Can you get baby's umbilical cord wet?
You can use plain water, or a mild, liquid baby cleanser that you've added to his bathwater. Getting your baby's stump wet won't slow up healing or make an infection more likely as long as you dry the cord afterwards by gently patting the stump with a soft, clean towel or cloth.
It's fine to give your baby a bath before his umbilical cord stump has fallen off and healed. Bathing your baby won't make an infection in the stump more likely, and it won't slow down the healing process . Just be sure that you allow it to dry off properly afterwards.
- Some babies love being in the water, and giving your baby a warm bath can become a fun and relaxing ritual. That's not to say you have to bathe your baby every day. If your baby is newborn, a bath two times or three times a week is enough to keep him clean (AWHONN 2013, NHS Choices 2013).
- Bathing Your Newborn. During her first week or two, until the stump of the umbilical cord falls off, your newborn should have only sponge baths. In a warm room, lay the baby anywhere that's flat and comfortable for both of you—a changing table, bed, floor, or counter next to the sink will do.
- In fact, your newborn baby will only really need a bath two or three times a week — at first a sponge bath, until his umbilical cord stump heals (about one to four weeks after birth), then a baby tub bath, and eventually a tub bath, when baby can sit up on his own and outgrows the infant tub).
After the umbilical cord stump dries up, falls off, and the area heals, you can start giving your newborn a tub bath every few days. It's easiest to use the kitchen sink or a small plastic baby tub filled with warm water instead of a standard tub.
- Here's how:
- Lay your baby on a towel.
- Gently wash your baby's face with a lukewarm, wet washcloth.
- Add soap to the wet cloth to wash your baby's body.
- Rinse your baby off with water and pat your baby dry.
- Cup your hand under warm water and gently pour it over your baby's head to wet your baby's hair.
- During the newborn stage, babies usually do not need additional lotion on their skin. Some babies have skin that is very dry and splits, especially around the ankles and hands. You can put olive oil, Vaseline, or A-D ointment on those areas.
- Newborns are usually washed in hospital soon after birth, but here's why you may want to wait. She said vernix caseosa, the waxy coating on newborns' skin, is a natural moisturizer and cleanser, and protects against infection. Plus, babies are not good at regulating their temperature, and being bathed doesn't help.
Dip a cotton swab in warm water. Squeeze the tip to remove the excess water. Gently clean around the base of the cord and then the surrounding skin, then hold the stump with a clean absorbent cloth to dry it completely. It is important that the umbilical cord remain clean and dry until it falls off naturally.
- During the healing process, it's normal to see a little blood near the stump. Much like a scab, the cord stump might bleed a little when it falls off. However, contact your baby's doctor if the umbilical area oozes pus, the surrounding skin becomes red and swollen, or the area develops a pink moist bump.
- Umbilical cord care in newborns. When your baby is born the umbilical cord is cut and there is a stump left. The stump should dry and fall off by the time your baby is 5 to 15 days old. Keep the stump clean with gauze and water only.
- It's normal for your baby's stump to look a bit mucky as it's healing, or even to have pus at the base. This doesn't mean that it's infected . However, if your baby has the following symptoms, then his stump may be infected: His navel and the surrounding area is swollen or red .
Updated: 8th October 2018