Diapering and Cord Care

How to protect baby's umbilical cord stump from infection.

When your newborn comes home from the hospital, she'll still have her umbilical cord stump. It will fall off within two weeks, but until then, it needs to be cared for so that it doesn't get infected.

  • Each time you diaper your baby, use cotton balls to gently swab the cord area with rubbing alcohol or water.
  • It's important that the cord be exposed to air, so fold down baby's diaper.
  • There are also special newborn diapers designed to fit around the cord stump, and even newborn bodysuits (new from Pampers) with a hole at the belly button if you're especially concerned.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, January 2004.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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