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Caring for your baby's umbilical cord before it falls off

This was one of the issues that gave a bit of concern in the first 7 days, I don't know where we got the idea that the umbilical cord needs to fall off before 7 days. Doctors have said to give it 1-2 weeks for it to dry and fall off. The most important thing is to keep the area infection free by taking proper care of it. Here are ways to care for the cord while you wait. 

  • Keep the area clean; When you are leaving the hospital, you would be told to use cotton wool and spirit. I want to suggest using cotton bud as it is small and can be more targeted with cleaning.

  • Open it up let it dry; We are in Nigeria and realistically I know grandma won't agree when you say you want to wash-cloth bath your baby till the cord falls off and we keep stacking up the cloths in this humid climate so, ensure you take some time during the day to open it up. I noticed because of the baths we were giving him it wasn't drying up at the rate is was supposed to, so we opened it up and the cord fell off in a few days. 
Those are the most important things. Keep it clean, keep it dry and don't sweat it if it doesn't fall off before the naming. What you should sweat is if there are signs of infection which are 

  • Base appears red or swollen
  • Continues to bleed
  • Oozes yellowish or white pus
  • Produces foul smelling discharge
  • Seems painful to the baby
Please if you notice any of these, contact your doctor immediately. 

How did you care for your baby's Umbilical cord?


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