Umbilical Cord Care

You’ll need to keep the stump of the umbilical cord clean and dry as it shrivels and eventually falls off. To keep the cord dry, sponge bathe your baby rather than submersing him in a tub of water. Also keep the diaper folded below the cord to keep urine from soaking it. You may notice a few drops of blood on the diaper around the time the stump falls off; this is normal. But if the cord does actively bleed, call your baby’s doctor immediately. If the stump becomes infected, however, it will require medical treatment.

When to Call Muddy Creek Pediatrics

Although umbilical infection is quite uncommon, contact us if any of these signs are present:

  • Foul-smelling yellowish discharge from the cord
  • Red skin around the base of the cord
  • Crying when you touch the cord or the skin next to it

 The umbilical cord stump should dry up and fall off by the time your baby is eight weeks old. If it remains beyond that time, there may be other issues at play. Call us here at Muddy Creek Pediatrics if the cord has not dried up and fallen off by the time the baby is two months old.

 Click here for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics.