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3 Reasons Why Your Newborn Cries Before Urinating

Urinating should never be painful, even for newborns. Painful urination is usually a sign of an underlying medical condition. However, crying prior to urination is likely to be a form of communication and a newborn will normally urinate every one to three hours in the first few days. At any stage, crying before and during urination are two different things, and it is important to establish the difference. Let’s take a look at 3 possible reasons a newborn may cry before or during urination.

1. Pain or Discomfort

Newborns may cry while urinating because they are experiencing some level of discomfort. Paediatricians generally believe that this is normal; the bladder stretches as it fills up, putting pressure on the bladder. This should not be painful or cause for concern.

Aside from the natural process of sensing the urge to urinate, another more painful reason a newborn may cry is a nappy rash. A rash or skin irritation may make urinating uncomfortable and is sometimes known as diaper dermatitis. Nappy rash can cause discomfort due to the bacteria, and can also be caused by the material of the nappy.

If your little one has a nappy rash, try switching to our iD Comfy Junior range. Our nappies and slips are soft, breathable and approved by dermatologists, meaning you can be sure that your baby will be kept dry and comfortable day and night.

2. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are quite common in babies, and could cause a newborn to cry out during urination due to pain and discomfort. Research shows that about 4% of babies will have a UTI in the first 12 months. At this age, boys get more UTIs than girls.

Here are some of the key signs your newborn may have a UTI:

  • An unexplained fever
  • Irritable and cry a lot
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Seem unusually drowsy
  • Poor weight gain
  • A bloody nappy

3. Baby Elimination Communication (Natural Infant Hygiene)

Baby Elimination Communication (EC) or Natural Infant Hygiene is a form of toilet or potty training for infants. Parents listen and watch for the newborn to signal their need to urinate, often crying or fussing. This is a perfectly healthy alternative to using diapers and is not uncommon. With EC, your baby is simply communicating their need to urinate.

While some babies are able to communicate through different signals when they need to urinate, other cues might take careful observation. In addition to crying, a baby might signal their need to urinate by:

  • Sudden fussiness or stillness
  • Flailing or being agitated
  • Shivering
  • Unlatching while nursing
  • Grunting, turning red, straining
  • Restless while sleeping

If you have any concerns about your baby’s health, especially if your baby has a temperature, Ontex Healthcare recommends you speak to your doctor as soon as you can.



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