Strong urine smell in infants

Updated February 21, 2017

Infants are small, but they're complex beings. They can easily get sick. If you notice a strong urine smell around your infant, it is important to consult your doctor. Also check for other symptoms. Your baby may not be getting the right balance of nutrition, or it could have a possibly serious illness.


Hydration is important for everyone, but especially for infants. Be sure your baby is getting enough fluids. Water is very important to development. Try increasing the amount of water your baby gets and see if that reduces the urine smell.


If you increase the fluids and the urine still has a strong odour, it may be childhood diabetes. If the mother has diabetes, she could have passed it to the child. It is possible for an infant to develop diabetes. Your doctor will be able to do blood-sugar tests to determine if the child has this disease.

Urinary Tract Infection

Often babies develop urinary tract infections, which can cause a strong urine smell. These infections strike for a variety of reasons but can be cured with antibiotics. Be sure to always clean the infant thoroughly when changing diapers. Urinary tract infections can be caused by bacteria entering the infant. Here, you should also seek medical advice.

Food Choices

Strong-smelling urine may be caused by the food your infant is eating. Foods like asparagus and other dark-green vegetables can cause a strong urine smell. If the infant is still on breast milk, the cause of the smell may also be what the mother is eating. In these cases, smelly urine is not a big deal because vegetables are important for growing children.

Liver Problems

Bad urine or urine with a foul smell could be a sign of liver damage or failure. If the infant has foul-smelling urine over a long period of time and you have tried other solutions, you need to take the baby to a doctor. Liver issues could be discovered at birth, but they could also happen as the infant grows. Tests can be done to determine the health of the child's liver.

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About the Author

Rachel Terry Swick graduated in 2004. Since then, Swick has worked as a reporter for both daily newspapers and weeklies. She currently works as a senior reporter for the Sussex Countian in Georgetown, Del. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Millersville University in Pa.