In most cases, the umbilical cord stump dries up and falls off the newborn within the first few weeks of life. But sometimes an infection can develop. This may cause the area around the cord to swell and become inflamed, red, or tender. There may be cloudy, discolored, or bad-smelling discharge from the cord.
The main cause of omphalitis is exposure to any bacteria during delivery, when the umbilical cord is cut after birth or a few days later at home.
Signs of an Infected Umbilical Cord Stump
A smelly yellow discharge from the stump area. A reddening of the skin around the stump. Swelling of the navel area. Your baby crying when you touch the stump, indicating it is tender or sore.
To treat an infection
Keep the skin of your belly button clean and dry. Use an antifungal powder or cream to clear up a yeast infection. For a bacterial infection, your doctor might recommend using an antibiotic ointment. Some infections may require oral antibiotic treatment, incision and drainage of the cyst, or both.
Can you put Neosporin umbilical cord?
If the cord smells bad or seems infected, you can smear a little antibiotic ointment (such as Neosporin®) around and on the base of the cord. You can clean the cord as often as needed, perhaps 3 or 4 times a day.
If your belly button is “leaking” clear or colored discharge or blood, you may have a bacterial, fungal, or yeast infection. Crusty skin, strong odor, itching, and redness are also signs of infection. If discharge and crust stick around after you wash your belly button, you should see your doctor.
How long will it take for the belly button to heal? After the stump falls off there will be a small wound. It may take between seven days and 10 days for the area to heal completely . You may see a little blood spot on your baby’s nappy.
Normal Navel Care:
- Keep the navel (belly button) clean and dry.
- If there are any secretions, clean them away. Use a wet cotton swab. Then, dry carefully.
- Do this gently to prevent any bleeding.
- Caution: Don’t use any rubbing alcohol. Reason: can interfere with healing.
Taking care of the stump
- Keep the stump dry. Parents were once instructed to swab the stump with rubbing alcohol after every diaper change. …
- Stick with sponge baths. While there’s no harm in getting the stump wet, sponge baths might make it easier to keep the stump dry.
- Let the stump fall off on its own.
Share on Pinterest Antibiotic and antifungal ointments or creams may be used to treat belly button discharge. Bacterial infections are usually treated with antibiotic ointments or creams. Fungal or yeast infections are also typically treated with antifungal powders or creams.
Can you use Neosporin on newborn?
Can I use NEOSPORIN® First Aid Antibiotics on my baby? While there is no age limit for Original NEOSPORIN® First Aid Antibiotics, including NEO TO GO!®, we always recommend contacting your physician before treating babies or young children under 2 years of age.
It is normal for the belly button to look a bit mucky or to have a red spot where the cord used to be. It can also be smelly and have some clear, sticky or brownish ooze that might leave a stain on your baby’s nappy or clothes. This is part of the healing process, which may take up to seven days to mend completely.
Dip your finger or a soft washcloth in a solution of salt water (about a teaspoon of table salt in a cup of warm water) and gently massage the inside of your navel. This should loosen stubborn germs that can cause odor. Then rinse with plain water and pat it dry.
Infections are usually minor. Symptoms can include pain, redness, and swelling, and improving hygiene can help. Complete healing can take 9–12 months.
Call your provider if your surgical wound has any signs of infection:
- Pus or drainage.
- Bad smell coming from the wound.
- Fever, chills.
- Hot to touch.
- Pain or sore to touch.