Dealing with your new baby’s umbilical cord falling off is the first thing you have to deal with in a medical sense with a newborn.
It is hard to make sure the diaper isn’t irritating it or that you don’t accidentally pull on it with their clothing. If even after your careful diapering and care the umbilical cord fell off early, there is no need to panic.
First lets talk about what is the typical time the umbilical cord falls off. According to WebMD, the umbilical cord slowly dries out and shrivels up and then falls off within 1-2 weeks of birth.
If your baby is on the earlier side of that time frame there are a few things to look for to make sure everything is fine.
Signs Of A Problem If The Umbilical Cord Fell Off Early
- Red or raw where it fell off – A tiny amount of blood can be normal similar to when a scab comes off but if it is red and swollen around the area you will want to talk to your doctor. Also, if the area is red for more than two weeks with a bump it may be an umbilical granuloma which is easily treated.
- Yellow fluid (pus) – If it is oozing or smells badly it is a sign of infection.
- Fever – Whenever your newborn has a fever you should call the doctor. It could be a sign of infection.
- Baby cries when you touch around the base – signs of tenderness or swollen tissue can be a sign of a problem.
- Lump around the navel weeks after – This could mean there is an umbilical hernia. This is when tissue is coming through the stomach muscle causing a lump. You should see your doctor but know that it can sometimes can go away on its own.
If you see any of these signs or your mommy gut is telling you something is off then please go see your pediatrician. They can make an assessment and ease your mind of any worry.
Taking Care of the Umbilical Cord While Attached
- Some doctors say to swab the area with alcohol once a day but now most recommend just keeping the area clean. If you notice it is dirty just squeeze soapy water over the area and rinse then pat dry.
- It is important to keep the area around the stump dry. Keep the diaper folded down away from the stump to keep urine away from the area.
- Give your baby sponge baths until the umbilical cord falls off. You shouldn’t immerse it in water.
- Resist any temptation to pull or tug on the cord even if it is just hanging on by a thread. It can cause more blood than expected if you pull on it.
The umbilical cord is such a visual reminder that you and your baby were once attached to each other. You grew and nourished this baby! What an amazing miracle. It is truly mind-blowing to hold your baby and think, “I grew you and you are part of me.”
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Great tips! This is something that I felt undereducated about when I had my little one, this is great for new moms!
Alison | So Chic Life says
Thanks for these tips. I’ve never heard of an umbilical cord falling off too early. Will remember this for any of my friends in the future.
EEk I remember those days of cord care. I don’t quite miss that lol, though I do miss those tiny hands and feet and sweet cooing noises. These are good things to know though.
Jessi Joachim says
I remember being a first time mom and this freaking me out! I was so scared I was going to hurt my baby, but I was so thankful when it did come off.
Me too. I was worried when I was diapering and holding my babies too. I was relieved when it finally fell off.
Di Hickman says
I don’t have babies, long past that age. But this is so useful for new moms or moms to be. Will be sharing with a few moms to be for sure!
Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh says
This is one of those things that I honestly never would have thought of that people had a problem with. I just got really lucky with my mom being around when my oldest was born to help me know all of that stuff. Of course I also didn’t know that it could just fall off early for other reasons…so good to know!
I didn’t realize there was so much care required with the umbilical cord I thought it just came off and that was it. I also have no kids so that probably explains my lack of knowledge on the subject.
A useful blog. I hope many Moms to be would take time to read this. It is worth reading and sharing.
I didn’t even know this was a thing – it must be so stressful for young mothers, especially if it’s your first born. Really appreciate you sharing all this here, it will definitely help many moms xx
Amy Desrosiers says
This post reminds me that I still have each of my children’s umbilical cord stumps in bags somewhere. I know it sounds gross but I could not help myself at the time.
That’s funny!! We can all be super sentimental. I think I felt weird throwing it away too because it was like throwing away a piece of their body.
Mine is two months old now and I didn’t throw it away until tdy, is there any problem with that? Cause since she’s been constipated I dnt know y or mayb that is the cause.
Amber Nelson says
I remember these days. Mine took forever to fall off, but these are good to know!
My boys took forever too but my daughters fell off super fast so I was worried but luckily all was well.
I’m pregnant with my first and feel like I don’t know anything. This was very informative and good information to have! Thank you!
You’re welcome. Congrats on your pregnancy!
I recall monitoring my sons’ umbilical cords very carefully. I was worried about them getting an infection like you warned.
Blythe Alpern says
Very valuable tips that a lot of first-time parents might not be familiar with. I knew you had to take care of the area around the umbilical cord, but I had no idea that there would be issues with it as well.
I don’t know why but caring for that area made me so nervous with both kiddos. I was hyper aware. Haha!
Me too! Anything medical is just not for me. 🙂
I’ll have to pass this info to my expecting friend… I had no idea there was so much too it! very interesting!
Amanda Love says
With four kids, I feel lucky that I never had to experience this. This post is a great guide for new and expecting parents. There will always be signs that your baby is not in a good condition.
Angela Tolsma says
no children here. I didn’t even know it could be an issue to fall off early. It’s good awareness!
These are wonderful tips! Better to know in advance than not know what to do if it happens.
Jae x SCATTERBRAIN says
I’m not yet a mom, but I’m taking note of these things to remember in the future. I had no idea about any of this, so it’s good to have stumbled upon your post!