An outie is normal and not usually a medical concern, only a cosmetic one for some. For some infants, the cause of an outie belly button may be an umbilical hernia or granuloma.
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).
As long as the bulge is soft and compressible, and is not causing your child any discomfort, it’s not a problem. These hernias usually go away by 12 to 18 months, and surgery to close the hole is rarely necessary.
Umbilical hernias are common in newborns and infants younger than six months. 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.
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.
The majority of people have “innies,” the very scientific term for belly buttons that dip inward. Protruding “outies” can be found on approximately 10 percent of the population. They’re about as common as left-handedness.
Should an outie be corrected? An outie belly button is a cosmetic issue and doesn’t require surgery. Granulomas need to be treated to avoid infection. Hernias usually disappear on their own and those that don’t can be treated with a simple surgical procedure after the age of 4 or 5.
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.
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.)
Playing with the navel is even less of an issue than self-stimulating the genitals. It is impossible to stop a baby from self stimulating the parts of the body, and it is wrong to do so. Since it is part of normal development, parents have to accept this.
The hernia isn’t painful and most don’t cause any problems. Most umbilical (um-BILL-ih-kul) hernias close on their own by the time the child turns 4 or 5. If a hernia doesn’t go away by then or causes problems, doctors may recommend surgery.
An umbilical hernia looks like a lump in the navel. It might become more obvious when the infant is laughing, crying, going to the toilet, or coughing. When the child is lying down or relaxed, the lump may shrink. It is not usually painful in children and infants.
Will an umbilical hernia go away with weight loss?
Weight loss alone may be all you need to reduce the size of your hernia and eliminate pain. Hernias never go away on their own, and the only way to treat a hernia is with surgery.