Keep your baby's skin clean, but don't use anything that might irritate.

Jamie Grill/Iconica/Getty Images

Your baby's umbilical cord stump will drop off in about 10 days. Until then, keep it clean and dry.

  • Tuck the diaper below the cord so that the cord is exposed to the air.
  • Each time you change the diaper, dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol, and gently clean the area where the cord and belly meet.
  • Call the baby's provider if you see pus or redness or if the baby cries when you touch the area. These could be signs of infection.

To learn how to give your baby a sponge bath until his belly button heals, read Giving Your Baby a Bath

For more baby care tips, see the next page.