Dip a cotton swab in warm water. Squeeze the tip to remove the excess water. Gently clean around the base of the cord and then the surrounding skin, then hold the stump with a clean absorbent cloth to dry it completely. It is important that the umbilical cord remain clean and dry until it falls off naturally.
How to identify an umbilical cord infection
- red, swollen, warm, or tender skin around the cord.
- pus (a yellow-greenish liquid) oozing from the skin around the cord.
- a bad smell coming from the cord.
- a fussy, uncomfortable, or very sleepy baby.
Cleaning the belly button
Once the stump falls off, you can give your baby a proper bath. You don’t have to clean the belly button any more or less than the rest of baby’s body. You can use the corner of a washcloth to clean in the belly button, but you don’t need to use soap or to scrub too hard.
Continue to keep your baby’s belly button area clean and dry by washing with plain water when in the bath and patting it dry. Keep folding your baby’s nappy down and allow some time to air dry it. If the belly button has some ooze, you can wet a cotton bud with warm water to gently clean it, ensuring it doesn’t bleed.
How long will it take for the belly button to heal? After the stump falls off there will be a small wound. It may take between seven days and 10 days for the area to heal completely . You may see a little blood spot on your baby’s nappy.
How long does it take for the belly button to heal after the umbilical cord falls off? The skin underneath the stump may be a little red when the dried stump first falls off, but it should soon heal—usually within two weeks.
After the umbilical cord is cut at birth, a stump of tissue remains attached to your baby’s belly button (navel). The stump gradually dries and shrivels until it falls off, usually 1 to 2 weeks after birth. It is important that you keep the umbilical cord stump and surrounding skin clean and dry.
Other than that, you should just clean the naval area with a damp cloth or cotton tip dipped with cooled, boiled water and swirl round the navel. Try to clean the naval area for at least twice a day during bath time to avoid dirt accumulating within the naval area.
Antibiotic Ointment for Pus:
- If any pus is present, use an antibiotic ointment (such as Polysporin).
- No prescription is needed.
- Put a tiny amount on the belly button.
- Do this 2 times per day after the area has been cleaned.
- Do this for 2 days. After that, use the antibiotic ointment only if you see more pus.
If your baby has a bulge around the bellybutton, they may have an umbilical hernia. Before the umbilical cord falls off, you may notice that the area seems to stick out a little more when the baby cries. Or maybe, once the cord is gone, you see that their navel sticks out (an “outie,” as it’s commonly called).