The  umbilical cord connects the fetus to the placenta in the mother’s womb. This is the conduit through which oxygen-rich blood is transferred to your baby, while waste is carried away from them. When the baby is born, there is no use for the cord. It is thus clamped and cut, leaving behind a stump 1-2 inches long. The cutting process is not usually painful, considering the code has no nerves. This stump will dry off and fall on its own within two weeks. Until that happens, here is how to take care of your newborn’s umbilical cord.

How to take care of your newborn’s umbilical cord.

Let it fall on its own – There might be the urge to pull it and get it over with, especially when it already looks healed, but be gentle and let if fall off by itself because it will.

Keep the code clean and dry – In order to hasten the process of falling of and healing, ensure the cord is always dry, exposing it to moisture will only serve to lengthen the process of falling off.

Sponge bathe the baby – Adopt sponge baths over sink baths. Sink baths will most likely result in water getting to the  cord which will interfere with the drying and thus, the length of time it will take to fall off.

Avoid covering the cord – When changing diapers, try as much as possible not to cover the umbilical cord. Leaving it uncovered will again promote healing and drying.

When to see a doctor

Remember, not all babies have these stumps falling off in two weeks. For some, it might go to three weeks. However, it is best to see the doctor when you notice any of these:

  • Discharge that is white or yellow in colour
  • Swelling or redness
  • When contact causes the baby to cry
  • Bloody discharge from the code

ALSO READ: How to deal with vaginal discharge in newborns