Remove all drainage and clean an inch around the base. If there is a little drainage is present you may be advised to use antibiotic ointment after each cleaning. Pat the area with a clean cloth and allow it to air-dry. Roll your child’s diapers down below the belly button (navel) until the infection has healed.
If the cord smells bad or seems infected, you can smear a little antibiotic ointment (such as Neosporin®) around and on the base of the cord. You can clean the cord as often as needed, perhaps 3 or 4 times a day.
Signs of an Infected Umbilical Cord Stump
A smelly yellow discharge from the stump area. A reddening of the skin around the stump. Swelling of the navel area. Your baby crying when you touch the stump, indicating it is tender or sore.
Use clean cotton clothing on your newborn and their healing belly button. It’s ok to pull light clothing over the stump, but avoid anything too tight, or fabrics that don’t breathe well.
Infections in newborns remain a leading cause of death worldwide, and doctors believe umbilical cord infections (UCIs) are a major factor in this. However, in developed nations, serious complications from UCIs are rare, as long as the baby receives prompt medical treatment.
Infections are usually minor. Symptoms can include pain, redness, and swelling, and improving hygiene can help. Complete healing can take 9–12 months.
In the meantime, treat the area gently:
- Keep the stump dry. Parents were once instructed to swab the stump with rubbing alcohol after every diaper change. …
- Stick with sponge baths. While there’s no harm in getting the stump wet, sponge baths might make it easier to keep the stump dry.
- Let the stump fall off on its own.
Is Neosporin safe for newborns?
While there is no age limit for Original NEOSPORIN® First Aid Antibiotics, including NEO TO GO!®, we always recommend contacting your physician before treating babies or young children under 2 years of age.
Sometimes an infection in your belly button can result in a brownish or yellowish discharge. Treatment: Your doctor might prescribe antibiotics such as penicillin or cephalosporin (Keflex). Keep your belly button clean and dry.
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 . You may see a little blood spot on your baby’s nappy.
Normal Navel Care:
- Keep the navel (belly button) clean and dry.
- If there are any secretions, clean them away. Use a wet cotton swab. Then, dry carefully.
- Do this gently to prevent any bleeding.
- Caution: Don’t use any rubbing alcohol. Reason: can interfere with healing.
An umbilical granuloma is a moist, red lump of tissue that can form on a baby’s navel (belly button). It can be seen in the first few weeks of life, after the umbilical cord has dried and fallen off. It’s usually a minor problem that looks worse than it is. An umbilical granuloma does not cause pain.
Do you put Vaseline on umbilical cord?
To keep the area dry, fold the diaper below the cord, and refrain from using lotion, powder or petroleum jelly on or near the stump. Don’t attempt to pull off or remove the cord. When it falls off, a small amount of bleeding is natural.
Can you put aquaphor on umbilical cord?
Always let the diaper area air dry for a few minutes before putting on a new diaper. When the skin is dry, you can use Vaseline or a barrier cream (such as Aquaphor, A&D, Desitin, or Butt Paste) to prevent rashes from developing.
Keep The Area Clean
Pediatricians used to recommend cleaning the base of the cord with rubbing alcohol. However, most now recommend leaving the stump completely alone because alcohol is believed to irritate the skin and sometimes delays healing.