The umbilical cord, which once supplied your baby with oxygen rich blood and nutrients is surplus to requirements once you have given birth.
Once the cord has been cut (clamped and snipped), your newborn will be left with a stump which is still connected to her navel (belly button). This stump of tissue needs to be cared for properly to avoid infection.
Keeping it clean
You should keep your newborns umbilical cord stump clean but also ensure it is kept dry and aired regularly. I personally recommend only top and tailing (avoiding baths) until the stump had fallen off.
Day to day care
There are four things you can do to help the stump fall off naturally whilst minimising the risk if infection.
What are the signs of an infection?
If your baby has an infection in this area, you will need to get it treated as soon as you can to prevent it from spreading.The signs of an infection are:
There has been a lot if misleading information over the years, “Use rubbing alcohol”, “Don’t bathe them”, “Do bathe them” “Wash it at least once a day” etc. The general consensus seems to be, keep it clean and keep it dry and touch it as little as possible. If you do this, you can’t go far wrong.