baby belly button

How to Make a Newborn’s Belly Button Go In l How to Take Care of a Baby’s Umbilical Cord

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Throughout pregnancy, the baby inside the womb gets oxygen and other nutrients from the mother through the umbilical cord. After the baby’s birth, they do not need the umbilical cord anymore, which is why your doctor or midwife clamped and cut it off. Your baby will not feel any pain while it is snipped off. The umbilical cord is a living tissue that contains blood vessels. Your baby’s belly button will not immediately form after cutting it. This area needs some time to heal to form the usual skin-colored belly button.

umbilical cord

How to take care of a baby’s belly button (umbilical cord stump):

Being a parent, you are likely worried about how you can take care of your baby’s belly button, or umbilical cord stump. Don’t worry, just read below to find out the answer.

Don’t touch it again and again:

Your baby’s umbilical cord stump dries out and eventually falls off, usually within one to three weeks after birth. Try not to touch it repeatedly because the belly button will heal faster if it is left alone.

Keep the stump area clean:

It is imperative to keep the umbilical cord stump and surrounding skin clean and dry; this primary care helps prevent infection. It may also help the umbilical cord stump to fall off and the navel to heal more quickly. In case the stump gets dirty or sticky, use plain boiled water to clean it. Then dry it by using a clean, absorbent cloth or cotton wool. Don’t allow the cord to stay wet. Be sure to wash your hands before and after you touch the cord. 

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Keep the stump area dry:

In the past, parents were advised to swab the stump with rubbing alcohol after every diaper change. Recent research says this might kill bacteria that can help the cord dry and separate. Because of this, many doctors don’t recommend applying alcohol to your baby’s cord stump. Keep in mind that with umbilical cord dry care, you are supposed to wash the cord with soap and water when it becomes soiled, wipe it with a dry cotton swab, and then allow it to air-dry, as long as the temperature is comfortable. Allow the baby to get some indirect sunlight on their belly. Sunlight is an excellent healer, and it has many health benefits too. The sunlight will help dry the cord and give the baby plenty of vitamin D to support their immune system.

Give your baby sponge baths:

Stick to sponge baths when the stump is healing because sponge baths make it easier to keep the stump dry. You can bathe them in a bathtub or sink after the stump falls off. 

Avoid irritating the cord:

Make sure the cord is out of the diaper. Keep the front of your baby’s diaper folded down to avoid covering the stump. Inspect the umbilical cord at every diaper change to make sure there is no redness there. Choose clothes that are easy to slide over the cord without being too tight around the belly button. 

umbilical cord

Wait and watch:

If you take care of your baby’s umbilical cord stump, and you will see that in time your baby’s belly button will naturally go in. Soon enough you will know if your baby has an innie or an outie. Generally, the cord pulls in and becomes more of an innie when the baby develops and strengthens their abdominal muscles, but you can also tape a coin over the belly button to prevent it from pooching out.

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What You Need to Know

· Most umbilical cord stumps look worse than they are. Right after birth, an umbilical cord stump usually looks white and shiny and may feel slightly damp. As the stump dries and heals, it may look brown, grey, or even black. This is normal. Usually, no problems will occur as long as you keep the area clean and dry.

· The umbilical cord stump usually falls off in 1 or 2 weeks. Sometimes the stump falls off before the first week. Other times, the stump may stay longer.

· You may notice a red, raw-looking spot right after the stump falls off. A small amount of fluid, sometimes tinged with blood, may ooze out of the navel area. This typically lasts up to 2 weeks after the stump falls off. If it doesn’t heal or dry entirely within two weeks, call your doctor.

Signs you need to visit your pediatrician about umbilical cord issues:

Visit your pediatrician if you see any signs of an infection. These signs include:

· Pus (yellowish fluid) around the base of the cord and smells terrible.

· Red, tender, swollen skin around the base of the cord.

· Your baby cries whenever you touch the cord or the skin around it.

· A moist, red lump on your baby’s navel that lasts for more than two weeks after the umbilical cord has fallen off. This may be a piece of extra tissue called an umbilical granuloma. Your baby’s doctor can treat this minor problem.

· Bulging tissue around the navel, usually seen after the umbilical cord falls off. This may be an umbilical hernia, which usually goes away on its own, but it should be watched by a doctor.

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· The stump still hasn’t separated after three weeks. This might be a sign of an underlying problem; it may be an infection or immune system disorder.

· In very rare cases, a piece of the baby’s intestine can get caught in the opening, which can cut off blood flow to the area and require immediate surgery. Vomiting and constipation may also be symptoms of this problem.

umbilical cord

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