Babies are strange. And some even look strange. Of course, I’m not referring to your baby. I meant…well never mind. Even if a baby looks a bit strange it’s still a baby.
The most precious human of all. But they can be strange. They can have strange feet or strange heads; both are a mixture of mom and dad’s DNA.
Think about adding oil and vinegar, two strange objects producing one delicious product. Strange or otherwise, babies are beautiful. But what about one with an outie belly button? Why is their belly button so strange when the rest of them is perfect?
Mom and dad both have an ‘innie’ belly button. So we can’t blame the DNA. Right? Well, mom did have an outie for a bit when she was pregnant. But it went back to normal.
Will my baby go back to normal? Why does my baby have an outie in the first place? Does it mean something is wrong inside my baby’s belly?
And why do I smell salad dressing? While we mix the oil and vinegar for our salad, let’s look into the question. Why does my baby have an outie belly button? Pass the salad, please.
What exactly is an outie?
As the name implies, it is a belly button protruding from the navel. Most ‘buttons’ appear to be turned inwards, toward the inside of the belly.
The outie is the exact opposite. It is indeed an outie and there is no cause for concern. When a baby is born, the umbilical cord is clamped and then cut. The cut will leave an umbilical stump or short piece protruding from the navel.
The stump will eventually dry up, shrivel, and fall of, usually by the three-week mark. Your baby may not have enough space between the outer skin and the stomach wall to allow the stump piece left to ‘tuck’ away.
Therefore your baby will have an outie. Contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with the way the cord was cut. Our salad course is now over. Need some more?
Umbilical hernias defined
While the person cutting the cord isn’t the bad guy, your baby may have an Umbilical Hernia. The technical term for the Umbilical Hernia is Granuloma.
The ‘oma’ part is not cancer-related in any way. Some automatically assume cancer because it sounds similar to carcinoma, melanoma, and such. Not the case here. Granuloma is a condition where the intestines protrude through the navel opening.
It creates a small ‘bulge’ at the navel opening and is more noticeable when the baby cries or strains. The Granuloma condition usually corrects itself by the age of 18 to 24 months and is neither painful nor requires surgery.
If the bulge doesn’t disappear by age four, then a proper medical consultation is strongly suggested.
Symptoms of an umbilical hernia gone bad
If your child has an Umbilical Hernia requiring surgery, these symptoms will be present, and the baby’s doctor should be notified:
- The bulge is discolored or swollen
- The bulge hurts when touched
- The baby is in pain
It is a rare condition; just be mindful it does exist. Again, be informed.
A home remedy
Strangely enough, (we are talking about strange today), there is an actual home remedy for an Umbilical Hernia. After you and your doctor have totally ruled out the possibility of infection, it can be treated at home.
- Apply a small amount of table salt to the area
- Cover with a light bandage for 30 minutes
- Clean with a warm water-soaked gauze
- Repeat twice daily x three days
Apparently, it actually works. I can’t help but think about what salt does to a snail, is it the same? Cause for a different discussion.
Outie related myths
I actually heard the ‘outie myth’ from my grandmother. It involves taping a coin over the protruding belly button. It is pure folklore and has absolutely no medical merit.
In fact, it could cause severe irritation from the tape and pose a choking hazard if the coin comes loose.
Other myths are simply strapping something across the outie to make it go back in. Absurd. Please don’t try either one of these ‘old wives tales’ as it were.
Should the outie be corrected?
Your baby’s outie is no cause for concern and requires no treatment. Umbilical Hernias should be closely monitored to prevent infection.
But either way, these non-infected outies should repair themselves with a bit of time. If the outie hasn’t become an innie by age five it can be cosmetically repaired. Some older children with an outie are more bothered by the benign condition.
If your child is destined to have an outie, you may want to save him a bit of ridicule. Kids can be cruel to one another.
There are three types of belly buttons
No, it’s not a typo. There are three types of belly buttons. Innies, outies, and non-existent. Some babies have no belly button whatsoever! Maybe a small scar where the cord attached itself.
But for the most part, those children have no belly button. How would you like to be the only baby who couldn’t play, “where’s your belly button?”
Those parents are totally missing out. I overheard one parent explain to a child why he had a belly button. His reply to the question was, “it’s a salt holder for when you eat celery in bed.”
I can’t remember how the child reacted, but I still find it comical. Those funny parents!
If you were looking for a serious article on belly buttons, I apologize. There is something I find funny on the subject of innies, and outies.
But on the serious side, an outie is no different. It is just an outside belly button. Inside or outside, apply lots of love and affection to any condition.