Newborn Umbilical Cord Care
Infection Free Simple Steps

Umbilical cord care starts from birth until after the stump falls off. We have found with all of our babies that within 5 to 7 days the umbilical cord stump will fall off, but we keep on cleaning the stump for at least another week. Have no worries, the cord will dry up, wither and drop off naturally.

Here are a few things we like to keep in mind that can help you when caring for your newborn and for their cord.

  • Apply rubbing alcohol on a sterile swab or cotton ball to the stump
  • Keep the cord as dry as possible
  • Clean the cord, the stump and any skin creases around the stump
  • After every diaper change & sponge bath clean the stump
  • Fold the top of your baby's diaper so the cord is not covered by it
  • Cover or lightly wrap a gauze pad around the cord & stump area
  • Be patient and never pull or pinch off the stump
  • Call your pediatrician if it is swollen, red or smelly

The basics are to clean as often as you change your baby and within a week it should fall off. Throw it in the garbage or keep it as a keepsake.

Caring for your baby's umbilical cord and stump is an important step in preventing infection. We have noticed that with this regular approach to caring for the umbilical cord, it tends to dry up and fall off on its own within a few days to a week once new Mum is home again(approx. 10-12 days from birth) Our 6th child had the fastest "fall off". Just a couple of days after Mum returned home the dried up umbilical cord stump fell off. To complete our baby umbilical cord care we like to continue cleaning for a few more days to a week after the stump has fallen off to really ensure that the area is clean and free of bacteria that could start an infection.

Enjoy your baby and if you ever feel concerns, or the umbilical cord stump is red, smells bad or is swollen, call your pediatrician and make an appointment to have it checked directly.

Return from Umbilical Cord Care to Babies

Return to Family-Life-Parenting