Caring for your baby’s navel is of utmost importance. Parents need to observe precaution while cleaning this sensitive area as it is vulnerable to infections and other blood complications. This article provides some crucial tips for caring for your baby’s belly button.
Think of babies and the first image that crops up into your mind is of a little fluffy, cute, bubbly bundle of joy. Babies tend to bring smile on our faces. That is why they are the apple of your eyes. When your baby arrives, the feeling of being excited and exhausted at the same time, makes one feel pretty nervous and intimidated. Parents fear practically about everything and that’s when the issue of caring for your baby’s delicate areas arises.
The umbilical cord is one such area which needs special care. The umbilical cord is the connecting link, which keeps your unborn baby nourished and supplies him/her with oxygen in your womb. Immediately after birth, the cord is clamped and a part of the cord is still attached to the baby’s navel. The navel cord has to dry and fall off on its own. It takes around one to two weeks to dry off. Usually while drying, the cord may change color from yellow-green to black. That is when, following the doctor’s advice and some home care tips come to your rescue.
Tips on Navel Care
Clean the Area Without Water
After the delivery, in the first hour, the cord is cleaned by an antiseptic at the hospital in order to avoid infections. Also, it’s important for the parents to remember that the clamp should be removed by the doctors at the hospital. After discharge, the pediatrician will suggest cleaning the area with alcohol at least 2-3 times in a day so as to fasten the healing process. It is also important to keep the diapers tied below the navel area and let the area be exposed to air. It is best to change soiled diapers immediately so as to avoid leaks, which might affect the navel area. If at all the stump looks dirty, then wipe it gently with a mild soapy, cotton washcloth and then let it dry. Avoid using lotions and powders near the navel area. During this time, it’s most important to stick to sponge baths.
Use Loose Fitting Clothes
Even though you might be tempted to try on those beautiful fitting clothes on your little prized possession, it is best to use loose clothes. Loose clothes do not stick to the body and allow free air flow to the navel area. Natural drying is what most of the doctor’s recommend so as to enable the cord to fall off faster. So stocking on a lot of undershirts is a better idea till the cord dries off. Also, it’s crucial to wash the clothes before your baby wears as it will be hygienic and comfortable for the sensitive skin.
Signs to Lookout for
Even though you might be tempted to remove that dirty thing sticking off your baby’s navel, resist that temptation as it might lead to an infection. Let it dry on its own and even if it’s hanging, it is best to leave it untouched. It is normal to see some swelling and a little bit of discharge as the cord falls off. The doctor might prescribe a silver nitrate powder. After following the above tips, it’s rare that your baby might get infection, but there are some warning signs which require attention.
- If the stump emits an odorous smell or it releases any foul-smelling fluid, it is necessary to seek the doctor’s help immediately.
- Even if the area around the navel is irritated or the baby is having fever, it becomes a medical emergency to contact your baby’s pediatrician.
- When the stump gets dried, it is normal that it bleeds a little as it will get dried and form a crust over the area. But if the bleeding doesn’t stop after seven minutes, you should contact the pediatrician.
- There might be some minor problems that need to be supervised by your pediatrician. Like, when the cord has fallen off there is swelling, moisture and continuous yellow-green pus around the navel area, which carries a medical term known as ‘umbilical granuloma’. The condition is treated with medicine or stitches might be required.
- Another condition is ‘umbilical hernia’, which is a protruding tissue around the navel area, which is seen after the cord falls off. Here, with the doctor’s regular monitoring, the condition will go away.
Taking care of the newborn’s needs brings in a lot of apprehensions and anxieties, but with proper understanding about these minor but significant details, the parents can overcome these negative emotions with a smile. Even though some people might say that it’s a challenge to take care of your baby, but with your maternal instinct you can avoid all the blunders.
It’s important to stop stressing and start focusing on time management techniques and in no time you can be a pro to changing diapers, feeding and giving baths to your little angel. The best thing about being a parent is that when you are home after a tired day’s work, your baby provides you with that instant energy which helps you release all the tensions in a second and makes you laugh without a reason. Even if your baby is growing, one thing is never going to change – all the troubles are going to be taken care by Mommy and Daddy.