The Ins and Outs of Belly Buttons

by The Editors Of Parenting Magazine

The Ins and Outs of Belly Buttons

Q. When will I know whether my newborn’s belly button will be an “outie” or an “innie”?

A. In about two or three weeks, when the umbilical cord falls off. For four out of five babies, the scar where the cord was tied sinks into the tummy, creating an innie.

Outies are caused by umbilical hernias, which are holes in the abdominal wall that let out a bit of intestinal tissue. Once they heal, the scar pokes out, forming the tell-tale outie. Most do so on their own, but do call the doctor if your baby’s outie becomes hard, warm, or purplish  — signs that the intestines may have gotten stuck in the hole, causing an obstruction.