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5. How should I care for my baby's belly button?

Keep the umbilical cord stump and the skin around it clean and dry until the stump shrivels and falls off.

  • Give your baby sponge baths and don't submerse the cord in water.
  • Fold diapers below the cord to keep urine from soaking it.

Call the doctor if your baby cries when you touch the cord. She may have an infection. Redness at the base and foul-smelling, yellow liquid are also signs of infection.

6. How should I care for my baby's circumcision?

Your son's penis will be quite red for a few days. This should disappear within about a week. If it gets worse or you are worried, call your doctor.

  • Keep your baby's penis clean, especially after a dirty diaper.  Use just water, or a mild cleanser and water, as needed.
  • Dab a little petroleum jelly on the tip to keep it from sticking to the diaper.

7. How can I keep my baby safe?

Always put your baby down to sleep on her back to minimize the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also suggests that you:

  • Empty her sleeping area. No pillows, crib bumpers, toys, or soft bedding like a blanket.
  • Sleep in the same room as your infant -- but not in the same bed.
  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Avoid devices sold to prevent SIDS, such as sleep positioners. Some can raise a baby's risk for SIDS or suffocation.
  • Don’t overdress your child; you want to prevent overheating.
  • Take your baby for her shots (immunizations) on time, following CDC guidelines.
  • Follow the doctor's orders on when to bring in your baby.  Call right away if you have any concerns.