Simply clean the belly button area with soap and water when you bathe your baby. Your baby is probably getting real and regular baths now, so get a soft washcloth, a mild baby soap or cleanser, and a towel for drying. Fill the sink or baby tub with 2 to 3 inches of warm water.
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.
Normal Navel Care:
- Keep the navel (belly button) clean and dry.
- If there are any secretions, clean them away. …
- Do this gently to prevent any bleeding.
Keep The Area Clean
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.
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.
How can I make my umbilical cord heal faster?
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. …
- 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.
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.
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.
Lay a clean, dry bath towel on the floor in a warm part of your home. Lay your naked baby on the towel. Wet a clean baby washcloth thoroughly and ring it out so that it’s not sopping wet. Wipe your baby’s skin in gentle strokes, avoiding the belly button.
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.
What clothes should baby wear before umbilical cord falls off?
Air it out.
Try not to cover the stump with baby’s diaper (plenty of newborn diapers come with a U-notch to ensure baby’s umbilical cord isn’t covered up). Use comfortably fitting—not tight—onesies, or just dress baby in diapers and T-shirts.
If your baby has a bulge around the bellybutton, they may have an umbilical hernia. Before the umbilical cord falls off, you may notice that the area seems to stick out a little more when the baby cries. Or maybe, once the cord is gone, you see that their navel sticks out (an “outie,” as it’s commonly called).
What causes umbilical cord infection?
The main cause of omphalitis is exposure to any bacteria during delivery, when the umbilical cord is cut after birth or a few days later at home.