Re: How do I take care of the umbilical cord after birth?
Umbilical cord care has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, with a less-is-more attitude adopted by most hospitals. Originally, a triple dye solution was painted onto the cord at birth, which dried it quickly and allowed it to fall off within a week. This was replaced with the equally effective (and less staining) alcohol, which dried the cord in a week or two.
Now, many hospitals recommend doing nothing but keeping the cord dry. The one problem is babies can’t take a real bath until the cord is off and healed -- sponge baths are okay as long as the cord is kept dry. The problem with this is it may take up to a month for the cord to fall off -- a long time not to bathe baby! That’s why I personally recommend using alcohol on the cord with each diaper change to see a complete healing in less than two weeks.