Many moms seem to believe once their child's umbilical cord is cut that it's no longer relevant. But the reality is that a baby may have to deal with a bit of a stump for a while. This stump rests inside their belly button and often protrudes out of it. In all honesty, it's pretty unsightly, which is why photos of it aren't included below. However, what is included is a bunch of helpful information about dealing with the umbilical cord stump in the days following a child's birth. These tidbits are vital for a mom to understand since they are often completely overlooked. Some of them have to do with the misconceptions about cleaning them, while others are completely centered around easing some of the worries moms may have about them. Without further ado, here are 20 things moms fail to understand about umbilical cord stumps.
20 It May Stick Around But It Will Definitely Leave
Your child's umbilical cord stump may stick around for a while. In fact, it may last for more than a few days or even weeks. So, it's time to learn to be okay with that. Luckily, these stumps will come off on their own after a while. it could be sooner rather than later. Regardless, there's no right or wrong time for them to detach. Just let it happen when it does.
19 That Stump May Be Unsightly But It Shouldn't Be Covered
We have a tendency to want to hide the things we don't want other people to see. While this may be effective when it comes to our emotions, it's certainly not when it comes to your child's umbilical cord stump. The stump needs oxygen to be able to fully heal and therefore shouldn't be hidden from it. Bandages only make things work and make the stump stick around for longer than it needs to.
18 Sponge Bathing That Baby With A Stump Is The Only Way To Go
You need to be extra careful when cleaning your child's umbilical cord stump. This is because it needs to come off on its own and not be forced. Therefore, sponge bathing is really the only answer. Stumps don't tend to like to be submerged in water but they also don't like to be dried off afterward. A sponge bath is really the safest bet for it as it won't absorb too much water or require a vigorous dry afterward.
17 Rubbing Alcohol Isn't All That It Used To Be
There was a time when everyone would suggest using rubbing alcohol on abrasions and umbilical cord stumps. It used to be the norm. However, this isn't the way it should have been. Thanks to new information, we've learned that rubbing alcohol can be really irritating to your child's sensitive skin. Instead, simple sponge baths are the way to go. Water is the best bet for it, nothing else.
16 Knowing Stump Time-Frames Is A Must
While we've said that there is no proper timeline for a stump to come off, there can be circumstances where a stump could stick around for far too long and a visit to the doctors is necessary. Additionally, not knowing that it's normal for a stump to hang around for a few days or even a few weeks could result in a mother worrying unnecessarily. Therefore, understanding that things may take longer than one would think is a must.
15 Holistic Approaches To Dealing With The Stump Are Not Smart
There can be many benefits to holistic medicine, even if they're not always backed up by mainstream scientific thought. However, using any holistic medicine, including something as simple as echinacea, on your baby's umbilical cord stump is nothing short of a bad idea. The agents in many of these holistic medicines, including goldenseal, can be irritating to a child's skin. Additionally, they can even develop an allergy to them. Again, just use water!
14 After It Comes Off, It May Not Look Pretty
So, your baby's umbilical cord stump has finally come off! This is something to be happy about. But you need to know that it may not look pretty right away. It's normal for a belly button to look a bit mucky or even have a red spot where the stump used to be. This is part of the healing process. Don't worry about it. Just know that it may not look perfect for a little while longer.
13 Stumps Don't Like Jumping In The Pool
As mentioned earlier, umbilical cord stumps really don't like being submerged in water. This includes baths and swimming pools. This is because they absorb water. They also absorb sweat, which can be experienced when you snuggle too much with them on a warm day. A way to deal with this is to cleanse them with a bit of water on a sponge and gently pat it dry. Do not be too physical with them as they will come off when they shouldn't.
12 Forcefully Taking It Off Is A Huge No-No
Taking a pair of scissors to an umbilical cord stump or forcibly trying to remove it with your hands is a huge no-no. Just don't do it. There's no tool that should be used on it. It needs to come off naturally, otherwise, you could risk causing some harm to your baby. Additionally, no tool will be sanitary enough for the stump. it just needs to come off on its own. Leave it at that.
11 Missing Signs Of Infection Is Super Easy
Because of the unattractive nature of the umbilical cord stump, it can be really easy to miss possible infections it may have. The stump will always look like a scab but if it's oozing any liquid, there's a chance that it could be infected. It's always a good idea to visit the doctor if something looks different than usual. Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your baby.
10 Cotton Swabs Will Be The Stump's Bestie
Cotton swabs, including Q-tips, will be the umbilical cord stump's best friend. Although a tissue may seem like a good way of drying or cleaning the stump, the material can feel a little uncomfortable to a child. Additionally, the material can fall apart and fragment on the stump. It's so much better just to keep using these cotton swabs, Q-tips, or, preferably, just a damp sponge.
9 Any Major Physical Changes Need To Be Documented
New parents need to be a bit like journalists as they need to keep track of any develops in their child's life. This includes any changes that happen to the umbilical cord stump. If there are any new bumps, oozing, or physical changes to the stump, they need to be recorded and possibly shown to an expert or doctor. One thing to look out for is an Umbilical Hernia which is a small opening in the stomach wall. It's nothing to be too worried about, but a doctor needs to take a look and it's helpful for them if you've recorded the changes over time.
8 Loose Bodysuits Are Always The Better Choice For The Stump
Everything is sensitive when it comes to a baby, this definitely includes their umbilical cord stumps. Onesies are often favored by parents as they help make a baby feel like they're still in the womb. Additionally, onesies make a baby look even cuter. But they can irritate the stump if they're too tightly fitted. This is why purchasing loose onesies is always the safest bet when dealing with stumps.
7 Umbilical Cord Art Is A Choice... But A Weird One
Many moms aren't aware of umbilical cord stump aren't, but they should know that some people keep their baby's stump forever by encasing it in some sort of piece of jewelry or even in a painting. There are many companies that offer their creative services. However, this is pretty friggin weird. If you don't have to be the type of mom who keeps their baby's stumps, don't be... it's not the best way to honor a child's time inside the womb.
6 Stumps Can Be A Magnet For Poop
Something that moms should know about their child's cord stump is that it can be a magnet for poop. If your child has a messy bowel movement, some of it can end up on the stump. After all, babies don't really have control over where their movements go. Therefore, moms should be diligent about gently cleaning the stump with baby-safe soap and water.
5 It's Impossible To Know If It Will Be An Innie Or An Outie
A lot of moms believe that the shape, size, or length of time that their child has an umbilical cord stump will dictate if they have a belly button that's an "innie" or an "outie". The truth is, there's absolutely no way of knowing for sure. It's just something you have to wait around to find out. The only thing that can possibly give you some clue is family genetics.
4 For Once, Healing Creams Won't Work
Healing creams, such as hydrocortisone, can be lifesavers for bruises and cuts. But none of them are right for your baby's umbilical cord stump. The stump really just needs to be left alone with a bit of oxygen and the occasional sponge cleaning. They don't need or want, any fancy cream. Stay away from them. They will only delay the healing process and even cause irritation.
3 Picking At The Stump Isn't Cool
Ultimately, an umbilical cord stump is a scab. And what do they say about picking scabs? ...That it makes the healing process slower. Well, this is extra true when it comes to a baby's stump. Parents need to refrain from picking at it and make sure that their baby doesn't do that themselves. If they don't, the healing process could take even longer or the baby could be in major discomfort.
2 The Stump Likes When The Diaper Is Folden Down
A diaper can often get in the way of a healing umbilical cord stump. Firstly, a diaper that's too tight or pulled too high up on the child's body can rub against the stump and cause it to come off far earlier than it should. Additionally, the diaper can stop the oxygen flow to the stump which it needs to heal. This is why folding your baby's diaper in a way that doesn't impact the stump is a must.
1 It Can Tell Moms When To Take The Baby To The Doctor
An umbilical cord stump can be really helpful at informing a mom that she needs to take her child to the doctor. Once the stump has fallen off, redness or streaking around the belly button can occur. If it's warm or tender to the touch, you will need to bring the baby to the doctor. The same thing goes for it a baby develops a fever or high temperature of it there's a cloud ooze that doesn't clear up after the area is cleaned. Even though the stump is gone at that stage, it's still giving parents the heads up that somethings amiss.
Sources: Children's Health, March of Dimes, WebMD, What to Expect, Baby Gaga, Family Cord