The navel cord often causes more concern for new mothers than anything else about the baby, but fear not! The umbilical cord remnant will fall off within a few weeks. Until this happens and the site has healed do not put the baby in water. Two or three times a day when you change your baby’s diaper use a cotton ball soaked with alcohol to clean the cord. After the cord has fallen off, clean the site daily with a cotton ball and alcohol. You will want to pin or tape the diaper in such a manner that the umbilical cord is not covered by the diaper. However, the cord remnant is tough so don’t worry about bumping it. In fact, gently wiggling the stump will speed up it’s detaching from the tummy. (Think of it as a loose tooth.)
Do not be alarmed if after a few weeks you notice some bulging of the skin at the navel. This is perfectly normal and despite the size, will usually become small in time. You should not put on “belly bands” or tape anything over the navel. This does not help correct the bulge and it makes the baby’s skin more likely to become infected.
The things which you should report to your doctor are:
- Excessive discharge
- Bleeding more than a few drops
- Redness of the skin around the navel