An umbilical hernia creates a soft swelling or bulge near the navel. It occurs when part of the intestine protrudes through the umbilical opening in the abdominal muscles. Umbilical hernias in children are usually painless. Umbilical hernias are most common in infants, but they can affect adults as well. In an infant, an umbilical hernia may be especially evident when the infant cries, causing the bellybutton to protrude. This is a classic sign of an umbilical hernia. Children's umbilical hernias often close on their own in the first two years of life, though some remain open into the fifth year or longer. Umbilical hernias that appear during adulthood are more likely to need surgical repair.