Inflammation of the belly button in the baby


Inflammation of the belly buttons is common in newborn babies. It is mostly caused by bacteria. A navel infection becomes medically Omphalitis called.

After the birth, the umbilical cord as the connection between the baby and the placenta is separated so that one is always smaller Residual stump stop. This falls usually after a week to 10 days and this is how the later navel emerges. Until then, it represents an open gateway for all pathogens into the baby's body.

Also read: Inflammation of the belly button in children


As causes for one Inflammation of the belly button with baby come especially bacterial pathogens into consideration. These are often transmitted from the mother to the baby during the birth process. This is then a so-called Neonatal infection.

Of the Navel stump, which remains after the baby has been cut from the mother's cord, can roughly be seen as an open wound that provides a connection between the outside world and the inside of the body. As a result, germs can penetrate the body particularly easily and both local in the area of ​​the navel as well as in the entire body to Infections to lead. Usually this is not a single pathogen, but so-called mixed infections with several pathogens.

As typical bacterial pathogensthat lead to belly button infection in the baby are above all Skin and intestinal germs to call. Among other things, the so-called Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli such as Klebsiella. Since newborn babies are not yet pronounced immune system as is found in adults, for example, they are particularly susceptible to infections.

The risk for a Inflammation of the belly button in the baby also increases by constant Wear from Diapers. The diapers are usually so large that they reach the baby's navel and often even cover it. As a result, they can of course rub against the umbilical stump, especially at the beginning, and thus lead to a navel infection in the baby. In addition, the navel often comes in from wearing the diaper Contact with urine and fecesso that it also increases the risk of infection.

Please also read our article on this Diaper rash

There are a few more risk factors that can cause one to occur Inflammation of the belly button in the baby increase. These include a low one Birth weight of the baby, one too early birth or Malformations in the area of ​​the navel area.

Figure causes a navel infection

Figure Inflammation of the navel: stages of inflammation (middle) and possible causes (A - F)

Inflammation of the belly button -

  1. Umbilical ring -
    Umbilical annulus
  2. Middle umbilical fold -
    Plica umbilicalis mediana
  3. Redness of the navel
  4. Swelling and
  5. Discharge of purulent
    or bloody secretions

    Causes a
    Inflammation of the belly button:

    A. - infection
    of the small remnant of the umbilical cord
    (Period - birth up to four weeks)
    B. - Navel piercing -
    possible entry points
    for bacteria
    C. - Chronic skin diseases
    like psoriasis inversa
    (a form of psoriasis)
    D. - Contact allergies -
    z. B. Nickel allergy
    (Pants buttons, piercing)
    E. - Pregnancy -
    Tension of the abdominal wall
    Growth and Child Movements
    F. - After a laparoscopy
    (Laparoscopy) -
    possible settling of bacteria

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations

Causes of a brook umbilical inflammation in the 6th month

Also with 6 months it can occasionally become a Inflammation of the belly button of the baby come. As in the period after the birth, this can come from chafing the diaper. Permanent Wetness in combination with the Diaper wear can be a cause of a baby's belly button infection.

As another root cause comes the so-called Urachus fistula into consideration. A Urachus fistula represents a congenital cause of inflammation of the belly button in the baby. Before babies are born, there is one anatomical gait between the baby's bladder and his belly button. This should normally close until the birth or a short time after the birth at the latest. If this duct is not blocked by connective tissue, the connection between the bladder and the navel remains. A symptom for that is a constant and long-term weeping navel. The clear liquid that emerges on the navel is that urine of the baby.

Another prenatal structure is the so-called Omphaloenteric duct. This is a corridor that this time is between the Intestines and the navel is located. This should also close by the time of birth or shortly after birth. If there is no closure, then small amounts can accumulate bowel movement in the Empty the navel and thus also to one Inflammation of the belly button of the baby.

Causes of navel inflammation in the 9th month

Inflammation of the navel often occurs in the age range of 6-9 months. This is mainly because the Bacterial load on the skin naturally during the first months of life increases, the Defense system but not so good yetlike an adult educated is. Because of this, it can become a Redness of the navel and then to one infection come if the navel area has not been properly cleaned. First of all, one should use the treatment regular intensive cleaning and by typing Bepanthen Apply ointment to the navel. Should by this insufficient improvement should occur on a antibiotic ointment can be used.

Causes of a navel infection in the 12th month

Small children with one year already have one pretty good immune systembecause they have to defend themselves against pathogens that are exposed every day. Nevertheless, it can happen that the bacterial load on the skin and in the belly button is so high that the resistance is insufficient and an infection in the belly button is triggered. If this is the case, treatment should be started as soon as possible. First with a regular Navel cleaningthen this shouldn't help with treatment Bepanthen Ointment, and if here too insufficient improvement should be achieved antibiotic ointment are used.


In babies, too, the classic signs of inflammation redness, swelling, warmth, etc. occur as part of a navel infection.

As with other inflammations in the body, the classic signs of inflammation appear as typical symptoms of belly button inflammation in babies. These include redness, swelling, overheating and pain. Especially if the baby has an inflammation of the navel, fluids may leak out of the navel. These can be greasy-watery, bloody or even purulent. In most cases of inflammation of the belly button, you can smell an unpleasant smell from the region of the belly button. Since the navel stump is initially a gateway for pathogens to enter the body, it is particularly dangerous to develop an infection during this time.

Read more on the topic: Belly button is bleeding - what could be behind it?

But even after the umbilical stump has fallen off, the path from the outside into the body via the navel is very short, so that an infection in the umbilical region is always increased risk for so-called systemic infections represents, i.e. infections that then affect the whole body. First signs of being abducted infection and thus the pathogens are spread in the baby's body, for example fever and Poor drinking. But also increased heart rate and breathing disorders can be a so-called sepsis (Blood poisoning) indicate.

Pus in the inflammation of the navel

Due to the individual depth of the belly button, cleaning can be difficult, which means that recurring inflammations in the area of ​​the belly button can occur. After the first reddening, which signals an inflammation in the navel, there is severe itching, burning or pain, even with severe inflammation, pus formation.
Pus is a reaction of the immune system and is triggered by the white blood cells that act against the pathogen. Most of the time, a festering wound is induced by oozing and discharge from the navel. At the latest when pus forms, the inflammation in the navel should be treated with medication.

If your baby's belly button also smells a bit unpleasant, you can find more information here: Belly button stinks - what's behind it?


Diagnosing a Inflammation of the belly button in the baby is primarily a visual diagnosis by the doctor. Due to the typical appearance with Redness, swelling and overheat the doctor can quickly suspect a navel infection.

Furthermore, blood values ​​taken can indicate inflammation. This includes increased values ​​of a certain inflammatory protein, which CRP is called as well increased white blood cell counts (an increased rate of white blood cells).

The doctor cannot draw any conclusions about the causative pathogens from the appearance of the navel infection in the baby. To determine the causative agent of the infection, the doctor needs a so-called smear from the area of ​​the inflamed tissue and have it examined microbiologically. Only after the pathogen has been identified can a antibiotic be treated.


At a beginning Inflammation of the belly button Therapy consists mainly in local disinfection the wound. In addition, both on an inflamed navel antiseptic, as well as antibiotic Anoint be applied. If the belly button inflammation in the baby spreads and gets worse, local measures may not be sufficient and systemic measures may also be used Antibiotic therapy must begin. In order to avoid repeated navel infections it is important that Baby skin care not to be neglected.

Ointments used to treat inflammation of the belly button

In addition to regular cleaning of the belly button, it can also be treated with a healing and disinfecting ointment. Treatment with a highly effective ointment should not be dispensed with, especially when pus has already developed in the navel.

At lighter inflammation should Bepanthen® Wound and healing ointment are put into the navel. A small plaster can then be stuck over the navel to keep the ointment in place for as long as possible. Entering Iodine ointment be very helpful as these are particularly good disinfectant works and kills many germs. If these measures are not sufficient, an antibiotic ointment should be rubbed into the belly button. Broad-spectrum antibiotics in particular in the form of ointments help kill a large part of the pathogens in question in the belly button.

Most often, ointments, whatever their form, very well tolerated and quickly lead to an improvement. A drug combination of two antibiotics is often used as an antibiotic ointment. Often the antibiotic is used Neomycin and Bacitracin used. It practically only works on the skin with which it comes in contact, and will almost not absorbed by the body. The side effects are therefore limited. It is a broad-based antibiotic that kills most germs. But it does happen despite the regular and timely application no improvement of complaints, should be one Skin swab be taken from the navel. Then the exact pathogen that causes the inflammation would be determined and the most effective substance would be determined by the antibiogram.


Depending on the pathogen and the severity of the navel infection, the length of treatment also varies. In the case of common pathogens and moderate purulent inflammation, with correct and sufficient treatment, a The symptoms improve after approx. 5-7 days enter.

If this is not the case, the treatment strategy must be reconsidered. If you haven't already, one should antibiotic preparation be used. If this does not have sufficient effect, one should Skin swab to identify the causative agent and to establish effective antibiotic treatment.

It is important to note that a long-lasting inflammation of the belly button is also always the Risk of spread brings with it. So there may be a spread in the abdomen or to one Fistula formation come. This complication is dangerous and would then have to be treated surgically. Any prolonged inflammation of the belly button should be presented to a doctor.


Usually the forecast one Inflammation of the belly button good with the baby. Consist Risk factors how Prematurity or Malformations The prognosis worsens, as there is a higher risk of systemic spread of the infection.

An early therapy for belly button inflammation in babies leads to a good prognosis and fewer complications.


The main actions of the prophylaxis one Inflammation of the belly button with the baby they are hygienic measures. This includes above all the Navel care. In addition, the Hand hygiene of those in contact with the baby as prophylaxis to protect the baby from a navel infection. Many germs are transmitted through simple hand contact. Therefore, you should wash your hands well before each contact with the navel region.

Navel care

To Navel care belongs primarily to the cleaning. Here it is gentle with the navel water and milder Soap to clean. After cleaning, the navel should then well dried will and also dry being held. Continuous contact with urine and feces irritates the skin and thus poses a risk of navel infection in the baby. In the first time after birth, the Umbilical stump for example by means of compress a little padded and are thereby protected from excessive rubbing of the diaper. You can also use the Turn the diaper upso that it does not protrude above the navel.

Inflammation of the belly button after giving birth

At the time after birth is the risk to developing a Inflammation of the belly button increased in the baby. Of the open umbilical stump stops during this time risk for the formation of Infections and the spread in the body. Therefore, it is important to watch out for an incipient inflammation and to prevent it by taking certain measures. One possibility is that Turning the diaperso that these the Umbilical region not touched and not covered either. This measure can cause excessive Prevents chafing become. The chafing of the diaper can also be reduced by a compress that is placed between the diaper and the umbilical stump.