Umbilical Cord:
When will it fall off?

Your newborn's umbilical cord stump is something that your newborn comes home with. It is a rather weird looking part that you are scared to touch and even looking at it gives you jitters. If you feel this way, it’s very natural so don’t fret. It is just a part of the cord that connected your baby with the placenta (from where your baby took all his nourishment while he was inside your womb).

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When will the Umbilical Cord fall?

This is a very common question that arises in the minds of mothers the moment they see the tiny little thing attached to their little one's tummy. You will notice the stump drying and eventually falling off any time from the end of first week to the third one.

Special care:

  1. Keep the stump and its surrounding area as clean and dry as possible.
  2. Do not use soapy water or oil near the cord area - keeping it dry will help it heal quickly. Some doctors recommend cleaning it gently with rubbing alcohol and sterile cotton balls once or twice a day. Others just prefer leaving the cord alone till it dries off all by itself. Personally, I just left my daughter's stump area clean and dry (didn't use anything) and the cord came off on the 6th day without any pain or bleeding!
  3. Sponge-bath your baby using a damp cloth/ sponge till the stump dries and falls off. After that you can use bath stands and bath-tubs.
  4. Always make sure that the stump is outside the diaper so that it gets ample air to dry. If it is inside the diaper, it may get infected due to your newborn’s excretion. For this, fold the upper edge of the diaper so that it doesn't cover the stump.
  5. During diaper changes, be careful while moving the hanging stump. Never pull the cord off even when it seems dry or is hanging.
  6. If you feel that pus has started to appear on the base of the stump, or the area is getting red and swelled up, contact your doctor. Your baby may appear cranky or may get fever if there is an infection in the umbilical stump region. Watch out for the signs and consult your doctor immediately if you have any doubts.

The newborn umbilical cord stump is like a delicate little leaf on a tree - when it's time to fall, it will fall. Analyzing it ten times a day with a hope that it will fall off won't trigger the process. Stay calm and enjoy watching your little bud blossom.


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