The umbilical cord connects the baby to the mother’s womb. Its purpose is to connect the womb to a small opening in your baby’s stomach through the placenta. Once they are out in the world, that opening will turn into their belly button.
The umbilical cord is what provides oxygen and nutrients to your baby when they’re inside the womb. Once the baby is born, he or she will keep a small part of the umbilical cord on their belly after the doctor cuts it, which is about 2 or 3cm long.
So what do we need to do for the umbilical cord to heal correctly? It will take about 1 or 2 weeks for it to fall off naturally, that is why it is so important to give the umbilical cord the proper care and attention for it not to get infected or irritated.
Make sure to keep the tummy area clean. It is recommended that you keep the area clean with rubbing alcohol, but also make sure that the skin of your baby is not sensitive, since alcohol can make the area irritated in some cases. Your pediatrician will give you the best ways to keep the area clean, depending on the type of skin that your baby has.
Also, keep it dry! When you clean the umbilical cord with alcohol or water, make sure to dry off the area afterwards with a towel. It is recommended to leave the area exposed to air as much as possible. Such localized exposure will dry the base of the umbilical cord, which will help with the healing.
Exclusively give your newborn sponge baths. Avoid bathing your baby sink or tub until the umbilical cord has fallen off. Sponge baths put the bathing process entirely within your control, which means you can avoid the umbilical cord and clean it only when it is necessary.
Finally, let the umbilical cord fall off naturally. These tips and pieces of advice can help speed up the process, but everything happens in its own time. When the time has come, the umbilical cord will fall naturally, so don’t try to pick or pull the cord off.
Taking care of the umbilical cord is not as difficult as everyone thinks it is. You just have to be careful and give it the proper care it needs. We recommend visiting a doctor if the following symptoms are observed:
the base is red or swollen
it continues to bleed
oozes yellowish or white pus
produces a foul-smelling discharge
seems painful to your baby
Pediatricians are the ultimate experts in these matters, and they will help you solve any problems or issues related to your baby. Enjoy the process of taking care of your newborn and help them in every way possible!