bleeding belly buttons on babies

As a new parent or a parent that hasn’t parented a baby in awhile, you may find that you have all these questions you should know the answers to but don’t. One of those “shouldn’t you know it” questions and concerns is when your baby’s umbilical cord falls off, should there be blood?

Here is the long and short answer to that which can be found here.

Is a bloody belly button after the cord falls off normal?
Yes.

When is it not normal?
When there is:

  • pooling of blood
  • when the discharge of blood doesn’t cease after 15 minutes
  • when it smells bad
  • when the area around the belly button is red (obviously and much so) and/or swollen
  • if these things are accompanied by a fever

Clarification & Common Sense:

  • Pooling blood does not mean a few drips here or there– it is akin to a bloody nose pool of blood where the blood does not stop oozing despite pressure or bandaging with gauze.
  • While “pooling blood” may happen and then cease and does not necessarily mean that an immediate trip to the emergency room or doctor is necessary, observation over a 24 hour period of time is prudent and imperative. If it’s a one time thing that isn’t accompanied by any other symptoms (i.e. fever, odor) then it is likely fine (can’t say it is fine as I don’t know your baby and I’m not a doctor!).
  • Anything like an essentially “open wound” (belly button is healing though it’s not the same as a c-sec scar kind of open wound) that which carries an odor baby or not is bad (i.e. if you smell an odor on your c-sec scar that’s just as bad as a pooling smelly belly button on your baby).
  • Anything that is a wound of sorts that is red or swollen is baby (belly button or not).
  • Fever in a baby is almost always an indication that immediate medical attention is necessary and you must take your child to the emergency room with the absolute quickness if that fever breaks 100!

Otherwise, consider this normal and invest in some hydrogen peroxide to remove the blood stains. 🙂

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