3 Things to Know About Caring for Baby's Umbilical Cord

Less is more for his future belly button! Follow these simple tips to help ensure proper healing.

Baby with healing umbilical cord stump Jenn Dunham/Shutterstock
1. Let It Breathe

Fold down diapers or use notched newborn diapers to expose the cord stump, says Molly Broder, M.D., of Montefiore Medical Center, in New York City.

2. Stay Dry

Gently wipe the area with a clean, damp washcloth or sponge if the stump gets dirty. Until it falls off, avoid baths as well as rubbing alcohol, which can be irritating.

3. Be Patient

Once the stump falls off, wait a few more days before a bath, to ensure the area is healed. If it seems tender, red, or swollen, it might be infected—call your doctor.