It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for your newborn’s cord stump to fall off, but when you do, there’ll usually be an opening in the belly button that can worry some parents. So how do you deal with the belly button before it fully heals? What care does it require.
How Long Does a Belly Button Take to Heal?
Generally the belly button will heal over into a normal navel within 2-4 weeks after birth – in some cases it can take a little longer. It may look look almost like an open wound inside, often due to remaining umbilical cord vessels. If you see any redness that lasts more than a day, pus or swelling on the belly button skin itself you may need to check with your health care provider.
After the belly button closes, you’ll see what your baby’s belly button will likely be like for the rest of their life, bar small changes. An innie or an outie, a big or little button – all are within the normal range.
If baby has any unusual lumps in or around their belly button, these may be a belly button hernia. Most heal on their own within the first year, but it’s best to let your care provider know, for your own peace of mind, at your next visit.
How Do You Clean a Belly Button After The Stump Falls Off?
You may hear that you should apply alcohol to the area or do other things to help the belly button heal. However, according to studies, there is no reason to do anything other than clean around the belly button with water during bath time and give it plenty of air.
As long as baby’s belly button is gently wiped with a clean wet cloth, it will heal just fine on its own and doesn’t require soaps, alcohol or any other products.
If your doctor suggests using silver nitrate, it best to do your own research and ask what other options are available first, as this can lead to chemical burns if not applied correctly.