Normally, the navel dries together and falls off 7-12 days after birth.
Sometimes the little stump can hang for a few more days. The navel sometimes smells quite strongly in the final days before it is released. It’s completely normal and nothing to worry about.
If the clamp on the umbilical stump remains on arrival, the shriveled part can be cut off just below the clamp.
How to care for the baby’s navel?
In most BB departments, parents receive the recommendation to wash the navel with plain soap and lukewarm water. After washing, the navel is wiped clean with a dry cotton swab. Wound pads or antibiotic ointments should not be used.
Leave the navel open and airy, preferably it should not be covered by the diaper.
If the baby’s navel becomes contagious and smelly, it is a sign of a superficial infection in the remaining dead tissue. It is not dangerous, but after assessing the BVC wash, the navel may need to be washed with chlorhexidine solution (0.5 mg / ml) available at pharmacies.
When should you contact BVC or a health center?
Contact the healthcare provider for advice if:
- there is a redness of the skin around the navel when it is smudgy and smelly. This is due to a deeper bacterial umbilical infection (= omphalitis), which must be treated immediately.
- There is a small hard gray or reddish pin (navel granuloma) left in the navel after the navel stump has fallen. Ask when BVC – the small pin may need to be treated with a so-called lapis pen if it does not disappear spontaneously.
- it drips fluid from the navel, which may be due to a residual connection between the bladder and the navel, once from the early fetal stage.
- the navel bleeds after the navel stump has dropped. It may be because the skin is irritated or in rare cases a slight deformity.