My 5 1/2 old has not lost her cord yet, any suggestions?

Melissa - posted on 11/21/2009 ( 36 moms have responded )

1

19

0

My 5 1/2 week old daughter has not lost her cord yet. The doctor said this is normal in some kids. I am cleaning it several times a day with rubbing alcohol, but it is not getting even close to coming off. Does anyone have any suggestions to get it to come off?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Ella - posted on 11/25/2009

49

52

12

Q. How do I take care of my newborn baby's umbilical cord? The nurses at the hospital said to just leave it alone and not to put alcohol on it. I remember that I was told to put alcohol on it at least twice a day after having my last baby. And my friends say that I am supposed to use alcohol with each diaper change. Priscilla, Dallas, Texas
A. Surprisingly, umbilical cord care is controversial.

While parents used to be told to frequently put alcohol (70% isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol) on their baby's umbilical cord until it falls off, they are just as likely to be told to not put any alcohol on it at all anymore.

Why the change?

Some experts think that too much alcohol can actually make the umbilical cord stump stay on longer, which most parents definitely don't want.

And studies have shown that alcohol doesn't have as much of a protective effect against infections over simply allowing an umbilical cord to dry on its own (dry care).

Triple Dye
Some hospitals have also stopped using triple dye on a newborn's umbilical cords. Using triple dye (the purple stuff that is placed on your baby's umbilical cord after he is born) used to be another step that was thought to be important to prevent infections.
Now, some hospitals apply triple dye the umbilical cord and some don't, with seemingly equally good results. Some experts do think that triple dye may increase the time to when the umbilical cord will come off though.

Other antimicrobial agents that have been used to clean a baby's umbilical cord include povidone-iodine, bacitracin, silver sulfadiazine, chlorhexidine, and hexachlorophene.

Umbilical Cord Care
If using alcohol to care for your baby's umbilical cord, it is usually best to apply it with a cotton swab or cotton ball a few times a day.
More frequently these days, you may be told to skip the alcohol. Parents who are told that they don't have to use alcohol often take this advice too far though. They may never clean, or even touch, their baby's umbilical cord at all. Keep in mind that with umbilical cord dry care, you are actually supposed to wash the cord with soap and water when it becomes soiled, wipe it with a dry cotton swap, and then allow it to air-dry.

What You Need To Know
Despite some research on the subject, we still don't have a clear understanding of optimal cord care practices. Fortunately, umbilical cord infections are not very common and often easily treated when recognized quickly. Until more research is done, ask your pediatrician what he or she recommends concerning umbilical cord care.
Personally, I like to use alcohol on the umbilical cord stump about twice a day. This helps remove any discharge that has accumulated around the stump, keeps it clean, and is unlikely to make the cord stay on any longer than simply doing nothing at all.

Keep in mind that the alcohol isn't supposed to help the cord come off sooner. It is just supposed to prevent any infections from developing until it comes off on its own.

•Your baby's umbilical cord stump should fall off by the time he is two to four weeks old.


•Call your pediatrician if your baby's umbilical cord stump is showing signs of infection (omphalitis), including having redness around the area, having a foul odor, and/or discharge.


•Until your baby's umbilical cord stump falls off, be sure to keep it clean and dry. Remember that your baby will only need sponge baths until his cord falls off.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

36 Comments

View replies by

Ella - posted on 11/24/2009

49

52

12

When I had my daughter 2 1/2 months ago, they said not to put anything on there. So, I didn't and it came off within the second week.

Nyki - posted on 11/24/2009

15

41

1

My son was about 41/2 weeks and the doctor tied a stitch (like for stitching up a cut) around the cord to help choke it off. Didn't hurt my son at all and it fell off in 2 days. I still had to keep cleaning it and it left just a little scab that I continued to clean for a few more days and it dried and fell off. I'd check with the doctor if you want him to do something like that too. It was frustrating to me having it on for so long.

Rikki - posted on 11/24/2009

274

27

25

Quoting Brandi:

I have heard that if you use a little less rubbing alcohol it will fall off faster. Someone told me when I had my son to just let it dry up on its own. *i still used the rubbing alcohol, but not EVERY diaper change* also, are you getting it wet during bathtime by accident. Maybe take a little more caution there.



this is true the bath is enuf to keep the cord clean and drying it with a clean dry cotton bud after her bath is all you need to be doing it will fall off in a few days this way the dryer you keep it the better :)

[deleted account]

Wow, I didn't know it could take that long for a cord to fall off! My sons were 9 days and 4 days. The reason my firstborn's took 9 days (which is considered a long time here) was because the nappies I used were covering the cord and it took us a couple days to figure that out.
We were told you don't do anything special, other than dry it with a Q-tip after a bath. Normal bath, and then clean/dry it gently with a Q-tip. Oh, and make sure the cord is exposed to air (so fold nappies down and give some nappy free time).
I've never heard of it taking weeks for cords to come off, but maybe it's that way in the US because you use alcohol to clean it all the time.

Kayla - posted on 11/23/2009

17

22

0

my daughters fell of in 4 days. i was told not to use rubbing alcohol just to use warm water and lots of air time and it fell right away may try that

Krista - posted on 11/23/2009

29

25

0

My son's cord stump fell of finally when he was around a month old. I had no idea I wasn't supposed to give him a normal bath and so it was getting wet and not drying out fast enough.

Vanessa - posted on 11/23/2009

37

25

7

My nurse practitioner told me to NEVER use rubbing alcohol, the alcohol can actually be absorbed into baby's body, which is not a good thing. We just kept the area clean with a damp cloth and kept it dry. It fell off within a week of him being home. Another important thing is to not pull it off, just let it fall off on its own. And don't worry, although how can you not when you're a mom, right? Good luck:)

[deleted account]

My oldests cord took FOREVER to come off..but later babies have come off quickly..I think I was just so scared of hurting him I was super gentle..my babies that had to stay in the nursery because they were early (twins) both lost their cords at around 5 days..and the nurses said it was because they had nurses cleaning them rather than moms..

Danica - posted on 11/23/2009

68

39

7

We were told before we had our daughter at prenatal classes that you are not suppose to use anything for the umbilical cord as you are to let it dry up and fall off. If need be to use water and a Q-tip. My daughters fell off within about a week or so!
They did studies that showed using rubbing alcohol prolonged the time of the umbilical cord falling off, hence why if it is dry it falls off quicker!
Goodluck

Dominika - posted on 11/22/2009

6

4

0

Don't worry! My son's cord didn't come off until he was exactly 2 months old. It was getting annoying and I couldn't wait for it to fall off. I didn't do anything to it - just let it get dried up all on it's own. It's not hurting your baby, it's just a hassle for us! :)

Ashley - posted on 11/22/2009

794

34

74

We were told not to use anything for our son...just to keep it dry. It fell off when he was about a week. Maybe try not using the rubbing alcohol?

Good luck, as long as it is not getting infected, it should fall off soon.

Roxanne - posted on 11/22/2009

47

27

1

I washed my daughters with Johnson's baby soap and it popped right off. A nurse suggested it too me.

Kate - posted on 11/22/2009

47

36

0

The nurses in the NICU gave us a bunch of the rubbing alcohol pads to use, and told us to use them at every diaper change. We did that, and my little guy's cord fell off when he was 13 days old. But, every baby and every doctor is different. If your pediatrician isn't concerned, then I wouldn't be either.

Simple_starving_to_be_safe - posted on 11/22/2009

16

1

1

The most important thing to know is that every baby is different! It will fall off when it's good and ready!!

Iysha - posted on 11/22/2009

1,914

26

201

No! don't use rubbing alcohol! At the hospital, the nurses specifically said that no rubbing alcohol should be used. The reason: The alcohol is absorbed quickly in the skin, especially from the cord. People do it a lot because this was not known until recently...before it was the norm. It just needs to stay dry...that's what the alcohol was used for...to keep it dry and clean. It falls off in the same amount of time...on average like a couple weeks or so...some longer, some in a shorter period of time.

Sarah - posted on 11/22/2009

19

24

0

i wud leave it untill it falls off its self cause trying to faulse it may cause infection and can b very painful. it will fall off by its self, x

Brittany - posted on 11/22/2009

3

7

0

...Also, I never used anything on my 2 kids' cord stumps and they fell off at 6 and 8 days.

Brittany - posted on 11/22/2009

3

7

0

They used to suggest alcohol a lot but it's not necessary. As long as the baby isn't laying in dirt or anything, it will be fine if you leave it alone. It might even make it fall off sooner since it won't be getting wet. Good luck.

Christina - posted on 11/21/2009

23

31

3

I did not know it could stay on that long.. my oldest sons came off when he was 5 weeks old I used rubbing alcohol on his.. but then I had my youngest son they told me not to us rubbing alcohol at all adn it feel off with in 2 weeks.. all the PED docs i talked to here say not to use rubbing alcohol at all that it will heal faster if you dont but to keep it dry and clean.

Heidi - posted on 11/21/2009

52

6

3

at first we used water on my little guys but after2 weeks there was still a piece left so we used rubbing alcohol, by his 8 weeks check it was still oozing and hadnt closed up yet so they used silver nitrate to fix the problem, the doctor had to do 2 doses about a week apart and he hasn't had any problems since! good luck!!!!

Jill - posted on 11/21/2009

67

21

4

The hospital and doctor told us not to use alcohol - we just folded down the front of the diaper, only gave him sponge baths, and his cord fell off when he was about 16 days old. I didn't notice any odor with it.

Rachel - posted on 11/21/2009

52

12

1

I had the same issue and my babys started to smell.. the doctor said it was normal and she gave it a good vigorous cleaning with the alcohol swab which helped move the process along

Erin - posted on 11/21/2009

499

39

202

We used rubbing alcohol with our first son and he was about 4 weeks old before it fell off. In fact, it was no where near falling off until his dad and I decided no more alcohol. It was off in a couple of days. We did not use alcohol at all with our second son and his fell of within a week. It will smell a little bit, but you may try stopping the alcohol. Rubbing alcohol has water in it; it's not just alcohol which would dry it out fast.

Elizabeth - posted on 11/21/2009

129

4

6

We were never told to used alcohol on our girl's cord. Just lots of exposure to the air - we got into the habit of lots of nappy-free time after every nappy change and it fell off pretty quickly after that.

Stephanie - posted on 11/21/2009

95

26

10

my daughter's fell off in 5 days, try getting it wet and then leaving her out to dry, it may dry it out even more, move around in small circles but make sure you're not being too rough. It should be ok as long as the dr says it is, if not the dr will probably take it off him/herself.

Brandi - posted on 11/21/2009

780

12

106

I have heard that if you use a little less rubbing alcohol it will fall off faster. Someone told me when I had my son to just let it dry up on its own. *i still used the rubbing alcohol, but not EVERY diaper change* also, are you getting it wet during bathtime by accident. Maybe take a little more caution there.

Chelle - posted on 11/21/2009

768

44

77

i didnt even know they would stay on that long. my daughters fell off when she was 10days old. im sure it will fall off soon enough. if the doctors dont see a problem with it then it should be ok. but it sounds like your keeping it clean so the only thing i can suggest is to let it air out as much as you can. i always folded her nappy down so it didnt cover the cord.

Jaime - posted on 11/21/2009

214

16

12

Both of my boys cords came off at about 6 weeks, and my doctor said that it took so long because we weren't being aggressive enough when we were cleaning it. Are you using a q tip? because you really need to dig in there and try to get the alcohol in there to all the little crevices to get them dried out! Also after you get in there really good with the qtip blow to get the alcohol to dry (try to blow in there deep!) It is normal to have a little blood, but if you get alot you need to get her into the ped immediately. It is easier to be really gentle and not bother it alot but it is uncomfortable every time you mess with it. You might as well hurry it along! If it is slimy before you clean it, then you should be doing it more often. That is all I can say about it, but if your doctor isn't concerned, then you are doing fine! Good luck!

Heather - posted on 11/21/2009

255

52

27

I had to start cleaning under it and pulling it to the side a little, not hard, but just enough to clean it under the cord. It took a while for my sons to come off as well...it started healing its self rather than scabbing and drying out. Cleaning it underneath will also prevent it from getting infected. Good Luck.

Tanya - posted on 11/21/2009

16

3

2

Is it getting lots of air? It's like a scab so needs air and I would probably also continue with the rubbing alcohol just to keep it clean:)

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms