What Is An Outie Belly Button
When a baby has a protruding belly button or a belly button that sticks out, it is termed as an outie. It is more visible when the baby laughs, cries, or coughs and is a result of increased pressure inside the abdomen. It shrinks back to normal when the baby is relaxed. The common hunch that the shape of the belly button is decided by how the umbilical cord is cut at birth is in fact, not true.
What Causes An Outie Belly Button
Its not hard to tell whether you have an innie or an outie, but this section is for all the babies with outies out there. Contrary to popular belief, the way an umbilical cord is cut has nothing to do with the kind of belly button a person has Outies arent caused by hack jobs done by clumsy doctors. They are completely normal and more common in premature babies and children with low birth weight. Theyre usually caused by an umbilical hernia and heal on their own. Outies are also formed by excess scar tissue, which causes a navel to poke out.
When Does The Umbilical Cord Fall Off
It may seem like its taking its sweet time, but the umbilical cord stump should dry up and drop away by the time your baby is 3 weeks old, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics .
Its possible the stump will fall away sooner, but if its lingering longer than that timeframe, make an appointment with the pediatrician to get it checked out.
Cleaning Your Baby Step 2
Wash your hands Since you will be inspecting your babys belly button, washing your hands thoroughly is a necessary step. Yes, the belly button is no longer as delicate now that the cord stump has fallen off, so this is more of a precaution, but a very important one nonetheless. This helps to prevent the spread of germs and dirt in your babys navel. Remember to wash your hands up to your your forearms, too!
Infected Umbilical Cord Or Belly Button
Healing belly buttons almost always look worse than they actually are, even when they’re progressing normally. It’s rare that a healing umbilical cord stump gets infected, but when it does, the condition is called omphalitis.
Watch for these symptoms of a newborn belly button infection, or omphalitis:
- Red skin or a red, swollen appearance at the base of the cord
- A fluid-filled lump on or near your baby’s umbilical cord stump
- Oozing pus or discharge
- Bleeding from the scab
- Foul smell
Don’t Miss: Is Infant Formula Safe For Newborns
Avoid Irritating The Cord
If you are using cloth diapers, you need to get creative about folding the diaper down to keep it from rubbing on the cord stump. Consider disposable diapers with the cut out for the umbilical cord.
Choose clothes that are easy to slide over the cord without being too tight around the belly button. Avoid onesies that have snaps in the crotch and pants that rub on the waistline.
Tip #: Inspect The Area Carefully
Usually, after the umbilical cord falls off, the belly button will look almost like a small open wound. As mentioned previously, newborn belly button healing should be left to heal naturally. Keeping the area dry and exposed to air will speed up the healing. Still, you would want to look out for immediate signs of umbilical cord infection in your babys belly button. This is much less likely to happen than when the umbilical cord stump was still attached.
Don’t Miss: What To Do For Gassy Newborn Baby
Changing Your Babys Diaper And Protecting The Umbilical Cord Stump
You can read about how to change a diaper here, but keep in mind that in these first few weeks youâll need to be extra careful to protect the umbilical cord stump area.
If the cord stump hasnât fallen off yet, use notch-cutout diapers or fold down the top of the diaper to prevent urine from reaching the stump and to prevent the diaper itself from irritating the stump.
What Do I Do With That Area Until The Umbilical Cord Stump Falls Off
The idea of caring for the umbilical cord stump can be intimidating for new parents until I tell them that their biggest job is to leave it alone! We used to recommend applying alcohol to the base of the stump, but that was found to delay the process of the cord falling off. Now it is recommended that you keep the area as clean and dry as possible.
Baby should receive only sponge baths until the stump falls off. If it does happen to get dirty, just dab it with a wet washcloth and let it air dry. And for those of you who like to pick at things, resist the urge to pull the stump or scab off, even if it is attached only by a thread!
Read Also: How To Flip A Newborn’s Sleep Schedule
How Long Does The Belly Button Take To Heal
The belly button should heal completely in days. It may bleed or ooze a little after the cord falls off, but if there is continuous stickiness or discharge, it may be infected and you should show your doctor or maternal and child health nurse.
Sometimes the belly button does not heal completely and moist red tissue forms over the stump site, often with a lump present. This is called a granuloma. It is usually harmless, but you should ask your doctor or child and family nurse to have a look at it.
Red Flags: When To Get Medical Attention
Since the umbilical stump is very sensitive and delicate, there are a few warning signs that you need to be mindful of. For instance, if your baby develops a fever of 38 C or higher, it is considered an emergency. Here are some of the common medical conditions that require medical attention right away:
Read Also: When To Use Soap On Newborn
What Happens When The Stump Comes Off
Its normal to see a few drops of blood in your babys diaper. But if theres a lot of blood as the cord separates, call your doctor right away.
If the cord hasnt come off after 3 weeks, be patient. Keep the area dry and make sure its not covered by your childs diaper. If it hasnt come off in 6 weeks, or you see signs of fever or infection, call your doctor.
Once the cord is gone, continue to keep the area clean and dry. You might notice a yellow, sticky fluid that oozes out. This is normal. It sometimes happens when the cord comes off. Its not pus, and its not an infection.
Sometimes, a little scar tissue may form a red mass on the belly button. This bump is called an umbilical granuloma. If you see this and it doesnt go away in about a week, let your doctor know. Theyll apply silver nitrate to it. Itll burn the area so the tissue dries up. But remember, the cord has no nerves, so your baby wont feel it.
At some point, youll probably wonder what kind of belly button your child will have. Will it be an innie or an outie? Youll have to wait until the stump is gone to know for sure. But know that the way your babys navel will look has nothing to do with how the doctor cut the umbilical cord.
Be Cautious While Dressing Your Baby:
The belly button is the most delicate part in your babys body. At the same time it is a hindrance when you dress up your baby or make him wear diapers.
- Always make your little one wear the diaper in such a way that the cord stump remains in the air and is not hassled by anything.
- Take care while dressing your baby and keep the area as much open as you can.
Recommended Reading: How Many Bottles Do You Need For A Newborn
How Do You Clean A Belly Button After The Stump Falls Off
You may hear that you should apply alcohol to the area or do other things to help the belly button heal. However, according to studies, there is no reason to do anything other than clean around the belly button with water during bath time and give it plenty of air.
As long as babys belly button is gently wiped with a clean wet cloth, it will heal just fine on its own and doesnt require soaps, alcohol or any other products.
If your doctor suggests using silver nitrate, it best to do your own research and ask what other options are available first, as this can lead to chemical burns if not applied correctly.
Cleaning Your Baby Step 4
Wipe the belly button dry After the bath, use the soft towel to wipe your babys body dry, including the belly button. Remember to gently pat the towel on different parts of your babys body. If your baby has an innie, make sure to wipe the inside, too. You may also use lotion designed for babies if you want to keep your babys skin moisturized.
You May Like: How To Get My Newborn To Take A Pacifier
What Is An Umbilical Cord
The umbilical cord is the tube-like structure that carries food and oxygen from a mother to their baby while pregnant. It also carries waste products away from the baby so the mothers body can get rid of them.
After you give birth, doctors clamp and cut the cord. The cord has no nerves, so neither you nor your baby will feel anything. A small stump will be left on your childs belly. It can be anywhere from a half-inch to an inch long.
At first, the stump might look shiny and yellow. But as it dries out, it may turn brown or gray or even purplish or blue. Itll shrivel and turn black before it falls off on its own.
Usually, it comes off between 10 and 14 days after your baby is born, but can take as long as 21 days.
Umbilical Cord Care In Newborns
Cord – umbilical Neonatal care – umbilical cord
The umbilical cord connects the baby to the mother’s placenta. During fetal development in the womb, the umbilical cord is the lifeline to the baby supplying nutrients. After birth, the cord is clamped and cut. Eventually between 1 to 3 weeks the cord will become dry and will naturally fall off. During the time the cord is healing it should be kept as clean and as dry as possible.
A sponge bath is the best way to clean your baby until the umbilical cord falls off. To give a sponge bath, dip a soft cloth in the warm water and wring out the excess. If needed, a mild soap can be used in the water. Wipe the baby’s skin gently starting from the area of the baby’s head and work your way down to the rest of the body. Pay special attention to the skin creases and diaper area. Rinse your baby with clean warm water and dry him or her completely.
Don’t Miss: How To Get More Breast Milk For Newborn Baby
What To Do When The Umbilical Cord Falls Off
Most cords dry completely and then fall off, leaving behind a cute baby belly button. You might notice a small raw spot or a bit of blood-tinged fluid oozing out. Try not to worry this is also normal. But if you notice more profuse bleeding, call the doctor.
In some cases, the cord may form reddish-pink scar tissue called an umbilical granuloma, which may secrete a yellowish discharge. This should clear up in a week, but if it doesn’t, check in with your babys pediatrician. An umbilical granuloma is a very treatable condition.
What You Need To Know:
· Most umbilical cord stumps look worse than they are. Right after birth, an umbilical cord stump usually looks white and shiny and may feel slightly damp. As the stump dries and heals, it may look brown, grey, or even black. This is normal. Usually, no problems will occur as long as you keep the area clean and dry.
· The umbilical cord stump usually falls off in 1 or 2 weeks. Sometimes the stump falls off before the first week. Other times, the stump may stay longer.
· You may notice a red, raw-looking spot right after the stump falls off. A small amount of fluid, sometimes tinged with blood, may ooze out of the navel area. It is usual for this to last up to 2 weeks after the stump falls off. If it doesnt heal or dry entirely within two weeks, call your doctor or nurses call line.
Don’t Miss: How To Help A Newborn With A Cold
What Might Cause Newborns Belly Button To Bleed
You should know that newborn belly button bleeding is common and its not usually a cause for concern.
You will notice a few drops of blood in the belly button region. This could be because the umbilical cord starts to separate from the babys body.
Also, the babys diaper can cause bleeding and irritation If it is rubbed against the cord. Covering the belly button area with a diaper or pressing the diaper against the stump can irritate the area and cause pain and bleeding.
To treat a newborn babys belly button bleeding, clean the area around the cord with a small clean piece of gauze. Also, gentle pressure on the umbilical cord can help stop bleeding.
What Is An Umbilical Granuloma
An umbilical granuloma is a small nodule of firm pinkish-red tissue with persistent yellow-green drainage. This is different from an infection because it is not accompanied by swelling, redness, warmth, tenderness, or a fever. This is most often treated by cauterization which is performed by applying silver nitrate to the area to burn the tissue. There are no nerve endings in the area, so it is not painful.
You May Like: How Can A Newborn Sleep At Night
How Do I Care For My Babys Umbilical Cord
Keep The Area Clean
Pediatricians used to recommend cleaning the base of the cord with rubbing alcohol. However, most now recommend leaving the stump completely alone because alcohol is believed to irritate the skin and sometimes delays healing. Other methods in caring for your babys cord include the use of Goldenseal Root and Echinacea. It is best to consult your childs pediatrician for his/her recommendations before using either of these alternative methods.
Keep The Area Dry
Allow the cord to be exposed to air as often as possible. This allows the base of the cord to dry and will decrease the amount of time that is required for healing to occur. Using newborn diapers that have a special cut out or folding your babys diaper down will help keep the cord from becoming irritated. If weather permits, dress your baby in just a t-shirt and diaper to allow more time for the cord to dry out.
Only Give Sponge Baths
Do not bathe your baby in a sink or special tub until after the umbilical cord has fallen off. If your baby does take a bath, make sure to fan the area to dry it completely. You do not want to rub it dry as this could cause irritation.
Allow The Cord to Heal Naturally
It may be tempting to help the cord dry out and fall off especially if it appears to be hanging on by a thread, but it is best to allow this to happen naturally. Refrain from picking and pulling the cord off.