Belly button greetings


Whenever the toddler meets someone for the first time, he lifts his shirt and shows his belly button. I’d try pulling down his shirt, but he’d insist on pulling it up and showing his belly button again. Then he’ll go on and play. Why, oh why, does my 2 year old keep doing this?

I asked his pedia about it and she had an interesting explanation. Our exchange went something like this:

Me: “Doctor, he shows his belly button to people he meets for the first time. Is there an explanation for that?”
Doctor: “Does he like his belly button? Does he play with it?”
Me: “Oh yes. He loves his belly button. He laughs when he sees it in the mirror. He giggles when he sees it. He loves it.”
Doctor: “Ah, that could be his way of, let’s say, welcoming. He’s sharing something he likes with the people he meets. If we offer our hand as a sign of greeting — a handshake, in his case it’s greeting with his belly button.”

Makes sense, right?

He shows it to other kids. He shows it to Mommies. He shows it to relatives we meet for the first time. He doesn’t show it to everyone though. I also noticed he only shows his belly button to people he likes. For instance, he showed his belly button to the clinic nurse when we arrived for his check-up. However, he didn’t show it to his doctor. Maybe he remembers her as the scary shot-giver.

Belly button greetings. So if we meet you for the first time and the toddler shows his belly button to say hello, please don’t run the other way. Just say hello back, wave or maybe even show your own belly button. Or maybe not. A wave back will do!

Photo source: Photo: “Jade’s belly” by , c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.

9 Comments on Belly button greetings

  1. Rye
    September 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm (13 years ago)

    Cute! But if I showed the toddler my belly button, I’m pretty sure he’ll be the one running away. Hehe.

  2. haze
    September 15, 2011 at 5:41 pm (13 years ago)

    kade does that too! but not as a greeting, he just shows it off to family members, but to me, when he shows it, it means, he wants it cleaned LOL!

    good to know that our kids are “normal” happy kids!

    send my love to timmy!

  3. Ingrid
    September 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm (13 years ago)

    my son shows off his belly button too. but its not his way of greeting as your son does but its his expression of being happy or excited. I noticed him doing that when he started to learn to walk. He would show off his big tummy and sometimes rub it when he’s happy and excited.
    Ingrid´s last blog post ..Balance Exercises For Improved Equilibrium

  4. anj
    September 19, 2011 at 3:58 pm (13 years ago)

    how cute. :)

    some of my pamangkins went through playing with their belly buttons too. can’t blame them, it is a weird but interesting part of the body. heheh!
    anj´s last blog post ..Johnny Chow in Resorts World

  5. cel
    September 20, 2011 at 9:05 am (13 years ago)

    Haha, your child’s funny..well, I have a 3-week old baby now and I’m looking forward to days ahead..:)
    cel´s last blog post ..Blessing

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  7. nadja
    September 25, 2011 at 9:12 pm (13 years ago)

    We have the best pedia! I found out about your site through her. :)


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