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How should I care for my baby's umbilical cord stump?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

The best care for the umbilical cord stump is to keep it clean and dry. Clean the area with clear water on a soft cloth or cotton ball when it is soiled with urine, vomit or stool. The cord stump will naturally dry and detach itself about 10-12 days after birth.

Make sure to keep the area clean and dry. While cleaning with alcohol wipes used to be advised, most doctors now recommend to leave it alone -- one less thing for you to do. That said, if the area gets dirty from poop or pee, go ahead and clean it with a baby wipe or a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab. Many caregivers also prefer to fold the diaper down in front (or buy
newborn diapers specially designed with the belly button area cut out) so the cord doesn’t get irritated or rubbed the wrong way.
Mommy Calls: Dr. Tanya Answers Parents' Top 101 Questions About Babies and Toddlers

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Mommy Calls: Dr. Tanya Answers Parents' Top 101 Questions About Babies and Toddlers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------The must-have resource for parents of children up to age three! Small enough to fit in a diaper bag, but big on...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.