Understanding Your Newborn's Umbilical Cord Separation
After the joy of welcoming your little one into the world, you'll notice they come with a little keepsake from their time in the womb: the umbilical cord stump. At Childhealthy, we understand that parents often have questions about this natural process. Here’s a simple guide to help you know what to expect.
When will the umbilical cord stump fall off?
Typically, the umbilical cord stump dries out and falls off one to three weeks after birth. It will change colour from yellowish-green to brown to black as it dries, which is completely normal.
- Keep the stump dry. This helps it fall off faster. There’s no need to swab the stump with alcohol; simply exposing it to air does the trick.
- Fold your baby's nappy away from the stump to keep it exposed to air and avoid irritation.
- Sponge bathe your baby rather than placing them in a tub until the stump has fallen off.
What to watch for:
The stump should drop off by the time your baby is around three weeks old. If it's taking longer, a visit to the paediatrician might be necessary4.
After the stump falls off:
Once the stump falls off, you might notice a small wound. This is normal and should heal within a few days.
Remember, every baby is unique, and so is their healing process. If you have any concerns about your baby's umbilical cord stump, don't hesitate to contact your health visitor or GP.
Disclaimer: Information contained in this article is intended as general advice and does not replace a medical assessment. If you are concerned about your child, please contact your doctor for advice.
Book your appointment
Clinic, remote appointments and home visits are available daily.
We can always find a time to suit you, so please do ask if you are having difficulty finding a suitable time.