Baby’s Belly Button Discoloration

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Baby’s belly button discoloration usually happens when the baby has an umbilical hernia, and the belly look bruised, often purplish or blue in color. At this point, parents are worried and seek advice, which is totally normal behavior. 

It most often happens when the baby is born prematurely or of low body weight when babies are neglected and not given proper attention, and there may be other causes as well. Believe it or not, over ten percent of babies are born with this problem in Africa.

The abdominal muscles extend from the sternum to the lower part of the abdomen, and if the baby is born prematurely or is weak, the muscles do not fully develop. When a baby tenses due to coughing, sneezing, crying, or attempts to change an uncomfortable position leads to muscle separation. 

However, it is not dangerous, because abdominal muscles do not compress the intestine, and foods can pass through the intestine even when a hernia is present.

Baby’s belly button discoloration occurs in the first two to three months of a baby’s life. Later it recedes and can recede on its own, with no further pain or harm, when the child is around a year and a half. 

Even the navel can be put back in place with a light pressure of the hand. However, do not do it on your own, but rather seek the advice and care of a professional. 

Usually when the baby gets stronger and the abdominal muscles get stronger too, then the abdominal muscles close or merge. At this point, the hernia disappears and the navel is no longer a discoloration nor is enlarged.

The condition of the baby should be monitored at all times. With proper care and supervision by a doctor, the problem will disappear.

In some rare cases, when the muscular walls of the abdomen do not close, an umbilical hernia can torment your baby for up to two years. It is necessary to monitor the condition in that period in order not to pinch the intestine, that is, for the abdominal muscles to compress the intestine in the umbilical ring. 

In this situation, the baby cries sadly, feels pain, fever occurs, there may be vomiting, changes in attitude, discoloration, and enlargement of the navel. All of which are symptoms of umbilical cord entrapment. 

When the entrapment occurs, urgent surgical intervention is needed. The doctor will release the intestine trapped in the umbilical ring. Surgery is required when a bowel entrapment occurs or when the hernia does not go away even after the child is over two years old. During the operation, the doctor will permanently solve the problem with surgery. 

Understand that if it is not reduced to the age of two to two and a half years, there is no other solution to hernia. Only routine surgery that will not harm your child. 

After the operation, the navel is clean and tidy, without discoloration, and your child will no longer have problems. Do not use folklore tales, believing that band-aid over the navel or the button pushed into the navel will not help.

Why does my baby’s belly button look dark?

If you notice that your newborn has a belly that is darker than usual, know that this is a normal occurrence. Even after the cord has fallen from the baby’s belly, it still has a little brownish pigment inside. 

The dark area above your baby’s belly button can also indicate the umbilical hernia, which it’s soft and fluffy, like a dimple. It gradually becomes less noticeable as your child grows. 

The doctor or midwife might put pressure on the hernia to make sure there are no problems with it because it can also cause heartburn for your infant.

Most umbilical hernias darken over time, but if yours doesn’t lessen in color even after six months or more, tell your doctor about it. This usually indicates that the tissue is infected (called an umbilical infection), which needs immediate medical care.

Infected umbilical cord stumps are rare. But, if you notice redness, pus, swelling, strong smell, and even fever, take your baby to the pediatrician. 

What causes belly button discoloration?

The baby’s belly button discoloration happens due to omphaloliths. This is the result of sebum or the oil secreted that our bodies are producing, mixed with the dead skin cells. A combination of those two accumulate in the baby’s belly and as time goes by they are creating omphalolith. 

Omphalolith is differently called a navel stone, which will most likely turn black due to oxidation. The stone is typically dark in color and firm in texture while the opening of the navel may look like a large blackhead.

What color should the baby belly button be?

The belly will change its color from yellow to brownish-black. So, a baby’s belly button discoloration is a common phenomenon for the newborn. Your little one’s belly will look like a little stump once the clamp is removed.

As time passes, the umbilical cord stump will start to dry out, harden, and shrivel. After these things happen, usually within the first week of the baby’s life, the stump will fall off on its own.


Each parent is frightened when it comes to their baby’s health. And seeing something a bit strange, like a baby’s belly button discoloration, is not so pleasant. 

You should know that baby’s bellies are supposed to change color and due to the labor process along with the umbilical cord, discoloration happens. Parents should take extra care with this because it is very sensitive. 

After the first few weeks have passed, the color should change from yellow to brown and it should form a little umbilical cord stump, which will fall off on its own. However, a baby’s belly button discoloration can also happen when the baby has an umbilical hernia, and the belly is often purplish or blue in color. 

A hernia is not dangerous, and it should be closed by itself until the baby is around one and a half years old. If not, and if you notice any changes regarding the baby’s health, make sure you visit a healthcare provider.

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