Although former protocol called for applying rubbing alcohol to baby’s cord stump, doctors now advise parents to let it do its thing until it falls off (usually within the first two weeks). Until then, remember these tips.
Keep it dry. Take care not to get the stump wet, which can cause infection or slow down the drying-out process.
Air it out. If the temperature allows, let baby go shirtless for a bit to get some air on her belly. (It’s a great excuse to admire that sweet, round tummy!)
Let it be. When dressing your newbie, check that her clothing doesn’t rub or irritate her cord stump, and fold diapers beneath it.
Watch it closely. If you see pus or tender red skin around the stump, suspect that it’s painful for baby (she cries when you touch it or the skin around it), or she has a fever, call your pediatrician. These are all signs of a possible infection.
Tip: It might be tempting, but don’t handle the cord stump unless necessary. Even if it’s barely hanging by a thread, resist the urge to pull it off.
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