The only way for a newborn baby to communicate is through crying. Hence, they tend to cry when they are hungry or before passing urine. In fact, this behavior is considered normal and healthy and will often be present for about 6 to 9 months. The cause for concern is when your baby cries while urinating. However, don’t panic.
Reasons for Babies to Cry While Urinating
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common reason for babies and toddlers to cry while urinating. When your baby gets a UTI, it is painful to urinate and hence, he or she will cry. However, there could be other reasons as well.
- Some babies may cry due to diaper rash. The urine will cause a burning sensation when it comes in contact with the red and sore areas of the buttocks or groins. Speak to your pediatrician to find out how you can facilitate healing of diaper rash.
- If you have a boy, check the penis carefully. At times, it could be cracked at the tip and this could cause your baby to cry while urinating. This is a sign of infection and baking soda bath can ease the inflammation and soreness. However, do consult the pediatrician as well.
Finding the Cause for Your Baby’s Tears
UTIs are bacterial infections and E.coli bacteria is one of the most common bacterial strains that causes this infection. The chances of getting UTIs are higher if you don’t clean your baby properly after potty or urination. Remember, if your baby wears a diaper, you need to change it frequently to prevent bacteria from proliferating and leading to an infection.
Remember your baby is too small to tell you what is hurting. So look for the following symptoms. They could be caused by a urinary tract infection.
- Not feeding properly
- Jaundice (look for yellow tinge on skin and in the eyes)
- Not gaining weight normally
Take a closer look at your baby. If your baby is passing urine more frequently than he should, you notice an unpleasant odor in the urine or there are traces of blood in the urine, the chances are high your baby has a UTI.
Consult a Pediatrician
- If you think your baby has a urinary tract infection, don’t wait. Take your baby to the pediatrician immediately, as untreated UTI could harm the kidneys and result in permanent kidney damage.
- A fever should never be ignored. It is not common for a baby to run a fever for too long. So, if your baby has 38°C or 100°F or more, he or she is unwell and requires immediate medical attention.
- In all probability, the pediatrician will give you a sterile jar to collect some urine sample. Make sure the urine goes directly into the jar. Also, you shouldn’t let the jar come in contact with your baby’s genitals. It is best to take two to three sterile sample jars from the pediatrician. It can be tricky to collect the sample from a baby.
Precautions to be taken
You can rest a little easy after you take your baby to the pediatrician. Just make sure your baby drinks, ample fluids to flush out his body.
If your baby has a fever and UTI, he may have to undergo some more tests. Usually, the pediatrician may recommend a renal ultrasound. This is done to determine the health and functioning of the kidneys and bladder. This additional test can rule out any other health problem your baby could be suffering from.
Treating UTIs in Babies
Just like adults, even babies are put on oral antibiotics. Typically, the course will last for about five days, but the infection will clear up within a day or two. However, make sure you complete the entire course of the medication or you risk your baby developing antibiotic resistance.
If the infection lies in the kidneys, the course of the antibiotic is extended to seven to 10 days. Babies that are less than 3 months of age are usually hospitalized and given antibiotics intravenously.
Preventing UTIs in Babies
Just like some babies are prone to coughs and colds, there are some who are prone to urinary tract infections. Most UTIs develop in the urethra due to bacteria present in and around the bottom. Make sure you keep your baby’s bottom clean, particularly after potty. Clean the bottom front to back after your baby has a bowel movement. And, if your baby wears diapers, change them frequently. Last but not the least, make sure your little angel drinks sufficient water and fluids to flush out harmful bacteria from his body.
The Bottom Line
Crying while urinating may be due to UTIs, but it also can occur due to diaper rash or when the diaper gets full. It is best not to ignore the crying. If you notice visible discomfort and other symptoms mentioned herein, consult your pediatrician right away.