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.
Whats The Deal With A Baby Belly Button
If youve given birth, been present at one, or even just watched a scene including one on TV, then youre familiar with the part when the new babys umbilical cord is clamped and snipped. This results in a stump which starts drying out and eventually falls off in one to three weeks. As a new parent, you may be tempted to pull the stump off yourself . As tempting as it may be, though, resist the urge to pull or pick at that stump, Mama. It may look gross, but itll fall off on its own schedule. What you can and should do during those first few weeks is keep the stump dry, including by sticking to sponge baths.
Caring For A Newborn Belly Button
The best way to care for an umbilical cord stump is to keep it clean and dry until it falls off on its own.
To keep it clean, you dont need to wash it regularly. Instead, you should avoid getting it dirty.
Keeping the stump dry is the best way to promote healthy healing and a natural break off.
Here are some tips for newborn belly button care:
- If the cord gets wet, gently pat it dry with a clean baby washcloth. You can also try using a Q-tip, but avoid being too aggressive or rubbing the stump off. You dont want the stump to be pulled off before its ready.
- Fold down the top of your babys diaper to keep it away from the stump. Some newborn diapers come with a little scoop in the design to prevent the diaper from rubbing against the stump.
- Use clean cotton clothing on your newborn and their healing belly button. Its ok to pull light clothing over the stump, but avoid anything too tight, or fabrics that dont breathe well.
Sponge baths are best as you wait for the umbilical cord stump to fall off on its own, because you can easily avoid washing the area around the stump.
Ask your doctor how frequently you should wash your baby. Their skin is sensitive and doesnt need to be cleaned every day.
To bathe a baby with their stump still attached:
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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.
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What Are The Risks Or Complications At The Umbilical Cord Site
Infections at the site of the stump can occur. The following symptoms are a sign of infection:
- The stump leaks a clear to yellow fluid that smells bad.
- The skin around your childs umbilical cord changes color or swells.
- Your child has a fever of 100.4°F or higher.
- Your child is overly sleepy or lethargic .
- Your child isnt feeding well.
- Your child has a weak muscle tone .
Infections can spread quickly. Contact your provider if you notice any symptoms of an infection in your newborn.
When your babys umbilical stump falls off, sometimes theres a small amount of tissue that remains on their skin. This appears as a bump of scar tissue that is pink to red, located on the belly button. The granuloma can leak a yellow or clear fluid that usually goes away after a week. If the granuloma stays for longer than a week, see your babys pediatrician.
An umbilical hernia is a small bump or bulge under your childs belly button, giving it an outie appearance. This happens when part of your babys intestines get stuck in the opening of the abdominal wall. Umbilical hernias are painless and become more noticeable when your baby cries. A hernia will normally heal on its own within 18 months. If the hernia doesnt heal on its own by the time your child turns five years old, your provider may need to surgically repair that part of your childs abdominal wall.
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Can Your Belly Button Absorb Liquid
Pouring water into a belly button will not cause the stomach to fill with water. Although belly buttons cannot absorb liquids, they can take in the scents of oils. Some people rub essential oils in and on their belly button to help relieve menstrual cramps, bloating, and other digestive issues. There isnt any proven science behind this, but if youre thinking about giving it a shot, just check in with your doctor beforehand.
What Are The Symptoms Of Baby Belly Button Infection
In certain cases, things might go wrong if the belly button causes any infection.
- If you find the below mentioned symptoms of infection in your baby, you should immediately see the doctor.
- When your baby develops fever.
- When the navel area smells bad or when there is puss developing inside.
- The skin around the belly button becomes red and tender.
- The baby cries when you touch his navel slightly.
- If the stump gets swollen and blood oozes from it.
Be aware of the infections that can happen to your babys belly button. It is better to act on priority in such situations. Go by your instinct, and remember, your doctor is the best person to turn to for any advice.
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Article written by Palak Shah
Signs You Need To Visit Your Pediatrician About Umbilical Cord Issues:
Visit your pediatrician if you see any signs of an infection. These signs include:
· Pus that is around the base of the cord and smells terrible.
· Red, tender, swollen skin around the base of the cord.
· Your baby cries whenever you touch the cord or the skin around it.
· A moist, red lump on your babys navel that lasts for more than two weeks after the umbilical cord has fallen off. This may be a piece of extra tissue called an umbilical granuloma. Your babys doctor can treat this minor problem.
Is Baby Belly Button Bleeding Normal
A little bit of bleeding around the stump isnt anything to worry about. And, much like a scab, its possible for the stump to bleed a small amount when it falls off. But if the area around their belly button oozes pus, develops a pink moist bump, or if the surrounding skin becomes red and swollen, it could be an infection. In that case, youll need to take your baby to the doctor.
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Timeline For Losing The Postpartum Belly
You know how you got it now how do you lose it?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorses the Institute of Medicine guidelines for weight gain in pregnancy.
Depending on your body mass index , you should gain between 11 and 40 pounds during a pregnancy with one baby and 2562 pounds when pregnant with twins. The good news is that youll lose some of that weight right after delivery.
Babys weight comes off first thats obvious. Youll also drop about another few pounds right away when you lose blood, fluids, and amniotic fluid.
For the first week after birth, you may find that youre running to the bathroom more often and that when you wake up in the night, your pajamas are soaked with sweat.
And if youre breastfeeding, know that breastfeeding isnt only about feeding and cuddling it may also help you lose weight.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, breastfeeding moms use 400 to 500 calories daily to make the full amount of milk that most babies need from birth to 6 months.
And at least one study showed that moms who breastfeed exclusively for more than 3 months tend to lose more weight than those who dont.
Most doctors and physical therapists recommend waiting 6 weeks before starting a formal exercise program if you had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery or 8 weeks if you had a cesarean delivery.
So are you a couple of months postpartum and feeling stronger and more like your old self?
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:
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Bath Time And Umbilical Cord Care
Until the stump falls off and your baby’s belly button heals, it’s best to stick with sponge bathing so that you avoid soaking the stump in water. You don’t need to sponge bathe your baby every day two or three times a week is usually enough.
You may wish to use sponge bath time to gently clean the umbilical cord stump as well.
a bowl of warm water
a fresh diaper
Lay your baby down on a padded flat surface â like the changing pad on the changing table, or on the floor on a soft towel â with your supplies within reach. Never leave your baby unattended during the sponge bath if she’s on a raised surface, such as the changing table, keep the safety strap fastened and a hand on her at all times.
Keep your little one covered in a towel so she doesn’t become chilled, exposing only the parts of the body that are being washed. Start with her face, using the damp washcloth but no soap so that you don’t get soap in her eyes. Then add soap to the water and continue to gently clean the rest of her body, especially the folds of her skin around her neck, ears, and genital area.
Why Do You Have To Be Aware Of The Navel
The detachment process and the remainder of the cord is natural and normally occurs without infection . On average, the cord comes off eight to ten days after delivery . Sometimes it takes a little longer. As the piece is held by a clamp, it is best to surround it with gauze.
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After the cord falls, the navel is sometimes outward by 5 to 15 millimeters. It is called the cutaneous navel and it will go inwards: sometimes it takes several months.
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Cleaning The Belly Button
Once the stump falls off, you can give your baby a proper bath. You dont have to clean the belly button any more or less than the rest of babys body.
You can use the corner of a washcloth to clean in the belly button, but you dont need to use soap or to scrub too hard.
If the belly button still looks like an open wound after the cord falls off, avoid rubbing it until it heals completely.
Caring For The Umbilical Cord
Wash the cord stump as part of your babys usual bathing routine.
Make sure you wash your hands first. Use only water and cotton pads, and dry it carefully. If wee or poo gets on the stump, you can use a mild soap to help clean it off. You dont need to use antiseptics and alcohol.
Let the cord sit out of the nappy so it dries out in the air this can be done by folding the nappy under the cord stump. There is no need to cover the cord stump with Band-Aids or bandages, as this stops airflow around the stump.
If youre not washing the cord stump, try not to handle it.
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Cleaning And Caring For Your Babys Belly Button
Wash your hands before handling the cord stump. Avoid touching it whenever possible.
Use only water to keep your babys belly button area clean, except if the area gets wee or poo on it. If this happens, wash off the wee or poo using clean water and a pH-neutral cleanser. Look for pH-neutral on product labels or ask your pharmacist or child and family health nurse to recommend a product.
Make sure the stump dries properly after bathing. Also, the stump will dry and heal much faster if you expose it to air as much as possible. Try not to cover it with plastic pants and nappies. Fold nappies down and away from the stump if you can.
Never try to pull the stump off yourself, even if it looks like its ready to fall off.
After the cord stump has fallen off, keep the area clean and dry until the area heals completely. It helps to fold the top of your babys nappy down so that the belly button is exposed to air.