Baby’s Belly Button Not Closed

Last Update:

Baby's Belly Button Not Closed

Baby’s belly button not closed? No need for worrying. Yes, this can happen but it’s nothing dangerous if the baby care is approached properly. 

This is due to umbilical cord granuloma that occurs ten to twelve days after the birth of your little one. After some time has passed, the cord will fall off by itself. 

It often happens that the bottom of the umbilical cord stump remains on the navel and does not allow the umbilical wound to close.

This is an area that is reddened because the base of the umbilical cord stump did not recover correctly and prevent epithelialization. A large number of mothers with newborns call their doctors because of this problem.

How to recognize a granuloma?

That’s a small lump or bump that looks like a blister in the belly button area. The baby’s belly button not closed is the reason why granuloma happens.

The navel discoloration can happen. It can be red, dark red, or even sometimes yellow while the bloody fluid can leak from it. The navel is enlarged, irritated, and requires special medical treatment. 

The granuloma causes an umbilical cord stump that takes a little longer to fall off. Sometimes it takes up to two weeks and if it falls off properly the problem is solved. If that small lower part of the umbilical cord remains, it causes a granuloma.

Additionally, granuloma causes wetting of the navel. The baby should be bathed less with sterile gauze on the navel. Sterile gauze protects the navel from getting wet and keeps the navel dry. Also, vet diapers contain bacteria that can contaminate the wound. So be careful to keep the diapers from the belly. 

It is necessary to consult a doctor when your baby cries a lot when you touch the navel, vomits, has a fever when the wound leaks a lot, and has an unpleasant odor.

How to treat granuloma?

Baby's Belly Button Not Closed

Bathe your baby with a sponge, and avoid long baths with too much water running. The navel should always be covered with clean and sterile gauze that the parents can put on the baby with clean hands. When it comes to diapers, change frequently so the navel stays in a dry environment. 

When putting the diapers, avoid covering the navel with it to avoid extra pressure on the baby’s stomach and navel.

Treat the wound with creams, ointments, and medications prescribed by your doctor. If the condition is more severe, you may need to visit the clinic more often to bandage the wound and treat the newborn. Usually, all this is not painful for your baby and gives results very quickly.

How long does it take for a baby navel to close?

It takes from one to two weeks of a baby’s life for a stump to fall off on its own. The umbilical cord that connects the mother and the baby is cut right after the birth. However, a little sump of a tissue stays attached to the newborn’s navel. 

Parents have to be a little patient because it can take up to two weeks before the stump falls off.  The umbilical cord is a tube-like structure that carries oxygenated blood to the baby from the mother. 

The latter provides nutrients and hormonal signals for fetal development through the placenta. After birth, if there’s still an attachment between the stump and the baby’s belly button, it will fall off on its own after a week or two. It can take slightly longer but not more than three weeks for this process to happen.

Why Does My Baby’s Belly Button Keep Getting Wet?

Baby's Belly Button Not Closed

A common question parents ask when a baby’s belly button not closed is why does the baby’s belly keeps getting wet? Because after the umbilical stump fell off, the wound on the navel did not heal and moisturize.

The umbilical cord is the mother’s connection with the unborn baby. The mother gives the baby through the umbilical cord everything she needs from nutrients to oxygen, and the baby returns everything she does not need through the umbilical cord.

When the baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut and the umbilical stump remains on the baby’s navel. Then you should pay special attention to the navel because parents are never sure if the navel heals properly.

In the first days of the newborn’s life, the hygiene of both the baby and the navel is very important. The umbilical stump should be medically treated with hydrogen iodine or other means prescribed by a pediatrician. 

When after ten or fifteen days the stump falls off, the same treatment should be continued for another three to four days. This is necessary because a small wound remains on the navel, which is sensitive until it closes completely. 

The navel should not be soaked if it is covered with hygienic gauze, but rather treat it with medical preparations, not more than once a day, and keep it as dry as possible.

The baby should be bathed with a soft sponge with a small amount of water, being careful not to wet the navel. If the navel gets wet, wipe the navel with gauze and gentle strokes. Use diapers that do not cover the navel and thus prevent it from coming into contact with the contents of the diaper. 

The contents of the diaper can contaminate the wound and then your baby’s navel moistens reddish, is irritated, and releases a yellowish or reddish liquid. The wound can be wet even when it heals and after a few days. If you treat the wound medically, everything will be fine and you will be able to bathe your baby with pleasure. 

Always keep in touch with your pediatrician or listen to a nurse who will give you good advice and help you around your baby’s navel.


When parents see that the baby’s belly button not closed, they get scared. But, this is not a serious problem. The belly button of a neonate is open. 

This means that the umbilicus is not covered with skin and looks like a string. It will close when the baby is a few days old, but there is no need to worry because this process is very fast and painless for most babies.

When it closes depends on several factors: mainly on heredity, ethnicity, weight at birth, gestational age (the longer the baby grew in his mother’s womb, the better), and sex (in general boys tend to have their belly buttons closed faster).

In the situation when the baby’s belly button not closed, parents should only take care of the baby’s hygiene, don’t try to push it yourself, keep the navel clean, and the stump will gradually dry and shrivel until it falls off.


Photo of author


My name is Catherine. I'm a Mom and one of the avid writers working on HerScoop!