"There have been different recommendations over the years about what you should and should not do to clean the belly button, but you don't need to do anything. It will dry up and fall off on its own. The umbilical cord is an old blood vessel, so you can expect to see splotches of blood when it falls off, but if it gushes blood, you should get it checked out." Kara also said the umbilical cord can smell bad, but there shouldn't be surrounding redness, swelling, or puss. The cord usually falls off between 10-14 days of life.