During your pregnancy, the umbilical cord is essential in supplying oxygen and nutrients to the little life within you. After your baby’s delivery, the umbilical cord is clamped and snipped but there is still a bit of umbilical cord attached to the baby’s navel. The umbilical cord stump requires proper cleaning and care to avoid umbilical cord infection. To help you take care of your baby’s umbilical cord, here are some of the tips on how to clean the baby’s umbilical cord. 

Be prepared

How to clean a baby’s umbilical cord? The first step that you should do is to be prepared. You have to ensure that all the necessary things you’ll need are all with you before you start the process. Remember that you are not allowed to leave your baby alone that’s why it is important to gather all the items needed before the cleaning process. 

Wash your hands properly 

To prevent any infection, it is important to wash your hands properly before handling your baby’s umbilical cord. Washing your hands is an excellent way to lower the chance of getting and spreading germs and bacteria that might cause an infected umbilical cord. This might seem simple but this is indeed a great way on how to clean baby’s umbilical cord that you should always take note of. 

Check for any sign of infection 

You should be knowledgeable about the difference between normal vs infected umbilical cord. You should always check for any signs of infection like the umbilical cord smell (umbilical cord smells like a dead animal), umbilical cord bleeding, fever, redness, lethargy, irritation and poor feeding. Once you notice any of these signs while you are cleaning your baby’s umbilical cord, then it is best to consult your doctor immediately. 

Start wiping the cord down 

One of the steps on how to clean a baby’s umbilical cord is to wipe the umbilical cord down. You need to dip a cotton swab in lukewarm water. Make sure that you squeeze the tip of the cotton to remove the water. Clean the base of the cord and the skin around it. You also need to hold the umbilical cord stump using the absorbent cloth to dry it. Keep in mind that it is very necessary to keep the cord clean and dry and allow it to fall off naturally. 

Dry the umbilical cord

To dry the umbilical cord, you need to hold a clean and absorbent cloth and wipe the whole area until it becomes dry. Take note that when you put the baby’s diaper, you have to ensure that you will not cover the stump. 

Skip the unnecessary things 

You always need to remember that it is not advisable to use oils, lotion or powder around the umbilical cord. These things are considered unnecessary and it can cause infection. 

Umbilical cord caring tips 

Aside from the ways on how to clean the baby’s umbilical cord, it is also necessary to know the basic umbilical cord caring tips. To help you have some knowledge about this matter, here are some of the umbilical cord caring tips that you should take note of. 

  • Ensure its cleanliness. Once you notice that the umbilical cord or stump is dirty, clean it immediately with a clean and wet cloth. There is no need to use alcohol or soap because it might irritate your baby’s skin. 
  • Keep it dry. You have to ensure its exposure to air to keep it dry and for the stump to fall off naturally. 
  • Sponge bath for now. Since the stump does not fall off yet, it is best to stick with a sponge bath for the moment. Once you notice that the stump falls off naturally, then this is the best time to bathe your baby in his cute size tub. 
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothes for your baby. When choosing a dress for your newborn, make sure that you will use loose-fitting clothes to allow air circulation and avoid scrubbing off the stump against the clothes. 
  • Don’t try to remove the scab because it will fall naturally. You have to resist removing the scab because when you pulled it off, it can cause bleeding. When bleeding occurs, it is best to consult your doctor immediately. 

Taking care of the baby’s umbilical cord is very important to avoid infection. These tips on how to clean the baby’s umbilical cord can be your guide in dealing with this situation. With proper care and attention, you will surely prevent infections and bacteria from spreading.  

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