To treat umbilical cord bleeding, hold a sterile gauze pad to the cord with gentle pressure as instructed by your child’s healthcare provider. This will usually stop the bleeding. If bleeding still does not stop after applying pressure, call your child’s provider or seek treatment right away.
You may notice a red, raw-looking spot right after the stump falls off. A small amount of fluid sometimes tinged with blood may ooze out of the navel area. It is normal for this to last up to 2 weeks after the stump falls off. If it doesn’t heal or dry completely within 2 weeks, call your doctor or nurse call line.
Keep the navel (belly button) clean and dry. If there are any secretions, clean them away. Use a wet cotton swab. Then, dry carefully.
- After the cord falls off, continue sponge baths for a few more days.
- Help the belly button area dry up.
- Then, tub baths will be fine.
If you spot pus, bleeding, swelling, or discoloration, call your doctor right away. When the belly button has totally healed, the stump will easily fall off on its own. Some parents save the stump as a nostalgic reminder of the baby’s connection to mom.
Slight bleeding from the umbilical cord stump is generally not serious and usually resolves within the first few weeks after birth. In rare cases, newborn belly button bleeding can indicate the baby has an infection at the site of the umbilical cord stump.
Your baby’s umbilical cord stump dries out and eventually falls off — usually within one to three weeks after birth.
In the meantime, treat the area gently:
- Keep the stump dry. …
- Stick with sponge baths. …
- Let the stump fall off on its own.
How to identify an umbilical cord infection
- red, swollen, warm, or tender skin around the cord.
- pus (a yellow-greenish liquid) oozing from the skin around the cord.
- a bad smell coming from the cord.
- a fussy, uncomfortable, or very sleepy baby.
When can I give my newborn a bath?
Before giving your baby her first tub bath, wait until her umbilical cord falls off, which usually happens ten to 14 days after birth. When your baby is ready to go in the tub, it’s fine to use just water. If you do use soap, choose a mild one made for babies so it doesn’t irritate her skin.
Can a baby’s umbilical cord get infected?
In most cases, the umbilical cord stump dries up and falls off the newborn within the first few weeks of life. But sometimes an infection can develop. This may cause the area around the cord to swell and become inflamed, red, or tender. There may be cloudy, discolored, or bad-smelling discharge from the cord.
Antibiotic Ointment for Pus:
- If any pus is present, use an antibiotic ointment (such as Polysporin).
- No prescription is needed.
- Put a tiny amount on the belly button.
- Do this 2 times per day after the area has been cleaned.
- Do this for 2 days. After that, use the antibiotic ointment only if you see more pus.
Clean your baby’s belly button after washing her face, eyes, hair, and upper body. Take the washcloth, gently wipe in and around the belly button, rinse the area, and then finish the bath, says Dr. LoFrumento. Dry the belly button the same way you would dry the other parts of your baby’s body.
How long after umbilical cord falls off can you bathe baby?
Only give your newborn sponge baths until the stump of the umbilical cord falls off, which usually happens by about one or two weeks of age. If it remains beyond that time, there may be other issues at play. See the baby’s doctor if the cord has not dried up and fallen off by the time the baby is two months old.