Bowels & Bladders

By Anne Richards, MBBS, CCFP, FRCP(C) on March 14, 2007
Urine & Stools
Your baby will urinate six to eight times each day. It is hard to tell exactly the amount of urine with the disposable diapers and it may even be hard to distinguish urine when it is mixed with a watery yellow stool.

A baby boy will shoot an occasional fountain at you!

Call your doctor: If a baby boy can't sometimes make a healthy fountain when urinating while you are changing the diaper, check with your doctor. The bladder and penis should be checked.

The diaper may show some blood from a baby girl's vagina or some orange-red spots on a boy's diaper before the breast milk comes in. These are crystals and simply show that the urine is more concentrated because baby wasn't drinking much liquid that day. This will disappear when baby sucks a little more and your milk starts.

By the time an infant is a month old, there often are fewer stools. The stool is still soft and the baby is not constipated.

Bottle-fed babies have different stools. They are much more solid, can be green, yellow or brown and usually are much less frequent.

Call your doctor: If a breastfeeding baby in the first four weeks is having fewer stools than four a day, and if the stools are firm, see a doctor to ensure that the baby is feeding well and that there is no problem with the bowel.

A baby who strains and gets red in the face while having a stool is not necessarily constipated. Some babies are sensitive to the feeling of having a stool and seem to feel that they have to strain.

A hard stool, accompanied by crying, is more of a worry.

Note: If your baby is bottle-fed, make sure that the formula is being prepared exactly as the can instructs. If treatment is needed, your doctor may suggest adding a small amount of table sugar into the bottle.

Diaper Rash
Urine and stools will irritate your baby's skin - wipe the bottom with a soft tissue or baby wipes. With a baby girl, wipe from the front to the back so that germs from her anus aren't pulled to the front, causing a urine infection. Petroleum jelly will help protect the skin against wetness. Diaper cream also is soothing if the skin is a little red.

Important: A red spotty rash in the folds of the baby's groin is probably a yeast infection. Your doctor will prescribe a cream. Leave the baby undiapered whenever possible so the air can help the healing.

Call your doctor: Most diaper rashes aren't a serious health problem. However, on occasion, a germ (staphylococcus) can cause a blister-like infection of the diaper area, called bullous impetigo. Consult a doctor; antibiotics will be prescribed. BCCE

By Anne Richards, MBBS, CCFP, FRCP(C)| March 14, 2007

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