When you are expecting parent all you can think of is carrying your baby home. You will be eagerly anticipating for its birth, and as soon as it comes you will no doubt be swept away in an emotional tidal wave. It will be an overwhelming feeling, and all you would want to do will be to cuddle, hold and pay special attention to its feeding needs. All of this is only natural, and no one wants, or even expects, you to do any different. However, amidst this emotional upheaval you should not overlook your baby's umbilical cord stump. The umbilical cord can be extremely painful to look at due to its unsightly view, that's because it you don't take special care for it; it can become painful for your baby. That is why, you will need to give it special attention and see that your newborn's stump heals quickly and correctly. The umbilical cord stump, if all goes well, is supposed to dry up and shrivel until it gradually falls off. The stump should take about one to two weeks to fall off. There are certain simple techniques that will help you in taking care of your baby's umbilical cord stump. These procedures are as follows:
First and foremost, try your utmost best to keep the baby's umbilical cord stump and the surrounding skin as dry and possible. Take special care to dry it after you bathe the baby. The stump falls off quicker if the skin dry. However, if the skin is allowed to remain wet, it may give way to infection. Make sure that the stump is thoroughly cleaned before you change the diaper. Also, make sure the stump is in a comfortable position for the baby before you put on the diaper; so to avoid any unnecessary pain to the baby.
For cleaning the baby's umbilical cord stump, you can use a warm wet cotton bud / swab with soap. Squeeze the excess water from the bud or swab and then wipe the cord stump, and it surrounding skin, extremely gently. There are certain ointments and other solutions that are made for this purpose. They can be used instead of the warm cotton swab with soap. Rubbing alcohol is also an alternative.
Take care to clean away any kind of sticky, dirty or wet layer that may form on the stump.
After showers, use a soft clean cloth to wipe away the water from the stump and the surrounding skin.
Even after the stump falls off, continue to keep the area dry; this will quicken the process of healing the navel.
Taking care to keep the umbilical cord stump over the folds of the diaper, also helps to quicken the healing faster. This exposes the stump to air, which helps to keep the stump and the surrounding skin dry. Keeping the stump above the diaper folds will help prevent any infections that may set in due to exposure to the diaper's contents like urine.
Try your best not to let water slide directly onto the stump and the surrounding area, while bathing the baby. Hence, you should give your baby sponge baths only till the stump falls off.