To take care of the baby’s navel, it is enough to make cures with soap and water, and dry the area well. Before, antiseptic creams were indicated, but are currently only reserved for cases with confirmed infections.The navel is that circle that we all have in the abdomen, although each one has its own different shape. It is actually a scar that forms after cutting the umbilical cord. This cord is the one that joins the baby with the mother during gestation.
The umbilical cord allows both nutrients and gases to be exchanged between mother and baby throughout pregnancy. That is, it is the area that really unites the mother with her child.
Shortly after birth, the umbilical cord is cut to free the fetus. However, it is not cut just at the level of the abdomen, but a few inches are left free that take a few days to detach. In the end, the cord falls off on its own, leaving the baby’s belly button.
Many mothers are concerned about this, since the baby’s navel, in those first moments of life, needs certain care to heal properly. Otherwise, you are at risk of infection. Therefore, in this article we explain how to take care of the baby’s belly button.
How do you take care of a baby’s belly button?
As we have already mentioned, the navel is a scar that forms when the baby’s umbilical cord is cut. For this reason, it is a delicate area, since there is a risk of infection. It is essential to pay attention to it and maintain it with proper hygiene. In the first days, if the baby and the mother have been admitted to the hospital, the nurses will surely take charge of the care. However, the most common is that everything happens normally and that it is the mother who must perform the care.
First of all, it is very important to wash your hands thoroughly before touching this area. Our hands are a great source of germs, so this is one of the unavoidable steps to follow.
Once you have washed properly, you can begin the cure. The truth is that, although for years other disinfectant liquids have been used, such as alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, it is not necessary. The cure must be done with soap and water.
To do this, you can use sterile gauze. Clean the navel with the gauze soaked in water and a little mild soap. Afterwards, you should let the area air out and dry a bit. A few seconds are enough. The air favors the navel healing process.
It should be noted that at least one cure a day should be performed. In the event that the baby gets stained, this wash should be repeated. Also, covering the belly button is not recommended. If you do, it is essential to ensure that the area is dry beforehand.
When are other products used?
It has long been recommended to use antibiotic or disinfectant creams to treat the navel area. This was thought to reduce the risk of infection. However, this has been found not to be the case.
In fact, these products made the umbilical cord take longer to detach. For this reason, antibiotic and antiseptic creams are only used when there is already an infection or the risk is very high. For example, in areas where there are not good hygiene conditions.
What risks are there for the baby’s belly button?
As it is a healing process, the baby’s belly button is exposed to infections. Therefore, it is important to follow the steps mentioned. In addition, it must be borne in mind that this risk exists in order to be able to distinguish the symptoms and treat them in time.
When the navel becomes infected, it may appear red or swollen. The baby may even have a fever. Another sign of infection is blood appearing in the area, or some kind of foul-smelling discharge.
If any of these signs appear, it is necessary to go to the pediatrician so that he observes the navel correctly. The same is true if the cord does not detach on its own in the first 12 to 15 days after delivery.