When baby is born and the cord is cut, a stump will remain. If this umbilical stump is touched immediately after birth, it feels soft and is yellowish. In the first days, the stub will dry out, it gets harder and blacker. The stump will fall off after about 7 days and will dry more quickly if in the fresh air.
Care of the navel stump
There are a few ways to take care of the stump, one of which is to clean the umbilical cavity with a gauze and alcohol. Put the diaper on, but fastened below the stump, to let it dry. If your baby has been in a bath, carefully wipe the umbilical stub. If you find that the stump moves too much, you can gently stick it with a piece of tape onto your baby's belly.
Your baby can cry a little while you're cleaning the stump, but this is not because it hurts. This is because the alcohol feels cold.
Very often, the stump may become inflamed. If it's inflamed, the navel stinks really strikingly. In addition, the surrounding area will turn red and hot. Sometimes there may be some puss around. Clean an inflamed navel as usual and dot it with a silver nitrate needle. Get advice from your midwife or general practitioner.
When it falls off
The bellybutton may bleed a little as the stump falls off, but not always. Clean it gently with a little alcohol and keep an eye on it.