When the new parents are thinking about umbilical cord care, they could get concerned. Although it is true that it looks quite unusual at the beginning, try not to think too much about it. The best thing you can do is to keep it clean and wait for it to fall off.
The umbilical cord
Before thinking about care for the umbilical cord, you should know that this body part connects the baby to his or her mother through the placenta. It develops until the sixth week and it feeds the baby until it is born. This is the main organ through which the baby receives nutrients and oxygen.
On the other hand, regarding care for the umbilical cord you should also know that through it the baby is able to get rid of the waste products. After the little one is born, he or she can do everything on its own, the cord becomes unnecessary. This is why the doctors clamp it and cut it short.
The umbilical cord care should not be painful for the baby since there are no nerve fibers. Such care is important and the cord separates from the body of the baby about two weeks after birth. Usually the color of the cord changes as it dries. At this point, you can’t know whether the baby will have an outie or innie.
Care for the umbilical cord at home
After the little one is born, the doctors bathe him or her and the cord is treated with an antiseptic. This way the chances of getting an infection decreases. A day after birth the doctors remove the clamp. This should happen at the hospital, before the little one is taken home.
Umbilical cord care is safer at the hospital because it could be tangled during the diaper changes and could injure the baby. Once you can take your baby home, most probably you will receive some advice from your pediatrician.
Tips for proper care
In the majority of the cases, care for the umbilical cord consists of rubbing the area with alcohol a couple of times per day until it falls off. Some of the specialists say that the cord heals faster in case you leave it alone. Nonetheless it is important to follow the advice of your pediatrician.
To ensure that the umbilical cord care is the right one, you should make sure that the cord is kept dry, and you should expose it to the air as much as you can to speed up the drying process. Change the wet diapers as fast as you can so that you will be able to avoid any kind of irritation. If the weather is warm, the little one should only have a shirt and the diaper on.
Sponge baths only
When it comes to the care for the umbilical cord, you should know that it is better to avoid bathing the baby in a bath or sink as long as the cord is still on. Until this takes place you should opt for sponge baths for the little one.
As it has been mentioned before regarding umbilical cord care, it should fall off during the first two weeks. After this happens, you may see a reddish spot at the belly button. This will disappear as normal skin grows over it. Once the skin grows, the little one can start having normal baths.
When you are thinking about care for the umbilical cord you should expect to see some dried blood or crusting near the cord.
As you can see, umbilical cord care isn’t as scary or difficult as you may have thought before you tried it.