Remove all drainage and clean an inch around the base. If there is a little drainage is present you may be advised to use antibiotic ointment after each cleaning. Pat the area with a clean cloth and allow it to air-dry. Roll your child’s diapers down below the belly button (navel) until the infection has healed.
If you spot pus, bleeding, swelling, or discoloration, call your doctor right away. When the belly button has totally healed, the stump will easily fall off on its own. Some parents save the stump as a nostalgic reminder of the baby’s connection to mom.
The main cause of omphalitis is exposure to any bacteria during delivery, when the umbilical cord is cut after birth or a few days later at home.
To treat an infection
Keep the skin of your belly button clean and dry. Use an antifungal powder or cream to clear up a yeast infection. For a bacterial infection, your doctor might recommend using an antibiotic ointment. Some infections may require oral antibiotic treatment, incision and drainage of the cyst, or both.
In some cases, the infection may involve the umbilical cord. Doctors refer to this as funisitis. Funisitis increases the risk of childbirth complications, such as stillbirth. Babies who are born with funisitis may experience health complications, including organ damage and long-term developmental issues.
It is normal for the belly button to look a bit mucky or to have a red spot where the cord used to be. It can also be smelly and have some clear, sticky or brownish ooze that might leave a stain on your baby’s nappy or clothes. This is part of the healing process, which may take up to seven days to mend completely.
The main sign of an umbilical hernia is a visible bump under the skin by the belly button. The hernia can get bigger and smaller: It can get bigger when a child does something that creates pressure in the belly, like standing up, crying, coughing, or straining to poop.
How do I know if my baby has a hernia?
Symptoms of umbilical hernia include: A slight swelling or even a bulge near the belly button. The spot becomes larger and harder when the baby cries, coughs, or strains, due to the increase of pressure on the abdomen. Under normal circumstances, the hernia is not painful to the touch.
Can you tape down an umbilical hernia?
Although some people claim a hernia can be fixed by taping a coin down over the bulge, don’t try this. Placing tape or an object over the bulge doesn’t help and germs may accumulate under the tape, causing infection. For children, surgery is typically reserved for umbilical hernias that: Are painful.
If the cord smells bad or seems infected, you can smear a little antibiotic ointment (such as Neosporin®) around and on the base of the cord. You can clean the cord as often as needed, perhaps 3 or 4 times a day.
Normal Navel (Belly Button)
After the cord has fallen off, the navel will gradually heal. It’s normal for the center to look red at the point of separation. It’s not normal if the redness spreads on to the belly. It’s normal for the navel to ooze some secretions.
If your belly button is “leaking” clear or colored discharge or blood, you may have a bacterial, fungal, or yeast infection. Crusty skin, strong odor, itching, and redness are also signs of infection. If discharge and crust stick around after you wash your belly button, you should see your doctor.
Dip your finger or a soft washcloth in a solution of salt water (about a teaspoon of table salt in a cup of warm water) and gently massage the inside of your navel. This should loosen stubborn germs that can cause odor. Then rinse with plain water and pat it dry.
An umbilical granuloma is a moist, red lump of tissue that can form on a baby’s navel (belly button). It can be seen in the first few weeks of life, after the umbilical cord has dried and fallen off. It’s usually a minor problem that looks worse than it is. An umbilical granuloma does not cause pain.