The doctor is in: Umbilical plugs

My baby’s umbilical plug just fell off sooner than it’s supposed to. Is this a bad thing? How do I take care of it?

Luckily, this is nothing to worry about!

Typically, umbilical cords fall off between 1-3 weeks after birth, but sometimes they will fall off sooner on their own.

Now that the cord has fallen off, you are able to finally give your baby a full bath. There is usually nothing else you need to do to take care of the area. You can wash the area like any other part of your baby’s body. It should heal up on its own.

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You may notice mild drainage from the belly button after the cord falls off. This is usually normal. You can wipe the area with a washcloth. Please talk to your doctor if you notice lots of redness or tenderness around the belly button.

Sometimes after the cord falls off, babies develop an umbilical granuloma, which is a soft, pink bump in the middle of the belly button that is a leftover part of the umbilical cord. If your baby has this, your pediatrician may use a medicine called silver nitrite to help make it go away faster.

— Dr. Laura DiScenna, Pediatrician, Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics, Ellet

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