Every newborn has a tiny bump in the spot where their navel is called an umbilical cord stump. This is a very tender spot that should be left alone until it falls off of the baby by itself. Once it does fall off some parents find it to be a nice keepsake of their child when they were a baby. Sometimes when the umbilical cord falls off you never know it and you don’t find it.
The stump may not fall off for a couple weeks and during this time you need to watch out for infection. If the stump starts to bleed, look swollen and red, or it starts to leak out a thick yellow liquid you may need to see your doctor. You will notice that it does not smell the best ever but if the smell becomes worse this could be a sign of an infection.
The stump of the umbilical cord needs to dry up and then it will fall off the baby. You may want to give the baby a sponge bath everyday until the stump falls off. When you bath a baby that still have a stump avoid getting the stump wet. If you do get it wet hold a clean absorbent towel over the area gently to dry it. Never rub it or you could make it very sore and even cause an infection to develop. You can also dry the area by fanning it until it is dry but I do not recommend this unless it is very warm to prevent your baby from getting cold.
As the stump of the cord ages avoid touching it. Let it get air and don’t rub it. The stump is healing your baby like a scab and it should be left alone to protect the area until it falls off naturally. Do not pick or try to remove the umbilical cord even if it is hanging on by a very small amount. If you do you could cause the area to bleed and if it starts to bleed you need to take your child to the doctor.
You should always change your baby’s diapers regularly but it is more important as the cord is healing. Keep the child dry and change the diapers when they get wet to avoid infection. You can read more about how to care for your babies umbilical cord at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/umbilical-cord/PR00046/NSECTIONGROUP=2.