Maybe not. About 20 percent of all newborns have an “outie,” also called an umbilical hernia. This is a bulge caused by the umbilical cord as it enters the baby’s abdomen. After birth, as the umbilical cord heals and falls off, the opening to the abdomen usually closes spontaneously.
After the umbilical cord is cut at birth, a stump of tissue remains attached to your baby’s belly button (navel). The stump gradually dries and shrivels until it falls off, usually 1 to 2 weeks after birth. It is important that you keep the umbilical cord stump and surrounding skin clean and dry.
If your baby has a bulge around the bellybutton, they may have an umbilical hernia. Before the umbilical cord falls off, you may notice that the area seems to stick out a little more when the baby cries. Or maybe, once the cord is gone, you see that their navel sticks out (an “outie,” as it’s commonly called).
The first distinction is usually if the belly button is an innie or outie. Innie belly buttons are like a little dent in your stomach. Outie belly buttons look like a little knot is sticking out.
It appears as a small pink or red lump and may be covered in a clear or yellow discharge. It doesn’t usually bother the baby, but it can occasionally become infected and cause symptoms such as skin irritation and fever. It will often go away on its own within a week or two.
How do I know if my baby has an umbilical hernia?
Symptoms of umbilical hernia include: A slight swelling or even a bulge near the belly button. The spot becomes larger and harder when the baby cries, coughs, or strains, due to the increase of pressure on the abdomen. Under normal circumstances, the hernia is not painful to the touch.
Despite common folklore, you can’t flatten an outie by strapping something across your baby’s belly or by taping a quarter over it. In fact, there’s nothing you can (or should) do to change an outie. Instead, as your child grows, help them understand that it’s just another way a body can look.
Is 5 days too early for umbilical cord to fall off?
You can expect the cord to fall off between 5 and 15 days after your baby is born. Around 2 weeks is the average amount of time, but sometimes the cord may fall off a little earlier or later. This is perfectly normal.
Keep the navel (belly button) clean and dry. If there are any secretions, clean them away. Use a wet cotton swab. Then, dry carefully.
- After the cord falls off, continue sponge baths for a few more days.
- Help the belly button area dry up.
- Then, tub baths will be fine.
Do umbilical hernias go away in babies?
Most of the time, a hernia that starts before 6 months of age will go away by 1 year of age. But some children get or still have an umbilical hernia when they are infants or toddlers. Umbilical hernias almost always close on their own as a child grows. But sometimes surgery is needed.
What should I do if my baby has an umbilical hernia?
How Are Umbilical Hernias Treated?
- Give anesthesia so the child sleeps through the procedure and won’t feel any pain.
- Make a small incision (cut) in the skin.
- Move the intestine back into place.
- Close the hole or weak spot in the muscle with stitches.
In some rare cases, outies are caused by a condition known as an umbilical hernia. An umbilical hernia occurs when a part of the intestine pokes through the muscles in your belly and pops out through the belly button. This condition often goes away on its own within the first year of life.
Will my baby Outie become an innie?
No. Some people claim you can change an outie to an innie – by taping a quarter over it, for example – but it’s just not true. (And here’s another reason to put that quarter in your piggy bank instead of onto your baby’s belly: A quarter would be a choking hazard if it fell off, as it probably would.)
An “outie” is typically a belly button with a small umbilical hernia. Umbilical hernias are more common in infants and in certain populations, including premature infants and blacks. Most umbilical hernias in infants are small and close spontaneously, usually within a couple of years.
Whether it happened during pregnancy, or they were just born that way, thousands of women and men have outie bellybuttons they don’t like. Now, they don’t have to hide their tummies any more. A relatively new procedure can turn that outie into an innie in minutes, just in time for bathing suit season.