A reader asks,
"My baby is two weeks old and his umblical cord still hasn't fallen off. There is no discharge or redness, but it worries me when I hear that the stump usually falls off within two weeks. Is it normal for it to stay more than two weeks?"
Yes, this is perfectly normal. I have heard some parents report that the umbilical stump stayed around as long as 5 weeks without problems. It might seem like you're going to be giving sponge baths for an eternity, but rest assured, it will fall off.
And, since you say that your baby has no discharge or redness -- those are both good signs. Other things to watch for include fever and swelling in the area. Call your health care provider if you see any of the above symptoms.
A common reason that a cord might not fall off within the average time is because the area is not staying dry enough. If it's cold in your area, chances are your baby is bundled up more often and that can keep the stump from drying as quickly. If possible, try and let the area air dry for longer periods during the day and that should help the process along.