14 doctors weighed in:
Is there any significance to the way a belly button appears, such as in or out?
14 doctors weighed in

Dr. Adam Naddelman
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: No
Usually there is no significance to the way your baby's belly button appears.
Sometimes babies will have what looks like a very big "outie" belly button in the first few months of life. This can be an umbilical hernia, which are harmless more than 95% of the time and will resolve on their own. If you're unsure if your baby has an umbilical hernia, ask your pediatrician to check his/her belly!

In brief: No
Usually there is no significance to the way your baby's belly button appears.
Sometimes babies will have what looks like a very big "outie" belly button in the first few months of life. This can be an umbilical hernia, which are harmless more than 95% of the time and will resolve on their own. If you're unsure if your baby has an umbilical hernia, ask your pediatrician to check his/her belly!
Dr. Adam Naddelman
Dr. Adam Naddelman
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Dr. Lawrence Rosen
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: No
Some have innies, some have outies - even large "outies" called umbilical hernias often disappear to become innies by 5 years old.

In brief: No
Some have innies, some have outies - even large "outies" called umbilical hernias often disappear to become innies by 5 years old.
Dr. Lawrence Rosen
Dr. Lawrence Rosen
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Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics
In brief: No
Belly buttons that are innies or small outies are both fine.
A big outie, however, may have a hernia in it (some intestine gets inside the big outie). If the doctor finds a hernia, he will follow along at the check-ups. Big outies with hernias usually resolve by age 2-3 years, but a remaining outie after that age may need surgery to improve or fix it.

In brief: No
Belly buttons that are innies or small outies are both fine.
A big outie, however, may have a hernia in it (some intestine gets inside the big outie). If the doctor finds a hernia, he will follow along at the check-ups. Big outies with hernias usually resolve by age 2-3 years, but a remaining outie after that age may need surgery to improve or fix it.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
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In brief: None.
Some people think an "innie" is prettier than an "outie".
Babies don't really care, one way or the other.

In brief: None.
Some people think an "innie" is prettier than an "outie".
Babies don't really care, one way or the other.
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
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Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics
In brief: UMBILICAL HERNIA
Umblical hernias are common and almost always harmless.
They can be quite large, especially in african american babies. As the abdominal muscles tighten, the hernia resolves. If your child's hernia does not improve by age 5, your doctor may send you to a specialist for repair.

In brief: UMBILICAL HERNIA
Umblical hernias are common and almost always harmless.
They can be quite large, especially in african american babies. As the abdominal muscles tighten, the hernia resolves. If your child's hernia does not improve by age 5, your doctor may send you to a specialist for repair.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Dr. Pamela Lindor
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Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics
In brief: Not really!
Parents often worry, or comment on, belly buttons.
Going in or out has nothing to do with the cutting of the umbilical cord, as some parents fear. Many babies have a space between their abdominal muscles for the first 1-2 years, which will make their belly button appear to pop out. This almost always gets better as the muscles mature.

In brief: Not really!
Parents often worry, or comment on, belly buttons.
Going in or out has nothing to do with the cutting of the umbilical cord, as some parents fear. Many babies have a space between their abdominal muscles for the first 1-2 years, which will make their belly button appear to pop out. This almost always gets better as the muscles mature.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Dr. Pamela Lindor
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Dr. Colton Bradshaw
Pediatrics
In brief: Truthfully, no
Whether the baby has an "innie" or an "outie" truthfully has little medical relevance.
Certainly an outie might be the first sign of an umbilical hernia--but even this raises mostly only cosmetic concerns. Whereas the vast majority of parents do prefer an innie, many toddlers discover their outie can be a convenient playtoy! most outies do improve over time, so cautious observation is reasonable.

In brief: Truthfully, no
Whether the baby has an "innie" or an "outie" truthfully has little medical relevance.
Certainly an outie might be the first sign of an umbilical hernia--but even this raises mostly only cosmetic concerns. Whereas the vast majority of parents do prefer an innie, many toddlers discover their outie can be a convenient playtoy! most outies do improve over time, so cautious observation is reasonable.
Dr. Colton Bradshaw
Dr. Colton Bradshaw
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Dr. Holly Maes
Pediatrics
In brief: Not in newborn
"innies or outies" are of almost no consequence in newborns.
Every newborn has had a big cord with three huge blod vessels coming out of there, so there is going to be a gap in the muscle there. Sometimes tht gap closes right away, sometimes it takes longer. Then it is an umbilical hernia. Most of these eventually close on their own, even if large. Give it 'til 9-12 months and have your doc watch.

In brief: Not in newborn
"innies or outies" are of almost no consequence in newborns.
Every newborn has had a big cord with three huge blod vessels coming out of there, so there is going to be a gap in the muscle there. Sometimes tht gap closes right away, sometimes it takes longer. Then it is an umbilical hernia. Most of these eventually close on their own, even if large. Give it 'til 9-12 months and have your doc watch.
Dr. Holly Maes
Dr. Holly Maes
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Dr. Janesta Noland
Pediatrics
In brief: Not much
It's hard to tell whether it will ultimately be an "innie" or an "outie.
" many babies have an umbilical hernia where fluid or other contents of the abdomen can go in it. These generally close on their own and don't need any intervention, but they can make a belly button look "out" when it will end up "in.".

In brief: Not much
It's hard to tell whether it will ultimately be an "innie" or an "outie.
" many babies have an umbilical hernia where fluid or other contents of the abdomen can go in it. These generally close on their own and don't need any intervention, but they can make a belly button look "out" when it will end up "in.".
Dr. Janesta Noland
Dr. Janesta Noland
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Dr. Irwin Berkowitz
Pediatrics
In brief: No
All babies have a necessary umbilical hernia which allows the attachment of the umbilical cord to the baby.
Some babies' opening are larger than other causing an "outie". 98% of these resove spontaneously by the age of 5 years. It is rare that anything needs to be done. Do not place anything over the belly button to keep it in, as it may irritate the area.

In brief: No
All babies have a necessary umbilical hernia which allows the attachment of the umbilical cord to the baby.
Some babies' opening are larger than other causing an "outie". 98% of these resove spontaneously by the age of 5 years. It is rare that anything needs to be done. Do not place anything over the belly button to keep it in, as it may irritate the area.
Dr. Irwin Berkowitz
Dr. Irwin Berkowitz
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Dr. Laura Webb
Pediatrics
In brief: Nope
Belly buttons can be as individual as babies are.
Sometimes babies will have an umbilical hernia which makes their belly button look like its coming out. Generally these are not repaired and will go away on their own during the first year.

In brief: Nope
Belly buttons can be as individual as babies are.
Sometimes babies will have an umbilical hernia which makes their belly button look like its coming out. Generally these are not repaired and will go away on their own during the first year.
Dr. Laura Webb
Dr. Laura Webb
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Dr. Syed Masood
Pediatrics
In brief: No it does not
If it sticks out there may be a little hernia but most umbilical hernias do not need to be treated.

In brief: No it does not
If it sticks out there may be a little hernia but most umbilical hernias do not need to be treated.
Dr. Syed Masood
Dr. Syed Masood
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Dr. Michelle Loftis
Pediatrics
In brief: Bulging Belly Button
During fetal development, there is a natural opening in the abdominal wall that communicates with the umbilical cord.
If it doesn't close before delivery, the baby will have a bulge at the belly button. This is called an "umbilical hernia". Most umbilical cords are small and close on their own. The larger ones will stretch the skin overtime and cause an "outie".

In brief: Bulging Belly Button
During fetal development, there is a natural opening in the abdominal wall that communicates with the umbilical cord.
If it doesn't close before delivery, the baby will have a bulge at the belly button. This is called an "umbilical hernia". Most umbilical cords are small and close on their own. The larger ones will stretch the skin overtime and cause an "outie".
Dr. Michelle Loftis
Dr. Michelle Loftis
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