Your Newborn’s Belly Button

Keep the stump dry to help it heal. It will fall off on its own within a couple of weeks.

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Parenting Q&A: Umbilical Cord Care
Q: How long will I need to take care of my baby’s umbilical cord stump?
A: Until it falls off (about 2 weeks).
Q: Should I wash it?
A: No. Keep the stump totally dry. Stick to sponge baths until it falls off.
Q: How do I prevent the diaper from irritating the stump?
A: Fold disposable diapers down to avoid covering the stump.
Q: Should I dress my newborn a certain way while he still has an umbilical cord stump?
A: Dress baby in clothes that fit loosely, are made from breathable fabrics and don’t have elastic waistbands.
Q: Should I pull or pick at the scab?
A: Leave it alone. If it gets pulled off too soon, it could bleed continuously. Call your pediatrician right away if this happens.
Q: What are signs of umbilical cord infection?
A: Call your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms: Fever, abdominal swelling, more than a little bleeding, red, swollen appearance, a fluid-filled lump on or near the stump, lethargy, low appetite, irritability, oozing pus or any foul-smelling discharge.
Need to know more? Talk to your pediatrician.

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