin around the cord.
- pus (a yellow-greenish liquid) oozing from the skin around the cord.
- a bad smell coming from the cord.
- a fussy, uncomfortable, or very sleepy baby.
Can I clean my baby’s umbilical cord with hydrogen peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide, wetted on a gauze or cotton ball, is perhaps the best choice for cleaning. A little mildly soapy water can also be used. (Rubbing alcohol was recommended in the past, but it tends to cause rashes). Grasp the cord with your fingers, and pull up gently.
Antibiotic Ointment for Pus:
- If any pus is present, use an antibiotic ointment (such as Polysporin).
- No prescription is needed.
- Put a tiny amount on the belly button.
- Do this 2 times per day after the area has been cleaned.
- Do this for 2 days. After that, use the antibiotic ointment only if you see more pus.
Dip your finger or a soft washcloth in a solution of salt water (about a teaspoon of table salt in a cup of warm water) and gently massage the inside of your navel. This should loosen stubborn germs that can cause odor. Then rinse with plain water and pat it dry.
Your baby’s umbilical cord stump dries out and eventually falls off — usually within one to three weeks after birth. In the meantime, treat the area gently: Keep the stump dry. Parents were once instructed to swab the stump with rubbing alcohol after every diaper change.