The umbilical cord connects the baby to the mother's placenta. During fetal development in the womb, the umbilical cord is the lifeline to the baby supplying nutrients. After birth, the cord is clamped and cut. Eventually between 1 to 3 weeks the cord will become dry and will naturally fall off. If the cord hasn't come off after 3 weeks, be patient. Keep the area dry and make sure it's not covered by your child's diaper. If it hasn't come off in 6 weeks, or you see signs of fever or infection, call your doctor. Once the cord is gone, continue to keep the area clean and dry.