Cord Care

Before you leave the hospital, your healthcare team will discuss cord care with you. You’ll notice that there is a clamp on your baby’s umbilical cord. This will be kept on the cord for 24 hours, or until the cord is dry enough for the clamp to be removed. The nursery staff will discuss with you how to take care of the cord.

You should always wash your hands before and after cleaning your baby’s umbilical cord or changing a diaper. When you clean the cord, gently pull up and clean around the base with a soft cloth. Be gentle, but keep in mind that you won’t hurt your baby since the umbilical cord has no feeling.

The umbilical cord will fall off in about 10 days to three weeks. Until then, turn down the top part of the diaper to make sure the cord gets plenty of air. If your baby has a fever or the cord has a foul odor, redness, drainage, bleeding, or signs of infection, be sure to contact your healthcare team right away.