Umbilical Cord Care

Keep the area clean

(HealthDayNews) -- If you've just brought your newborn infant back from the hospital, your doctor has probably given you instructions on how to keep what's left of your baby's umbilical cord clean. Because the area may be an entryway for infection, it's important that you care for it properly.

Some doctors recommend using alcohol at each diaper change, while others suggest you use plain water.

You should also keep the cord dry by positioning it on the outside of your baby's diaper, advises Stanford University Medical Center.

Call your baby's doctor if there is:

  • Bleeding from the end of the cord or the area near the skin.
  • Pus.
  • Swelling or redness around the navel.
  • Signs that the navel area is painful to your baby.

The cord falls off by itself in about two to three weeks. Afterward, there may be a small amount of bleeding, but this should stop quickly.

Consumer News