Leave the umbilical cord exposed to the open air. It should be kept as clean and dry as possible. With a cotton-tipped applicator dipped in rubbing alcohol, clean around the navel, deep in the crevice between the cord and the skin, three or four times each day. If the skin around the cord becomes red or inflamed, please call your pediatrician.
The cord will usually fall off between one and three weeks after birth. The cord site may then drain a small amount of creamy or bloody mucous for up to 10 additional days.
If you leave the hospital within 24 hours after birth, the cord may not have been dry enough to remove the cord clamp before you went home. If this is the case, bring your child to our office at 2-3 days of age. One of our nurses will remove the clamp for you.