How To Care For Your Baby’s Umbilical Cord
When you think about the umbilical cord, the word fascinating comes to your mind. I was completely amazed and loved the idea that my son and I shared the same heartbeat. However, once my son was born and the cord was cut it didn’t look so appealing. Well, also blame it on post-partum as nothing really seemed appealing those days. But seriously after the umbilical cord is cut and tied after the baby’s birth it definitely looks a lot less interesting as it shrivels on your baby’s belly on its way to becoming a navel.
Mostly, Mother Nature takes its own course in the healing process. Ideally, we should not touch it for at least 24 hours. However, to avoid any possibility of infection, you need to ensure that the area is kept dry and free of bacteria for at least 1 week – 10 days which is when the final remains of the corn fall off after withering.
Some Tips to take Care of your Baby’s Stump:-
- Dry and Clean – Keep the stump dry and clean at all times. Even if you are cleaning it with a wet cloth or washing it, make sure that is dried up well. Leaving it moist and damp can pose risk to infection.
- Clean Hands – Whenever you are touching your baby make sure your hands are washed and clean. Unclean hands on the stump can lead to infection without your realizing it.
- Urine and Poop – If by any chance the stump lands up in your baby’s urine and poop clean up immediately. Keep the diaper or nappy slightly lower so that the stump is exposed to air and it heals faster.
- Don’t Tug – It is common to keep checking if the stump is ready to come off. However, in order for it to heal well don’t pull at it. It will naturally fall when it is ready.
- Massage Oil – Lavender is known for its antibacterial properties and its ability to speed the healing of skin. I tried this mixture for my baby. Mix 1 tbsp of Water with one drop of essential lavender oil. Dip a cotton ball in the mixture and gently clean the area around the umbilical cord.
If in doubt:-
- The Navel and surrounding area has become red or swollen and the baby is cranky and irritable.
- The Stump is swollen and oozing out pus or blood.
- The baby has fever and showing signs of lethargy and appearing generally unwell.
- Crying every time you touch the stump or the area around it.
Ask your doctor to check your baby’s stump if you are worried about how it looks or smells. Just occasionally your baby’s stump may take longer to heal than normal. The flesh within the stump may look clean but unhealed and sore. If this is the case, ask your doctor to check the stump for you. Depending on the extent of the infection, your doctor may decide to seal the stump. Sealing is called cauterisation. It is a simple procedure, very common and it won’t hurt your baby at all.
What were your first thoughts and reactions to your baby’s umbilical cord? Did you know about how to take care of the stump?
Any granny or old wives tales you would like to share with us.