Strong smelling urine in babies
New parents quickly become experts in changing nappies. After all, they change wet or dirty nappies several times every day. Parents often take a lot of notice of what they see in their babies’ nappies too, because it’s one way they can tell if their baby is getting enough milk.
From around day five onwards, a baby having at least five wet nappies is one reliable way to help determine if a baby is getting enough milk, especially if the urine is pale in color.
But what about if your baby has strong-smelling urine? Is it something to worry about? Here are 4 reasons why your baby might have strong-smelling urine.
#1: Baby’s strong smelling urine may be normal
Strong smelling urine in a baby may be normal if:
- Your baby is otherwise well
- Your baby is showing reliable signs of getting enough milk
- Baby’s urine is pale in color, despite being strong smelling.
Although the urine of babies tends to have little odor, as they grow older it may start to smell of ammonia. Or perhaps someone else who doesn’t usually change your baby’s nappy isn’t used to the smell. Or maybe you got a whiff closer to your baby’s nappy than you have before.
Nonetheless, if you’re concerned, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor – at the very least, your peace of mind will be worth it.
#2: It may be a urinary tract infection
Canadian researchers found parent-reported foul-smelling urine in babies was associated with a urinary tract infection (UTI). This does not mean strong-smelling urine always means your baby has a UTI. In this study, around one-third of the time when a baby’s urine was foul-smelling, there was no UTI.
If your baby has strong-smelling urine, it’s a good idea to get a doctor to examine your baby, especially if your baby also has a fever or seems out of sorts.
#3: It may be something you ate
If you’re breastfeeding, it’s possible that something you ate could influence the smell of your baby’s urine.
Anecdotally, some breastfeeding mothers have reported that eating a lot of asparagus, onion or garlic can make their baby’s urine smell differently.
Other breastfeeding mothers have reported that when they’ve taken antibiotics, its has temporarily changed the smell of their baby’s urine too.
#4: Smelly urine may mean your baby needs more milk
Another reason why your baby’s urine may be strong-smelling is that they may not be getting enough milk. If a baby isn’t drinking enough milk, this makes their urine more concentrated, stronger smelling, and less pale in color.
If you’re concerned your baby may not be getting enough milk, seek medical advice without delay.
If you’re breastfeeding and you discover your supply is low, there are ways you can increase it.
Strong smelling urine is unlikely to be teething
Sometimes strong-smelling urine, as well as a wide range of other signs and symptoms, gets blamed on teething. However, evidence to support the link between teething and strong-smelling urine doesn’t exist. Before assuming any of your baby’s signs and symptoms are the result of teething, it’s important for any issues to be investigated by a doctor, so there’s no delay in starting the appropriate treatment if required.
Armed with information about possible reasons why your baby might have strong-smelling urine, take a deep breath, as now you hopefully have a clearer idea and plan of what action you may like to take.
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