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After your baby's umbilical cord is clamped and cut, a small piece of the cord remains. This dries out and then falls off revealing the "belly button."
The process usually takes five to 10 days, but can take longer. When the cord falls off, there may be a few drops of blood at the site. This is normal.
Call your baby's health care provider if the umbilical cord site:
- starts bleeding
- gets red
- has a foul smelling discharge.
Until the cord drops off:
- Clean the cord according to your health care provider's instructions.
- Only give your baby a sponge bath until the cord falls off.
- Keep the cord dry. Gently pat the cord dry with a towel if it gets wet during a bath.
- Keep the diaper below the cord. This helps keep the cord dry and open to the air. It also prevents irritation from urine.