Strong smelling urine in baby: Baby Pee and Wet Diapers—The Ultimate Guide
Baby Pee and Wet Diapers—The Ultimate Guide
You may not have given much thought to the topic of baby pee, other than during a diaper change. But many parents have questions about their baby’s urine, such as how often a newborn should pee or what different baby pee smells and colors might signify. Our guide to baby pee answers all these questions and more! By the end, you’ll have a clearer picture of how many wet diapers you should expect from your newborn and when to contact your child’s healthcare provider.
How Many Wet Diapers Should a Newborn Have?
Within 24 hours after birth, your newborn will probably pee once, so you can expect one wet diaper. In the following days, and as your baby consumes more milk, the number of wet diapers increases. After about a week, a typical peeing routine for a baby will result in about four to six wet diapers per day.
Counting the number of wet diapers each day can help you understand your baby’s normal peeing routine and indicate how your little one is doing. There’s quite a wide range of healthy urinary frequency for a baby, with some babies peeing every one to three hours and others just four to six times a day. But in general, you’ll want to look for at least four to six wet diapers each day.
What Does It Mean if Your Baby Is Peeing a Lot?
If it seems that your baby is peeing a lot, that’s usually a good thing and typically means they’re getting enough to eat. In your baby’s first month, if you are breastfeeding and your milk supply is well established, six or more wet diapers a day generally indicates that your baby is getting adequate nourishment.
However, if you notice your baby is peeing a lot more than what’s “normal” (such as more than once every hour), look for other signs and contact your child’s healthcare provider if you have concerns. For example, children with a urinary tract infection (UTI) may pee more frequently or show signs of pain or discomfort while urinating, such as crying or body tension.
What Does It Mean if Your Newborn Is Not Peeing?
If you notice your newborn is not peeing very often (fewer than four times a day), your baby could
have a fever
be managing the heat.
With illnesses, fevers, or hot weather, your baby’s output of urine may drop by half, which is actually quite normal. Once your baby’s health improves and the weather cools, your little one will likely return to their typical pee routine.
If your newborn isn’t eating enough, however, that’s another reason they might not be peeing very much. When you’re breastfeeding your baby, it can be hard to judge how much your baby is consuming. Look for other signs that your baby isn’t getting enough to eat, which (along with not peeing or pooping) may include the following:
Lethargy. If your little one isn’t eating enough, they might be very sleepy or seem extra “easy” to care for.
Prolonged sleep. If your baby is regularly sleeping for four or more hours at a time, it could be an indication of inadequate nutrition. It’s best to contact your child’s healthcare provider if this happens.
Of course, if your newborn is still not peeing after a fever breaks or heat wave has passed, when no illness persists, or after feeding, contact your child’s healthcare provider ASAP, especially if your baby doesn’t pee at all within a span of six to eight hours.
Newborn Pee Color
Baby pee looks similar to adult pee, in that the urine of healthy newborns has a light to dark yellow pee color. Darker shades indicate concentrated urine, which may mean that your baby is slightly dehydrated. But in general, a normal pee color for a newborn is a shade of yellow.
However, your little one’s urine may have a slightly different color from time to time. Many colors are totally normal and nothing to worry about, whereas others may indicate a problem.
You’ll find a baby urine color chart below, and we’ll also provide information about various shades of newborn pee, which can include tints of light yellow, dark yellow, pink, red, orange, or brown.
Light to Dark Yellow Baby Pee
As mentioned above, light yellow urine is healthy. It means your baby is getting enough nourishment and peeing regularly. The darker the yellow color, the more concentrated the urine. Although a healthy baby can have dark-yellow urine, this color could also indicate that your little one needs to consume more liquids to stay hydrated.
Keep in mind that babies younger than 6 months should drink only breast milk or formula to stay hydrated. Once your little one turns 6 months old, you can start introducing small amounts of water.
Pink, Orange, Red, or Brown Baby Pee
A pink, orange, red, or brown hue to your baby’s pee can mean a few different things. Some conditions are temporary, some are harmless, and some need medical attention.
It’s easy to assume that a pink spot on your baby’s diaper is blood, but this is often just highly concentrated urine. As long as your baby is peeing a lot, then there’s likely no cause for concern. However, if this color persists, contact your child’s healthcare provider.
For a newborn baby girl, a pinkish stain on the diaper could indicate blood in her pee, but it’s typically temporary and caused by the mother’s hormones. If your baby girl continues to have pink spots on her diaper or pink pee after she turns 1 week old, contact her healthcare provider.
Orange, Red, or Brown
An orange, red, or brown tint may indicate the presence of blood in your newborn’s urine. Whether you have a baby boy or girl, blood in pee (after 1 week for girls) is not normal and usually means there’s a problem. The medical name for this condition is hematuria, and it can be caused by many things, including
exposure to toxins
high levels of minerals in the urine
immune system abnormalities.
If you suspect blood in your newborn’s urine and see a pink, orange, red, or brown tint, contact your child’s healthcare provider ASAP. If it’s hematuria, the provider can address it quickly.
However, once your baby is past the newborn stage and you’ve introduced solid foods, these colors could be a result of your baby eating something colorful, like beets or blackberries. Either way, you’ll probably feel better once you contact the healthcare provider, who will identify the underlying cause and make sure your little one gets any necessary treatment.
Red or Brown and Cloudy Baby Pee
If your baby’s pee is cloudy and accompanies a color change, it could be a urinary tract or kidney infection. A kidney infection is actually a type of UTI, so these can go hand-in-hand. Contact your child’s healthcare provider ASAP if you notice any cloudy urine, especially if it also has a red or brown hue.
“Brick Dust” Baby Pee
A common descriptor of a red-brown hue in baby pee is “brick dust. ” It actually looks a bit like dust from red bricks sprinkled into the urine, often mistaken for blood. When you see this in your baby’s pee, it could mean they’re not nursing enough or consuming enough formula. This “dust” is actually urate crystals, which will not appear once your baby consumes more fluids and nutrients.
Baby Urine Color Chart
Much like our color chart for newborn poop, we’ve created one for pee, so you’ll have an easy guide as to what your baby’s urine may be telling you.
Baby Pee Smells
Along with concerns about your newborn’s pee color, you may also wonder what it means when your baby’s urine is especially smelly. Sometimes, colorful pee and smelly pee indicate the same thing.
Strong Smelling Urine in Babies
In some cases, strong, foul-smelling pee may indicate a bacterial infection, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI), which can cause serious illness if left untreated. When a baby’s urine smells particularly strong, kind of like ammonia, look for signs of an infection, which include blood in urine, plus cloudy and smelly pee. Babies with a UTI may also have a fever, start peeing a lot more frequently, or show signs of discomfort while urinating.
Toddlers can get UTIs, too, and when that’s the case, they may complain about pain while peeing, need to pee frequently, or have accidents during or after potty-training. Consult your child’s healthcare provider if your baby’s pee smells foul or strong like ammonia, or if they have any of the above symptoms.
However, a strong pee smell doesn’t always indicate an infection. If your breastfed baby’s urine smells strong and is highly concentrated with a dark yellow color, your little one may be dehydrated. Giving your baby more fluids (just breast milk or formula until 6 months old) will typically do the trick.
Diet and medication can also be reasons that baby pee smells strong. Check in with your little one’s healthcare provider with any concerns about this.
This may sound a little odd, but your baby’s pee might smell sweet like maple syrup. This odor indicates a rare, serious illness called Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), which typically shows signs either within the first three days of birth or between 5 months and 7 years. It’s a metabolic disorder that stops the body from properly converting food to energy.
Diabetes is another disease that could cause sweet-smelling baby pee. Because both diabetes and MSUD are very serious conditions, contact your child’s healthcare provider if you notice a sweet smell to your baby’s pee.
The Bottom Line
As you’ve discovered, baby pee can sometimes be more complicated than just changing a diaper! Still, those daily diaper changes offer opportunities to monitor your baby’s health. Pay attention to the number of wet diapers, the color of your baby’s pee, and even the smell of your baby’s pee. All of these can reassure you that your little on is thriving or suggest that you’ll need contact your child’s healthcare provider. To sum it up:
Urinary frequency. Most newborns should have at least four to six wet diapers a day, although how many your baby produces could end up being one every hour or every three hours.
Urine color. A healthy baby has yellow pee—either light, dark, or somewhere in between. Pink-tinted pee usually means highly concentrated urine, whereas red, orange, or brown hues indicate blood, which isn’t normal.
Urine smell. Baby pee can smell strong without any issues. But if your baby’s pee smells particularly strong or foul, it could be a sign of a UTI.
Now that you understand the ins and outs of baby pee, you’ll have a better idea of how many wet diapers will come your way and when your baby’s urine (or lack of it) indicates a problem. In the meantime, download the Pampers Club App and reward yourself for all those diaper changes with Pampers Cash!
Why Does My Child Have Stinky Pee?
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Urological problems in children can often be almost asymptomatic , but they can greatly affect the quality of a child’s future adult life. Parents should pay special attention to the health of the genitourinary system of the baby and regularly show the child to a pediatric urologist. This will detect any abnormalities or disorders at the initial stage and prevent the development of serious disorders of the urogenital area in boys and girls.
What problems do we solve?
- Scheduled inspections. Children are not protected from diseases of the genitourinary system. Sometimes these ailments are asymptomatic, and children are not aware of them. Annual scheduled examinations by a pediatric urologist will help to diagnose the pathological condition in time and prescribe effective treatment.
- Inflammations . Inflammatory processes of the genitourinary system occur due to hypothermia, improper hygiene, and also due to poor nutrition. Often accompanied by itching, burning, redness in the vulva.
- Cloudy or discolored urine. If the child’s urine has changed: color, unpleasant odor, turbidity – this may indicate serious changes in the state of the genitourinary system. In this case, it is necessary to show the child to a pediatric urologist.
- Injuries of the external genital organs. Mechanical injuries of the external genital organs can be accompanied by edema, soreness and are a serious problem due to the complex anatomy, especially with combined injuries. In this case, the help of a pediatric urologist is needed.
- Painful urination, urinary incontinence. May occur as a result of hypothermia, improper use of diapers, bacterial or viral infection. To prevent the disease from becoming chronic, it is necessary to visit a pediatric urologist as soon as possible.
- Anomalies in the development of the external genitalia. It makes sense to contact a urologist if a boy’s scrotum is asymmetric: due to an increase in one of its halves or due to the absence of testicles in one of its halves, or in both. With curvature of the penis or in the absence of disclosure of the foreskin, with its redness or swelling. With an abnormal appearance of the penis and associated problems with urination. As a rule, when it comes to newborns, correction of congenital defects and anomalies is relevant. Some of them (such as hypospadias) do not require emergency treatment and are corrected at an older age. Such a pathology in boys, like varicocele, becomes noticeable only at the beginning of puberty.
Try to carefully monitor the child’s well-being, listen to what he complains about. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Redness of the skin of the external genitalia
- Burning and itching, painful urination
- Discoloration, odor, cloudiness of urine
- Enlargement of one or both halves of the scrotum
- Redness or swelling of the foreskin
- Urinary incontinence
An appointment with a pediatric urologist begins with a conversation and examination. Urologists of the children’s clinic “Health from the Diaper” act carefully and delicately, they will not scare the baby and help the teenager overcome embarrassment. Often the urologist requires additional examinations. After collecting all the data, the doctor makes a diagnosis and prescribes treatment.
|Primary appointment (examination, consultation) with a urologist-andrologist||1000|
|Appointment (examination, consultation) with a urologist-andrologist repeated||850|
|Dispensary appointment (examination, consultation) with a urologist-andrologist||650|
what does it mean and what to do
The strong smell of urine in a child makes parents worry about the health of the baby. Often this is a sign of a bacterial infection, metabolic disorders. Sometimes an unusual smell is associated with changes in diet. Dushok may appear during long-term storage of the released liquid, untimely change of diapers. To find out the cause of the stench from baby urine, you need to observe the baby and consult with a specialist.
- Why my baby smells bad in urine
- Certain foods
- Dehydration and starvation
- Common causes of characteristic odors
- Smell of acetone
- Smell of ammonia in the urine of a child
- Smell of stale fish
- Why does the smell of urine change in the baby
- When should parents worry
Why does the baby smell strongly of urine
The smell of baby urine when the baby has just peed is barely perceptible. After 20-30 minutes, it becomes more pronounced. But if there is not enough fluid in the body or the baby is sick, then the urine starts to stink. What the child eats and drinks is reflected in the smell.
Food can increase the odor of urine, giving it an unpleasant odor. Urine stinks after eating asparagus, cabbage, radish and radish. A specific stench is given by onions and garlic, fish, seafood. A rich aroma has the urine of children whose diet is dominated by protein foods – meat, cottage cheese, milk.
In infants, the excreted fluid is practically odorless. But if the baby is bottle-fed, then after replacing the mixture, the urine begins to smell. This is due to the adaptation of the body to a new product. A similar phenomenon occurs with the introduction of complementary foods to infants.
When 1 year old, changes become especially noticeable. The transition from feeding exclusively on mother’s milk to animal and plant products is marked by the appearance of an unusual smell from the baby’s urine.
During illness, the child often has a strong smell of urine. In inflammatory pathologies, this is due to the presence of pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi) in the urine. Often it is the unusual smell that becomes the first manifestation of cystitis, urethritis, pyelonephritis.
An unusual smell from urine can appear not only with infectious lesions of the kidneys and excretory tract. If the baby is taking medication for other diseases, cystitis is possible, caused by irritation of the walls of the bladder with medicines. Then the aroma of urine acquires a chemical or medicinal connotation.
Diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract cause general weakness, fever. The kid complains of pain in the abdomen, back, discomfort during urination or frequent urge. When these symptoms are combined with smelly urine, an urgent visit to the pediatrician is required.
Urine smells bad in children with diabetes, salt metabolism disorders, dysbacteriosis. With genetic abnormalities, urine acquires a fishy, mousey or other unusual aroma.
Unpleasant smell of urine in a child can be caused by medication. Especially often, a specific aroma appears during treatment with antibiotics, synthetic vitamins (in particular, group B).
Dehydration and starvation
Insufficient saturation of the body with fluid leads to the fact that the urine of the child becomes concentrated, acquires a sharp ammonia or other unpleasant odor. The cause of dehydration in infants is starvation (a small amount of mother’s milk or rare feedings). Causes fluid deficiency sweating (in heat, during illness, heavy wrapping, with a lack of vitamin D), as well as vomiting and diarrhea in intestinal disorders.
Dehydration is extremely dangerous, especially for young children. Fluid deficiency can be determined by lethargy, dry mucous membranes, viscous saliva.
When the baby drinks little and his urine smells strange, it is necessary to replenish fluid reserves. It is often given (every 10-15 minutes for 1-2 tsp) to babies of the first year of life, with nausea. Those who are already 2 years old are allowed to drink 50-70 ml of sweetened water, electrolyte solution (Humana Electrolyte, Regidron), uzvar at a time with an interval of 25-30 minutes.
Common causes of characteristic odors
Many pathological conditions cause a peculiar smell of urine. Having noticed it, it is necessary to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Aroma of acetone
A caustic acetone stench appears with a lack of carbohydrates and increased breakdown of fats. The cause of the violation can be:
- diseases of the hepatobiliary system, kidneys;
- diabetes mellitus;
- wrong diet;
- features of the constitution;
- strong emotional experiences;
- physical overwork.
The smell of ammonia in the urine of a child
It happens that the urine smells of ammonia in a child if he has not urinated for a long time. Stagnant liquid accumulates urea, which causes a strong aroma.
Ammonia smell may have a more serious cause. It appears when:
- serious violations of the liver, kidneys;
- inflammatory processes in the urogenital organs.
If your child’s urine smells like ammonia after a night, and then the smell disappears, there is no need to worry. But sharp fumes that persist for 2-3 days require an appointment with a specialist and diagnostics.
Smell of stale fish
A sharp fishy stink from baby urine is a symptom of a genetic disorder, trimethylaminuria. The first signs appear after a year. Children of this age already eat eggs, liver – products that, with trimethylaminuria, provoke the smell of rotting fish from urine and sweat.
Why does the smell of urine change in babies
In the first 3-5 days, the bladder of a newborn is emptied 5-6 times a day. Urine has a color from yellow to reddish-brown, a pronounced aroma is noticeable.
In the second week after birth, the frequency of urination increases, the excreted liquid almost loses its smell.
The urine of a baby does not smell anything while he is fed only mother’s milk. When enriching the diet with vegetables, cereals, ready-made mixtures, urine becomes odorous. It can be felt without much sniffing.
In a child under one year old, an unpleasant smell of urine occurs when the liquid gets on a stale sheet, panties or diaper and interacts with microbes. It is not difficult to dispel anxiety and make sure that the anomaly is not caused by a disease. To do this, you need to collect urine in a sterilized container and compare its aroma with that which comes from the laundry. If it was the laundry that caused the stench, then for washing you need to use the boiling mode, and after drying, iron it at the maximum temperature.
When your baby’s urine starts to smell, it’s worth remembering what diapers he’s wearing. If you have recently changed brands, you may notice an unusual smell.
When Parents Should Worry
Children’s urine often smells strong for health reasons. But it is worth making sure of this, even if the child feels fine – check the tests, consult a pediatrician.
It is important not to miss the onset of the disease if the color and smell of the liquid has changed, and the baby has become passive, restless and whiny, refuses to eat, loses weight. In such conditions, you should immediately go to the clinic. After the examination, the doctor will give a referral for urine tests.
Laboratory tests may show signs of inflammation in the urinary system – bacteria, leukocytes or erythrocytes, high salt content. Diabetes is diagnosed when sugar is found in the urine. Express analysis will show whether ketone bodies are present in the physiological fluid, causing the smell of acetone.
According to the results of the tests, the doctor will prescribe a further examination for the child – ultrasound, X-ray or tomography of the urinary system, abdominal cavity. If the diagnosis reveals abnormalities, treatment will be required.