How To Clean The Umbilical Cord Stump Of A Newborn Baby

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After the delivery of your baby, the umbilical cord will be cut, leaving a little stump that is typically half an inch to an inch in length hanging from your infant’s belly button. After about three weeks from the delivery, the stump will come off, leaving a tiny adorable belly button. These few weeks, before and after the stump falls off, your baby needs complete care to ensure the stump is clean and does not leave room for infection. Here in this article, we have a step-by-step routine on how you should clean the umbilical stump of your newborn the right way. Read on to know them all.

Step 1

Step 1

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The first thing you need to do is make sure your hands are sanitized before touching your baby’s umbilical stump.

  • Wash your hands with antibacterial soap before and after handling the stump of your infant to avoid spreading illness.
  • Pat dry your hands with a clean towel or let the skin air dry.

Step 2

Step 2

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Doctors and specialists advise against submerging your baby in a bathtub until the umbilical cord has dried and fallen off (1). So for the first few weeks, you can give your newborn a sponge bath to cleanse them.

  • First, prepare the bath water by boiling some water and pouring it into a clean basin.
  • Test the water temperature on your wrist.
  • The water temperature should be around 100 degree F (38 degree C) (2).
  • Place the baby on their back on a fresh, soft towel on the changing table.
  • Use a soft bath sponge to wipe your little one gently.
  • Cleanse the stump gently every time you sponge your infant.

Step 3

Step 3

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  • Gently scrub the stump from the base to the crown.
  • If the stump is still raw, you can also use a moist cotton swab.
  • The stump should be gently wiped dry from the bottom up.

Step 4

Step 4

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  • Once clean, thoroughly dry the stump without hurting it.
  • The region around the umbilical stump should also be dried thoroughly.
  • Dry the area by fanning it with a paper towel or a clean cloth or by dabbing a dry cloth around the stump.
  • Make sure the stump gets plenty of airflow until it’s totally dry.

Step 5

Step 5

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  • You must leave it uncovered to allow your baby’s stump to heal more quickly.
  • You may either fold down the top of a diaper or make a notch to accommodate the stump.
  • A slot is already carved out for the umbilical cord stump in some of the baby diapers.
  • Dress them in light clothes to help the cord get air and heal faster.

Step 6

Step 6

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The cord stump may show signs of drying blood or a white or yellow crust, and it may bleed slightly when the stump is removed. Check for indicators that the stumps are infected each time you give your newborn a bath. An infected umbilical cord can lead to life-threatening complications. So it’s essential to get medical help for your newborn immediately if there are any concerns.

Here are some indicators for an infected umbilical stump:

  • Changes in the appearance of the skin all around the cord, such as redness or swelling
  • The plug base has a foul odor.
  • Continuous bleeding, if you wipe away one blood drop and another one appears.
  • A shift in your infant’s mood, such as increased fussiness, lethargy, or a fever.

Step 7

Step 7

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  • Even if it looks dry, don’t remove the umbilical cord till it falls out on its own.
  • Resist the urge to remove the root.
  • The time it takes for the cord stump to come off also varies from baby to baby.
  • Even when the cord seems like it could be coming loose, resist the desire to tug it.
  • Allowing the stump to fall out on its own is the healthiest and safest option.
  • As the cord stump dries, it naturally darkens from blue to black.
  • If your kid was delivered prematurely, it might take longer for the stump to come off.
  • If the umbilical cord still isn’t out after 21 days, you can consult a doctor.

Step 8

Step 8

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  • Don’t use rubbing alcohol to clean the belly button once the stump is out.
  • Inquire with your pediatrician before switching to non-traditional options for cleaning the stump.
  • Most doctors will advise you to stick with plain water, but if yours gives you the permission to use something else, follow their instructions carefully.

Step 9

Step 9

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  • After the umbilical stump falls out, it is essential to continue cleaning your baby’s belly button.
  • Infants can be bathed in a tub after the umbilical cord has fallen off, but only if specific safety measures are taken.
  • Always use caution when washing your baby’s navel.
  • Your infant should never be left unsupervised in the tub.

Taking care of an infant may seem rocket science, but it is pretty simple once you know what to do. The trick is to do thorough research before your baby arrives and trust your maternal instinct regarding parenting.

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