Why Does My Baby Have a Lump in the Groin?

A lump in the groin of a baby can have different causes. Here are the most common ones and everything you should know about them.
Why Does My Baby Have a Lump in the Groin?

Last update: 02 March, 2021

It’s not uncommon for some babies to have a lump in the groin. Although it can be due to other causes, the two most common are either lymphadenopathy or an inguinal hernia. Here are the most important things you should know about each of these illnesses.

What are the causes of a lump in the groin?

As we’ve already mentioned, it’s quite common for babies to have lumps in the groin. There may be one or more, and their texture and location may vary. In addition, they may appear suddenly or grow gradually. It’s also common, depending on the nature of the lump, for there to be other symptoms as well.

So what should we do? Whenever we notice a lump in the groin, or anywhere else on a baby’s body, we should consult our pediatrician. They’ll be the one to correctly diagnose the lump and define the next course of action, depending on the cause of the lump.

Even so, most of the time, a lump in the groin is due to one of two causes that we’ll explain below. This can give us a slight idea of what type of lump our baby has, although it’s not a substitute for seeing a pediatrician.

Lump in the groin due to adenopathy

Adenopathies are popularly known as lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic tissue of a person. Lymphocytes, cells that form part of a person’s immune system, which is responsible for defending the body against infections, form in this tissue.

Why Does My Baby Have a Lump in the Groin?

Every person has about 500 lymph nodes. These nodes have a round shape and are distributed throughout the body. However, there are areas where the density of nodes is higher, for example the neck, armpits, or groin.

Changes in the size of the lymph nodes occur when the immune system is activated against an infection, increasing the production of defense cells. Normally, when a lymph node increases in size, it only reflects that the body is fighting an infection that may be more or less aggressive. Once the infection has passed, these nodes will return to their usual size.

You may be interested in: 5 Foods to Boost Your Immune System

When should I consult my pediatrician?

In most cases,, as we’ve already mentioned, lumps increase in size during an infection, which will usually pass without major consequences for the baby. In some cases, your pediatrician may recommend treatment. However, there are certain signs that mean you need to go back to the specialist to check the lump:

  • Your baby presents high fever.
  • The lumps are red, warm, and painful when pressed.
  • The lump is larger than 3/4 of an inch in size.
  • A lump continues to grow in size beyond two weeks of onset or doesn’t begin to decrease in size after 4 weeks.
  • The lump is very hard.
  • If, in addition to the enlarged lymph nodes, the baby has other symptoms, such as thinness, tiredness, paleness, various bruises around the body, bleeding from the gums and nose, or a swollen abdomen.
Why Does My Baby Have a Lump in the Groin?

Inguinal hernia lump

Inguinal hernia occurs already in the womb because the peritoneal-vaginal duct, which is present in both boys and girls, doesn’t close properly. This leaves a “hole” running from the belly to the groin.

An inguinal hernia is actually a bulge containing material that should be in the abdominal cavity, such as a loop of the intestine. Inguinal hernias are a very common condition, more so in boys than in girls.

Hernias can be asymptomatic or cause different symptoms in the baby, such as irritability, pain, vomiting, or abdominal swelling. Hernias are usually diagnosed at the baby’s first check-ups when the pediatrician carefully inspects these areas.

When these symptoms occur, it’s usually because the hernia has become strangulated. This means that the part of the intestine it contains is running out of blood supply, a medical emergency.

Normally, the pediatrician will decide how and when to treat the hernia. It’s an easy, quick, and simple operation that carries no major risk for the baby.

Regarding a lump in the groin…

Lumps in the baby’s groin can have many causes. The two most common are adenopathy and inguinal hernia. As always, the most important thing is to go to the pediatrician if you detect any lump or abnormality in your baby so that the professional can confirm the diagnosis and establish the measures to follow.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.