13 answers

3-Year-old's Belly Button Issues

My three year old son has been picking at his belly button for awhile now. He has an "innie" and will pull it out (kind of so he has an "outie") and plays with it while it is stretched out! We get onto him for pulling it out but he still does it, especially if he is watching TV, sitting still, and he even does it in his sleep sometimes. His belly button is not irritated, red, infected, or anything- it seems like he just does it because he has nothing else to do. If anyone has a child that has done this, I would really appreciate suggestions!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all your comments. It's nice to know he's not the only kid out there that does this!!!

Featured Answers

I don't really have any advice, but my daughter sucks her thumb and plays with her belly button at the same time! She does it when she is tired. If she is wearing a onsie and can't get to her belly button she tries to borrow someone elses!

More Answers

I would just make sure he does not have a hernia. Otherwise, no need to worry. Take care!

My 4 year old still does this. He started doing it at an early age and when we spoke to his pediatrician about it, he said not to worry. The most harm it has done is that it's annoying especially when we're out an about and he has his hand in his shirt. We've tried stopping him from doing it by reminding him not to, but it's like second nature.

I wonder if it is something they just grow out of just like sucking thumb?

My almost 3 year old does the same thing and has been for awhile now. His doctor said that as long as it is not irritated or anything not to worry about it. He does it without even thinking about it while he is just sitting there watching tv. We have tried keeping his shirts tucked in to his pants which keeps him from doing it a little bit.

If it is not irritated I wouldn't worry too much about it being "stretched out". Skin is very elastic up into your 20's. If it bothers you though, try putting a big bandaid over it.

My 3 year old daughter does this too. She has been doing since she was about a year old. For her it is a comfort thing. She tends to do it a lot when she is anxious and when she is getting sleepy. It's funny but she used to play with mine when she was little and I would be breastfeeding her. I say if it's not getting irritated, just let it be. They will soon grow out of it.

Our daughter did the same thing for years. I don't recall when she finally quit, but at 11 years old, she no longer does it.

If he has no hernia, he will stop ( and I think if he had a hernia It would hurt to pull his belly button).My daughter did this ( it really freaked out her grandmother). We told her to stop if we saw her and didn't let her swim ina two piece . It faded when she was about 6. She still has an "insie" and doesn't mess with it any more---- this too will pass.

To me it sounds like a comfort thing. My son who is going on 11 still twirls the front of his hair when he is watching TV and or tired. I know it is a comfort thing because I used to twirl it when I was breastfeeding him. We try to keep his hair short and remind him that he is tired and it is ok. His doctor said not to worry about it as long as he was not pulling it out. He sometimes twirls my hair at night too instead of his. I see it that it is better than sucking his thumb....

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