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Health Tip: Caring for Baby's Umbilical Cord

Keep stump clean and dry

(HealthDay News) -- Baby's umbilical cord stump needs special care until it falls off -- usually within eight weeks of birth.

The American Academy of Pediatrics mentions these tips for new parents:

  • Make sure the cord stump stays clean and dry.
  • Give baby a sponge bath (not a regular bath) until the cord stump falls off.
  • Fold the edge of the diaper below the cord to keep urine away from it.
  • Call the doctor if the stump bleeds more than a few drops or shows signs of infection, including discharge, redness or sensitivity to touch.

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