Although most umbilical cords fall off between 10 and 14 days of age, an occasional cord may stay 3 weeks. Cords can also hang by a strand of tissue for 2 or 3 days. Eventually, they all fall off by themselves, so be patient.
The usual advice is to clean the base of the cord (where it attaches to the skin) with rubbing alcohol twice a day. To do this properly, you must lift the cord stump away from the body surface. Recent studies showed that cords fall off 2 days earlier if allowed to heal naturally without any alcohol. Therefore if the cord is still attached at 2 weeks of age, stop using alcohol. Prior to that, do use alcohol to prevent cord infections. Also help the cord dry faster by keeping the diaper folded below it. If you are using disposable diapers, you can cut a wedge out of the diaper with scissors so the cord is not covered.
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