When it comes to those funny little questions that your tiny tot likes to ask (like “why is the sky blue?” or “how many leaves are there in the world?”), it’s hard not to feel totally stumped for an answer. But next time your munchkin asks why some kids have innies and others have outies, you can respond with confidence.
Contrary to popular belief, the shape of your belly button has nothing to do with how the umbilical cord was cut or clamped—so don’t blame your doctor (or your S.O.). Instead, most outies are formed because of extra scar tissue that’s found beneath the belly button—something that’s beyond anyone’s control.
But if your child has a belly button that seems to switch from innie to outie and back again, it may be down to a medical condition called umbilical hernia. Although this sounds scary, it’s usually nothing to worry about. “The majority of umbilical hernias go away on their own by the age of five, but parents must to know how to monitor them in the rare instance that emergency evaluation is needed,” Dr. Diego Salinas, a pediatrician in Durham, North Carolina, tells us.
Although outies are less common than innies, there’s really no reason to be concerned as long as you continue regular check-ups with your doctor.
Innie or outie, there’s no doubt about it: Your little one is a total cutie.