Many babies have a small protrusion of the navel. Sometimes it is a small hernia into which abdominal contents may pass because the muscles of the abdominal wall are not yet very strong. More often there is no hernia, but only a small collar of skin which extends out for one-quarter to one-half of an inch. Even when an actual hernia is present, it is likely to close during the first three years of life.

Unless the hernia (protrusion) is very large, we do not feel that treatment is necessary. Some people recommend “taping” of the hernia or “bellybands.” We do not recommend them and feel that they are potentially quite hazardous.

Care of the navel prior to loss of the umbilical cord was discussed in a previous section.

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