Umbilical Cord and Circumcision Care

Proper care and cleaning of the umbilical cord and circumcision area are important to avoid infection. To help, we at Westchester Health Pediatrics offer these easy steps:

Umbilical cord care

All you really need to remember is to keep your baby’s navel area (belly button) dry and clean. It should not be submerged in water until the cord stump falls off and the area is healed; a sponge bath for your baby every few days is all that’s necessary. When possible, let the umbilical stump be exposed to the air during the day,

Until the cord stump falls off, it will change color from yellow to brown or black — this is normal. If the navel area becomes red or if a foul odor or discharge develops, call your pediatrician immediately.

Circumcision care

Immediately after circumcision, the tip of the penis is usually covered with gauze coated with petroleum jelly to keep the wound from sticking to the diaper. Gently wipe the penis tip clean with warm water after a diaper change, then re-apply petroleum jelly to prevent sticking.

Any irritation or redness of the penis should heal within a few days, but if this increases or if pus-filled blisters form, there may be an infection. If this happens, call your pediatrician immediately.