Your baby received nutrients through the umbilical cord but now that they are out of the tum tum, the cord is cut (don’t panic, it doesn’t hurt). This is how to take care of it till the stump dries up and falls off.
- Keep the area clean- Use cotton balls with a bit of spirit to gently clean round the stump. Use a fresh cotton ball with each sweep of the area.
- Keep the area dry- If weather permits you to leave baby in a light tshirt, this helps the stump to dry up quicker. Use newborn diapers with a cut out or fold the diaper to prevent the cord from being irritated by constant rubbing.
- Give baby sponge baths- Do not submerge baby’s stump under water until it has fallen off but rather use cotton balls dipped in water and perhaps a bit of aqueous cream to wipe them down.
- Allow it to fall off- Do not pull it off even if it looks like it is hanging by a thread. It is better to let the process happen naturally.
- Watch out for signs of infection- If there is continuous bleeding, red or swollen under belly, yellowish or white foul smelling pus or if it seems painful when you touch it then pay your paediatrition a visit.
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