How to take care of the umbilical cord stump during winter and summer?
Congratulations! Finally, you welcomed your baby. You’ll see that the umbilical cord is still attached to your baby. During pregnancy, it supplies your baby with nutrients and oxygen, but posts pregnancy it is no longer needed. It no longer serves a life-sustaining purpose, as it did in your womb.
But still, it needs to be treated with the utmost care before it falls off. It is very essential that you keep it dry and clean. And it must be in contact with air. After birth, the umbilical cord is clipped. And that is when it leaves a short stump.
During your pregnancy nourishment to your baby is provided through the umbilical cord. It helps in the development of your baby. Taking care of it is very necessary.
Dry: The first and foremost thing is to keep it dry. It shouldn’t get wet. Till it falls off, it is suggested that instead of giving a tub bath, a sponge bath should be given to keep it clean. You can fold the front of the diaper so that it doesn’t come in contact with the stump. This way it won’t come in contact with urine or stool of your baby.
Clean: Apart from keeping it dry, the umbilical stump should be kept clean as well. If the stump and the area around it are sticky or dirty, you can clean it with a wet cloth thoroughly, but gently.
Sponge bath: Initially your baby doesn’t need to be bathed every day. Giving them a bath 2-3 times a week is enough. Till the time the stump falls off it is advised to give a sponge bath to your baby, instead of a tub bath.
Clothes: Avoid overdressing your baby, it is essential to keep the umbilical stump dry. You can get clothes specially made for your baby, which have a hole in the umbilical stump area. Loose-fitting clothes are much preferred to promote ventilation.
• Let it fall naturally. Don’t try to pull or nudge the umbilical stump. When it’s time, it will fall off naturally.
The winter season can be chilly for your baby and harsh on his skin. Winters bring much less moisture than the summer season. Wounds tend to heal fast if there is moisture in the air. Therefore the umbilical cord requires more care during the winter season.
• To keep it dry is to prevent it from any kind of infection.
• Due to the chilly weather, you might want to dress up your baby fully but it’s better if you prevent that till the umbilical stump falls off; as it needs to be kept dry. You can also order clothes with a hole in the umbilical stump area.
• Avoid bundling him or restricting him in blankets, as it might lead to excessive sweating which can irritate the stump and the area around it.
You might have the urge to keep your baby swaddled during winters, but try and keep the stump in contact with air, till it falls off. One advantageous point during the winter season is due to the cold weather it’s preferable to give your baby less number of baths. Hence it keeps the umbilical stump dry.
The summer season is filled with humidity, moisture, and sweat. Even though moisture is required to prevent your baby’s skin from getting dry, excess of it can irritate his skin. As stated before the stump needs to be kept dry.
• Dressing your baby during the summer is not necessary like it is during the winter. Due to the heat, your baby can just wear a diaper. This gives your baby’s stump ample access to air.
• In case of excessive heat, you might want to bathe your baby regularly. Instead of bathing him regularly, you can just give him a sponge bath or clean him with a wet cloth.
• Rash and infections are very common during the summer. Make sure your baby is in contact with air and is clean to avoid any infections.
There is not much change in taking care of the umbilical stump, whether it is summer or winter season. There are only a few things to be kept in mind. The stump usually falls off between 7-21 days, max a month.
Once it falls off there might be some blood present, but it is normal and soon it turns into a cute little belly button. If it doesn’t fall within the stipulated period, you can always consult your doctor. The best way to take care of the umbilical stump is to leave it alone.