Gentle Umbilical Cord Care for Your Newborn: How to Properly Apply Diapers - Judes Family Skip to content
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Gentle Umbilical Cord Care for Your Newborn: How to Properly Apply Diapers

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Perhaps the birth of a child is just around the corner or your family has already welcomed a new addition: congratulations! In this beautiful and challenging time, there are many decisions to be made. One of them concerns the choice of diapers for your newborn and, in particular, the question that many new parents have: Should the diaper be worn over or under the navel?

Should the diaper be over or under the navel? The decision on whether the diaper should be over or under the navel depends on various factors, including the type of diaper and the condition of the navel. Generally, however, it is recommended to position the diaper under the navel to allow better air circulation and minimize the risk of navel infection.

Join us on this informative journey, offering you valuable tips for the first time with your newborn.

The First Days with Your Newborn

The first days with your child are full of excitement, joy, but also many new challenges. The umbilical cord stump, the remnant of the umbilical cord that nourished your baby for nine months, is one of the first issues you will encounter as parents. It is more than just a piece of skin and tissue; it is a delicate area that requires special care.

The proper care of the navel is crucial as it helps to prevent infections and ensures faster healing. In these first days, you have to decide which type of diapers you want to use and how they should be best applied to optimally support the healing process of the navel.

The big question here is: Should the diaper be worn over or under the navel? This decision could have more impact than you might think, especially when it comes to the type of diapers you choose.

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Photo by @madame.vio

Should the Diaper Be Over or Under the Navel?

You might be wondering: Which diapers are actually best for my baby? Especially in the first weeks, you should keep navel care in mind when making this decision. Because there are two options: the diaper over or under the not yet fallen off navel.

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages:

  • Diaper over the navel: Some parents prefer to fasten the diaper over the navel, as this provides more security and stability. However, this can lead to a moist environment with less breathable materials, as used in many disposable diapers, increasing the risk of navel infection.
  • Diaper under the navel: This variant leaves the navel exposed and allows for better air circulation, which can promote the healing process. The navel stays drier, lowering the risk of infection. However, a disadvantage could be that the diaper may sit less securely and may shift more frequently.

The question Diaper over or under the navel? is thus not just a matter of personal preference but also has medical and practical reasons.


Traditional Disposable Diapers vs. Cloth Diapers

Choosing the right type of diaper is not just a matter of comfort but also has a direct impact on your baby's navel care. Let's consider the two main options: traditional disposable diapers and cloth diapers.

Traditional Disposable Diapers:

  • Material: Disposable diapers are made from synthetic fibers that are less breathable.
  • Moisture Accumulation: They can create a moist environment which may increase the risk of navel infection, especially if the diaper is placed over the navel.
  • Chemicals: Disposable diapers contain added chemicals and fragrances that can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions.
  • Waste: Another downside is the significant amount of waste that burdens the environment. Disposable diapers end up in the trash after just one use as they cannot be reused. But the growing piles of trash are not the only problem. Disposable diapers are incinerated as special waste as they do not decompose. However, incineration still leaves behind a toxic mass that is stored in former mines, continuing to harm our environment.

Cloth Diapers:

  • Material: Typically made from natural fibers like cotton or bamboo, which are more breathable and allow for better air circulation.
  • Navel Care: They generally sit much lower than disposable diapers, leaving the navel area free. Some newborn diapers also have a fold at the navel height, creating a notch for the navel.
  • Chemical-Free: Cloth diapers do not contain added chemicals and fragrances, which prevents skin irritations and allergies.
  • Sustainability: They are reusable and eco-friendly, aligning with the principles of sustainability and mindfulness.

The comparison suggests that cloth diapers offer some significant advantages in navel care. But that's far from all cloth diapers have to offer.

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Photo by @antonia_natascha

Why Cloth Diapers Are Better for Navel Care

When it comes to the wellbeing of your baby, health naturally comes first. And this is where cloth diapers particularly stand out. 


Cloth diapers are mostly made from natural materials like cotton, which allow air to circulate excellently. This promotes a dry skin environment around the navel and accelerates the natural healing process.

Natural Materials

Compared to often chemically treated disposable diapers, cloth diapers are free from allergens and irritants. This means less irritation and more comfort for your baby's sensitive skin, especially around the navel area.

Ease of Use

Cloth diapers are usually more flexible and easier to put on so that the navel can remain uncovered. This allows the area to breathe better and simplifies the regular checking and cleaning of the navel.

Mindfulness and Sustainability

By choosing cloth diapers, you're making a conscious decision for the environment. The reusability of cloth diapers conserves resources and reduces waste, aligning with the idea of mindfulness. For each child, you can save up to one ton of diaper trash, which is the amount generated by disposable diapers until the child is potty trained.

Therefore, the benefits of cloth diapers extend far beyond navel care. Not only do they make it easier to answer the question Diaper over or under the navel?”, but they also offer a sustainable and healthy option for your new journey as parents.

More Tips on Navel Care

Now that you know cloth diapers are the better choice for you and your baby, let us give you some general advice and tips on caring for your newborn's navel.

Should You Apply Cream or Powder to the Navel?

Generally, it is recommended to simply keep the navel clean and dry. In most cases, it is not necessary to use creams or powders as they can trap moisture, which might increase the risk of infection.

When Does the Umbilical Stump Usually Fall Off?

The umbilical stump usually dries up within a week after birth and then falls off by itself. However, in some cases, it can take up to three weeks. A doctor should be consulted if the stump does not fall off within this period or shows signs of infection.

What to Do if the Navel is Inflamed?

Symptoms of navel inflammation can include redness, swelling, and foul-smelling discharge. If you notice signs of inflammation, it's important to see a pediatrician immediately. Typically, a topical antibiotic treatment is prescribed.

Using breathable cloth diapers, which leave the navel exposed, can help minimize the risk of navel inflammation. Make sure to regularly check and clean the navel, especially after changing diapers.

Navel care is an important aspect of your newborn's first days of life, and choosing the right type of diaper can significantly ease this process. With the tips presented here, you are well-equipped to provide your baby with a healthy and comfortable start in life.

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Photo by @cafema.illustration

Choosing the Right Cloth Diapers

When you decide to diaper your child with cloth diapers, the next questions quickly arise: Which system is right? What materials do I need? How do I optimally fold inserts, and how much effort does the laundry require?

This is where Judes comes into play. We had the vision to make diapering sustainably with cloth diapers as simple as possible – and we succeeded! With Judes, you don't have to worry about folding techniques, special materials, or complicated washing processes. Because Judes are primarily one thing: simple.

How Judes Work

Judes consist of only two parts:

  • Inner Diaper: It is made of 100 percent cotton and is therefore very absorbent, breathable, and skin-friendly. Thanks to its absorbency, it keeps up to 12 hours dry, meaning you can use our cloth diapers overnight without any issues.
  • Outer Cover: The outer cover acts as a moisture barrier. It is breathable yet waterproof.

You get by with two sizes for the entire diapering period – Judes are usable from birth up to a weight of 15 kg.

Also, changing diapers with Judes is straightforward: You take off the diaper, put the inner diaper in the diaper bag, and hang the outer cover out to air. In the diaper bag, you store the used diapers until laundry time.

Then you put on a new diaper for your child – first the inner, then the outer diaper, and the diaper change is done – that simple!

With flexible cuffs at the legs and back, Judes fit almost every child perfectly. They do not limit your child’s mobility in any way and are leak-proof. 

For details on diaper washing, check out our article: How to Wash Your Cloth Diapers Gently and Hygienically”. Our Judes Family Care Detergent is also perfectly tailored to the diapers and can be used for your regular laundry as well. 

Judes cloth diapers come with numerous advantages:

  • Sustainable: Judes cloth diapers minimize waste and resource consumption, making them an environmentally friendly choice – all with easy application and care.
  • Healthy Skin: The breathable materials of our diapers protect your baby's sensitive skin and reduce the risk of skin irritations, simply by switching from disposable to cloth diapers.
  • Earlier Potty Training: The moisture perception of our cloth diapers encourages your child's early interest in becoming dry– an intuitive step for your child and less diaper need for you. With disposable diapers, this developmental step is delayed since they always feel dry. This is one of the reasons why children in cloth diapers can be dry up to a year earlier.
  • Less Time Consuming: Our diapers are designed to be put on quickly and effortlessly, saving you precious minutes every day. The washing takes about 15 minutes a week, significantly less than shopping and disposing of disposable diapers.
  • Cost Savings: In the long run, Judes cloth diapers are a cost-efficient solution, in contrast to the ongoing expenses for disposable diapers – simple and economical. You can save up to €3,000 per child. If you use the diapers for more than one child or sell them on, the savings become even clearer.
  • Better Leak Protection: Our specially developed inner diaper effectively prevents leaks, making diapering easier and safer, especially at night. The organic cotton quickly absorbs liquid and locks it in. Disposable diapers, although absorbing a lot, do not absorb quickly enough, resulting in leaks more often.
  • Hygienic: Simple disposal of feces with Poo Paper and machine-washable diapers keep everything clean and hygienic with minimal effort.
  • Bonding: The shared experience of changing diapers with Judes promotes bonding between you and your child through additional interaction and closeness. The moisture feedback also stimulates communication of needs, leading to a closer bond.

Our goal at Judes is to offer you the simplest cloth diaper in the world, so your family can spend more time together instead of dealing with complicated diaper systems.

Conclusion: Mindful Approach to Navel Care with Cloth Diapers

Parenting is a wonderful yet challenging journey that raises many new questions. The navel care of your newborn often takes center stage during the first days. Our research shows that cloth diapers are not only an environmentally friendly and sustainable choice but also offer significant benefits in navel care. They allow for better air circulation, are gentler on the baby's sensitive skin, and make the regular inspection and cleaning of the navel easier.

Furthermore, choosing cloth diapers is a step towards a conscious and sustainable lifestyle that benefits both your baby and the planet. Because mindfulness begins with the smallest changes and continues in the larger ones. With cloth diapers, you make a decision that speaks to the wellbeing of your child and a more sustainable future.

And we at Judes are here to accompany you on this journey.


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