Thanks to Katherine for this Frugal Baby Tip!
Someone recently did a large research study...... compared 1000 babies who had cord stumps treated with alcohol at each diaper change to 1000 babies who had cord stumps treated with *nothing* at each diaper change.
Results: no infection in either group.... but the ones with *no* treatment fell off in half the time.
This may be different from your results, but as with anything YMMV
The reason that they usually fall off faster with no treatment is that "good bacteria" are actually responsible for causing the cord to dry up and fall off. When we interfere with this by constantly cleaning the cord, we're interupting this process causing it to take longer.
Since we stopped recommending alcohol/hydrogen peroxide/goldenseal at each diaper change and started recommending that mom's/dad's do *nothing* to the cord, they fall off in an average of four days as opposed to the previous seven.