Women's Healthcare Topics

Newborn Baby's Urine

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

If you're a first-time parent, it's important that you learn the basics about baby urination. You need to understand what's normal and what to expect when you are changing your newborn's diapers. Sometimes a change in your baby's urine may indicate a health issue or illness.

Baby's urine color and changes.

Within the first 24 hours after birth, a newborn baby may urinate only once. A week after birth, it's common for a baby to urinate as often as every one to three hours. Some infants urinate less frequently, and they only pee four to six times a day. If your child is ill or feverish, his or her urine output may decrease by half and this is still considered normal.

If you are using disposable diapers, it might be hard to tell how many times your baby has wet the diaper. You may consider placing a piece of toilet paper in the diaper to recognize urination. Cloth diapers make it easier for you to see wetness.

Frequency aside, urination should never cause your baby any pain. If you find that your infant is in pain or distress when urinating, you should call your pediatrician. This may be a sign of an infection or another urinary tract problem.

Color of Baby's Urine

What does baby's urine color changes mean.

Urine color is something else parents should pay attention to. Within the first day of life, a newborn's urine may be reddish-orange in color.

As the first days pass by, his or her urine will become paler and eventually turn to yellow. In a healthy baby, normal urine color may range from light to dark yellow. The darker your baby's urine color, the more concentrated his or her urine. Urine is more concentrated when your baby is not getting enough fluids. If this is the case, you should breastfeed or feed your baby formula more often.

In some situations, you may notice a pink stain on your baby's diaper. Don't freak out – this is probably not blood. This pink stain might be a sign of highly concentrated urine. As long as your infant has at least four wet diapers each day, you shouldn't worry too much. However, you should contact your pediatrician if you notice persistent pinkish staining in your child's diaper.

A bloody spot in your child's diaper is not normal, and it prompts an immediate call to the pediatrician. The presence of blood in your baby's urine may be a sign of a serious problem. Sometimes, however, it's caused by a small sore due to diaper rash. Call your baby's doctor just to be on the safe side.

Changing baby's diaper

Doctor's Answer

What do baby's urine color changes mean?

My Baby’s Urine Color Changed? What Color is Abnormal?

Answer by James Brann, M.D.:

Newborn urine color can give a hint of serious conditions called congenital metabolic diseases. These are rare disorders that are found in less than 1 per 100,000 babies. Early recognition of the symptoms are important to avoid progressive injury or even death.

Congenital Metabolic Diseases

  1. Black Colored Urine
  2. “Black urine disease” may represent a rare metabolic disorder called Alkaptonuria. This disorder lacks an enzyme (acid oxidase enzyme) and is characterized by dark urine. [Reference]

  3. Blue Colored Urine
  4. “Blue diaper syndrome” is another hereditary disorder that results in tryptophan malabsorption syndrome. It is characterized by poor absorption of the amino acid tryptophan from the small intestine. [Reference]

  5. Port Wine Colored Urine
  6. Port wine urine or staining of a diaper after birth may be the first clue to the diagnosis of Porphyria. This disorder interferences with the making of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen in the blood.

Red Colored Urine

  1. Hematuria
  2. Pink or red colored urine is called hematuria. Blood in the urine of a newborn baby is rare. With the ability to take care of younger and younger premature babies, the incidence of kidney injury has increased as well as blood in the urine. Most hematuria is transient, but may need to be evaluated if persistent.

  3. Myoglobinuria
  4. A brownish-red coloration of the urine will be present with Myoglobinuria. The “Floppy-Baby Syndrome” is the failure to thrive. [Reference]

  5. Urate Crystals
  6. Pink discoloration of diaper "Pink diaper syndrome" is due to urate crystals in the urine. This is a benign condition, with increased hydration, will go away in a few days. [Refereence]

Baby’s urination should never cause discomfort or pain to the baby. The discomfort could be a sign of infection or other urinary tract problem. Baby’s urine color changes from yellow are usually harmless, but still you should talk with the baby’s doctor about your concern.

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