Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Umbilical Cord Care & Cloth Diapers

Umbilical Cord Care & Cloth Diapers

When families are getting ready for baby's arrival, they are often concerned about the umbilical cord and using cloth diapers right away.

My son, Tyler- 1 day old

Common Questions:

1.  Should I wait until the cord falls off before I start using my diapers?
2.  Should I only use cloth diapers with low-rise features in order to keep the diapers from touching the cord?
3.  If I start using the diapers right away and the diapers are touching the cord, will this be problematic?

Our Solution:

Good news!  I have a simple solution to ease your mind.  Our midwife (Layla) and family doctor (Dr. Ness) recommended that we swab the cord with a Qtip and rubbing alcohol after each change.  This process prevents infection while drying up the cord (which encourages it to fall off).

What to Expect:

Each baby's cord falls off at a different time.  Your baby's cord will be softer than usual if you choose to use cloth diapers right away.  Therefore, it will probably take a little longer than the average to fall off.  My daughter's was gone by 2 weeks and my son's was 3 weeks.

Warning Signs: 
Make sure you aren't having any weird smells or other signs of infection like oozing green mucus or painfulness when swabbing around it.  If so, you might need to cover it and apply an antibacterial ointment. It's ok to have a little bleeding and covering it up will help heal it quicker.  Of course, if you are seeing signs of infection, I recommend seeing your family doctor/pediatrician.  It's better to be proactive than wait around hoping for the best.

Disclaimer:  I'm sure there are other valid ways to care for the umbilical cord while using cloth diapers.  This is simply a recommendation based on our advice from our primary caregivers and what worked well for our family.  I am not a medical professional, so it is always best to consult with your primary caregiver.

I'm interested in hearing more suggestions.  Have you asked your midwife, OB-Gyn, family doctor about this?  What were their recommendations?

Missing those small moments after birth,

Jen Starks, 

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