A 2016 study showed that best practice is to keep the area clean and dry. Here's how to do that: Use a cotton swab or washcloth dampened with water (and soap if you must) to wipe away any blood or secretions. Don't worry — a few drops of blood and clear secretions are totally fine.
"After the cord falls off, the stump may be moist and have bit of bleeding around the edges," says Gritchen. You can "simply wash with soap and water and pat dry," she adds. After the belly button area is completely healed and dry, you can begin a normal bath rountine for your baby.
After the cord has fallen off, the navel will gradually heal. It's normal for the center to look red at the point of separation. It's not normal if the redness spreads on to the belly. It's normal for the navel to ooze some secretions.
How long does it take for the belly button to heal after the umbilical cord falls off? The skin underneath the stump may be a little red when the dried stump first falls off, but it should soon heal—usually within two weeks.
Researchers now say this might kill bacteria that can help the cord dry and separate. Instead, expose the stump to air to help dry out the base. Keep the front of your baby's diaper folded down to avoid covering the stump.
After birth, the cord is clamped and cut. Eventually between 1 to 3 weeks the cord will become dry and will naturally fall off. During the time the cord is healing it should be kept as clean and as dry as possible. A sponge bath is the best way to clean your baby until the umbilical cord falls off.
You can use the corner of a washcloth to clean in the belly button, but you don't need to use soap or to scrub too hard. If the belly button still looks like an open wound after the cord falls off, avoid rubbing it until it heals completely.
How long will it take for the belly button to heal? After the stump falls off there will be a small wound. It may take between seven days and 10 days for the area to heal completely .
It's best to sponge-bathe your infant until the umbilical cord falls off and is completely healed. After that, you can place your baby in the water, making sure to support the head and neck at all times. Your baby doesn't need a bath every day. Most babies do well with 2 or 3 baths per week.
With a cotton swab, clean around the umbilical cord every day until the belly button is healed. Don't worry, this doesn't hurt your baby. The umbilical cord is white at birth, but darkens as it dries. It drops off by itself between the 5th and 21st day.
While the stump is drying up and just after it falls off, you might notice some oozing around baby's belly button. This might be clear, sticky or brownish, and it might leave a mark on your baby's clothes or nappy. It might also smell a little. This is part of the healing process.
It is normal for the belly button to look a bit mucky or to have a red spot where the cord used to be. It can also be smelly and have some clear, sticky or brownish ooze that might leave a stain on your baby's nappy or clothes. This is part of the healing process, which may take up to seven days to mend completely.
Your baby should do it often each day. Start tummy time soon after birth. In the first few weeks, try tummy time for 1-2 minutes, 2-3 times a day. Your baby can build up to 10-15 minutes, several times a day.
World Health Organization advocates for dry umbilical cord care and application of topical antiseptics in situations where hygienic conditions are poor or infection rates are high (3, 6). However the Nigerian government recommends the use of Methylated spirit or chlorhexidine solution for cord care (7, 8).
The stump of a newborn's umbilical cord is usually yellowish green at birth. As the stump dries out and eventually falls off — usually within two weeks after birth — it'll change to brown to black. In the meantime, keep the stump clean and dry.
Once the umbilical cord has fallen off and the belly button has healed, you can give your baby her first real bath. The basic principles of warmth and comfort still apply, and supplies should still be within reach. Aim for an every-other-day bath; a daily bath is more apt to dry your baby's delicate skin.
But for most families, bathing the baby two to three times a week is plenty after the first couple of weeks of life. In fact, we recommend delaying your newborn's first full bath for at least two weeks.
Gently clean around the base of the cord and then the surrounding skin, then hold the stump with a clean absorbent cloth to dry it completely. It is important that the umbilical cord remain clean and dry until it falls off naturally.
But just like the rest of your body, they need to be cleaned. In fact, a 2012 study found that 67 different types of bacteria are in the average bellybutton. Most bellybuttons have crevices that can collect dirt and breed bacteria. Aim to clean yours about once a week.
It's usually fine to leave a young baby alone in her crib while you take a quick shower, for example, but this doesn't apply to swings and bouncy seats, which aren't as safe. (If you're really nervous, you can always tote baby in her car seat into the bathroom with you.)
Common bacterial infections for newborns include Group B Strep and E. Coli which can lead to pneumonia and meningitis. By delaying the first bath, you are allowing the vernix to continue working as a safety net for your little one's immune system.
Bath time might be part of your nightly ritual, but doctors actually don't recommend daily baths for babies. Excess exposure to water can zap their skin of moisture and worsen conditions like eczema. Then again, not bathing your baby often enough can also aggravate eczema, plus lead to other infections.