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Newborn Information

Umbilical Cord and Circumcision Care

Umbilical Cord Care:

The umbilical cord should fall off in 1 to 3 weeks. Daily cleansing usually is not necessary. If the base becomes crusty, a Q-tip saturated with warm water or alcohol can be used to clean around the cord base. If there is a purulent discharge, a foul odor or more than a few drops of blood around the umbilical cord, call the office for further instructions. Once the umbilical cord is off, the base may require cleaning with a Q-tip saturated with warm water or alcohol in a few more days. The nurse and/or physician will be checking the umbilical cord area at the newborn exam.

Circumcision Care:

Gently cleanse the area with water three times a day or wherever it becomes soiled. Soap is usually unnecessary. Petroleum jelly can be applied to the area after cleansing to keep it soft during healing. If a Plastibell ring was used, it should fall off by 14 days (10 days on the average). While it cannot fall off too early, don’t pull it off because bleeding may occur. Any cuts, scrapes, or scabs on the head of the penis may normally heal with yellowish colored skin if your baby has been jaundiced. (This bilirubin in healing tissue is commonly mistaken for an infection.)