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Tips on How to Care for Pusod ni Baby

Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS · Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jul 19, 2023

Tips on How to Care for Pusod ni Baby

Parents know that newborn baby care includes keeping the umbilical cord stump clean and dry. How do you properly care for pusod ni baby? Find out here.

A look into your baby’s umbilical cord stump

Before we explain the steps in caring for pusod ni baby, let’s first discuss why it’s there in the first place.

While in the womb, babies get their nourishment and oxygen from the placenta (inunan), an organ formed during pregnancy. Now, the placenta, which also performs metabolic processes, is attached to the baby’s tummy via the umbilical cord.

Once the baby is born, they become capable of eating, breathing, and producing oxygenated blood on their own. In other words, they no longer need the placenta, so the umbilical cord is cut off.

Cutting the cord is a simple process. To cut the cord, you need to use two clamps to prevent too much bleeding: one clamp goes a few inches from the belly button, and the other just below the first clamp.  Wait for 1 to 3 minutes until you no longer feel the pulsation (this prevents anemia). Then, using sterile scissors, you cut the cord in between the clamps

Please note that cutting the cord won’t hurt the baby, but since the excess part, called stump, is attached to the live tissue in the tummy, you need to be cautious with it.

How to care for the umbilical cord stump

Your baby’s umbilical cord stump will dry out and fall off on its own, usually within 1 to 3 weeks after birth. The best way to care for pusod ni baby is to keep it dry and clean. However, consider the following practices:

Stick to sponge baths until the stump falls off

To keep the cord dry, don’t give your baby full baths until the stump falls off and completely dries. In the meantime, stick to sponge baths.

Don’t clean the stump with alcohol

Before, doctors advised parents to clean the umbilical cord stump with alcohol. But, after finding out that alcohol might kill the bacteria that help dry out the cord, they now discourage the practice.

Don’t worry about not cleaning the stump with soap and water or alcohol. According to experts, the best way to keep it clean is to avoid getting it dirty.

If you get the stump wet, don’t forget to dry it completely as moisture can cause bacterial contamination.

Be careful with diapers

To keep ang pusod ni baby clean and dry, fold down the top of the nappy, so that it doesn’t come in contact with the stump. You can also invest in diapers that have a scoop on top that goes around the stump.

Choose light, loose, cotton clothes

You don’t need to fold the bottom of your baby’s clothes to expose ang pusod ni baby; however, it’s helpful to choose light, cotton clothes. Also, avoid choosing tight clothes that may irritate the stump.

When soiled, clean the stump with water

In case the cord becomes dirty, use a soft, damp washcloth to clean it gently. Don’t use soap or alcohol, water is just fine. Afterward, pat it dry with a clean, soft cloth.

pusod ni baby

Let the umbilical cord stump fall off on its own

Like mentioned earlier, the stump will dry out and fall off on its own. Even if you notice that it’s connected to the pusod ni baby only by a thin thread, don’t pull it off. Forcing it to separate may lead to bleeding.

Once the stump separates, you may notice some bleeding and the area may look a little red. It’s usually not a cause of concern. However, if the wound doesn’t heal and dry within two weeks, bring your baby to the doctor.

When to seek medical help

Generally, and pusod ni baby heals without a problem. Still, you need to watch out for warning signs that you need to seek medical help:

  • Oozing pus or any foul-smelling discharge in or around the stump
  • A fluid-filled bump on or near the stump
  • Red, swollen appearance
  • Bleeding from the site, although a little blood is normal
  • Fever
  • Your baby cries when you touch the stump or the area around it

Finally, contact the pediatrician if the umbilical cord stump doesn’t fall off after three weeks.

Learn more about Baby Care here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS

Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jul 19, 2023

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