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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Four month old son's urine suddenly smells strong and sweet. Why??

(31 Posts)
letsgetreadytoramble Fri 14-Dec-12 19:31:04

It's been going on for past two weeks - as soon as he does a wee I can smell it. Its sweet and strong. He's fine in himself, feeding well, lots of wet nappies. He was EBF but I started him on a bit of formula a month or so ago to prepare him for when I go back to work, though he's still mainly EBF (bottle feeding fail, whole other thread.) Anyone got any idea what it might be, before I have to take myself to the doctor for the zillionth time with yet another ridiculous question about my baby... smile

2andout Fri 14-Dec-12 19:40:08

It's probably nothing, especially as he seems fine in himself, however, I believe that excess sugar in urine can be a symptom of diabetes. I'm not a doctor, so no idea if what you're describing is consistent with this. I would get it checked just in case. Hopefully someone more medical than me will be along shortly with better advice. smile

letsgetreadytoramble Fri 14-Dec-12 21:25:49

Thanks for your reply, I'll maybe call the health visitor on Monday to ask them what might be causing it. I am seriously sleep deprived (as are we all!) and last week convinced myself he had Maple Syrup Disease. This is what my poor health visitors have to contend with with me...

2andout Sat 15-Dec-12 11:36:33

Don't worry, I think all new mums worry a lot. I remember asking them to check if my DD's nostrils were big enough grin so your questions definitely won't be the daftest they've heard!

letsgetreadytoramble Sat 15-Dec-12 18:48:42

The day after he was born I pressed my buzzer, one of the lovely (and hugely busy) midwives came over, and I asked her way he was juddering every few seconds. She said 'he has hiccups dear.' Five minutes later I pressed the buzzer again and told her he had a lump protruding from his shoulder. She said 'it's his shoulder blade dear.' shock I'm worried that his smelly pee is an 'it's his shoulder blade dear' moment...

VivaLeBeaver Sat 15-Dec-12 19:09:08

Most if not all areas test for maple syrup disease as part of the routine heel prick test now. But mention it to the hv.

letsgetreadytoramble Sat 15-Dec-12 20:39:27

Thanks, I'm taking him to get weighed on Tuesday so I'll ask them then, and they can have the added bonus of getting to smell it themselves smile

Wommer Sat 15-Dec-12 20:42:20

Have you changed which nappies you use recently by any chance?
I noticed a definite difference in the smell when I changed nappies - same brand but different type.

letsgetreadytoramble Sat 15-Dec-12 21:34:49

I've always used pampers but I've started using a different size recently, and they're active fit rather than newborn, so they are a different type too. They do have a distinctive smell actually, not unlike the smell of DS's wee. I guess maybe I can try him in a different type of nappy to see if that makes a difference to the smell...

Wommer Sat 15-Dec-12 22:26:07

Worth a shot - think the newborn ones maybe have less/different chemicals in them which react differently when in contact with wee.

IWipeArses Sat 15-Dec-12 22:31:22

Yeah, the nappies all use different chemicals. When I use a cloth nappy I can't smell when DD has done a poo sometimes, bless her. You could try popping a folded muslin inside the nappy and then, er, sniffing that when it's wet.

letsgetreadytoramble Sun 16-Dec-12 00:39:13

That's a good idea, thanks, I'll give that a go. I find it so hard to know whether I'm being paranoid with him or whether he genuinely needs to be looked at - the doctor said to trust my instinct, but my instinct is usually to assume that he has the very worst type of illness that his symptoms could possibly suggest.

Will let you know how operation nappy sniffing goes!

IWipeArses Sun 16-Dec-12 07:13:47


TrazzleMISTLEtoes Sun 16-Dec-12 07:15:23

Or cotton wool if you can't face a muslin!

lougle Sun 16-Dec-12 08:55:37

Have you eaten sugar puffs? That make urine angel hideously sweet.

letsgetreadytoramble Sun 16-Dec-12 09:22:17

Nope, no sugar puffs! I have ham on toast for breakfast. I do now have a craving for sugar puffs though... smile

sonsmum Sun 16-Dec-12 09:50:45

this could be nothing, or could be related to the nappy brand change as suggested, however as a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes, I have to respond. I really hope he does not have diabetes for all of your sakes, however weeing a lot and sweet smelling urine is a sign. Do you have a coloured sheet you could put in the cot?....dribble/sweat would leave a white outline on it, which indicates sugar/glucose that is not being metabolised. (with hindsight, i remembered white halos on my DCs pillow). Is he more tired? I do urge you to see someone to check on this as undiagnosed diabetes can become very serious very fast. A simple finger prick blood test can help diagnose. More than likely there is some simple rationale, but if he seems to be feeding a lot, weeing a lot, is tired and maybe losing weight and this sweet swelling urine continues, I urge you to visit your doctor to eliminate diabetes as a risk.

IWipeArses Sun 16-Dec-12 09:58:26

sonsmum, can you point me to any info on that white sweat/dribble halo please?

sonsmum Sun 16-Dec-12 10:10:17

that was just from my own experience. DC had a white halo on pillow before diagnosis. I thought it was dribble/toothpaste at the time. After diagnosis and receiving insulin the halo disappeared. I haven't seen anything written about this (though have been told that in the 'olden days' male diabetics had white spots on their shoes from when they weed and splashed their shoes.

letsgetreadytoramble Sun 16-Dec-12 10:14:38

Sonsmum, thank you for your post, and I'm so sorry that your little one has diabetes, I hope his medication keeps him feeling well, what a hard thing to have to deal with, especially in a baby.

My DS does like to feed fairly frequently (used to be every two hours), though he's starting to go every three hours at night now that we've introduced a bit of rice cereal in the evenings, so I don't think he's excessively hungry or thirsty. He likes to go to bed at 6 no matter what time he's got up, and has about 3 short naps during the day. I'll definitely ask the HV about it on Tuesday and in the meantime will do the Muslin test. He already has a blue sheet in his cot so I'll check it. I have seen circles with a white outline in his cot before but he's a sicky baby so assumed it was just a small milk posit.

IWipeArses Sun 16-Dec-12 11:03:54

Gosh, how strange. I don't think DS is diabetic proper as he doesn't drink a lot, but I've seen that sweat halo before on his pillow. I'll keep an eye on the other symptoms.

letsgetreadytoramble Sun 16-Dec-12 13:36:02

Ok, I did the thing with the muslin and it really smelled very strongly of this sharp, sweetish smell when I took it out of his nappy. He then wee-ed all over himself while I was smelling the muslin, so I wiped that up with a different muslin and that smelled of the strong smell too. Am slightly panicking now because I don't know what it could be. My diet is the most ordinary in the world (no asparagus for example) so I don't think it's anything I'm eating. But I'm so new to this that I don't even know if baby's pee usually smells.

I'll call the HV first thing tomorrow.

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Sun 16-Dec-12 21:03:17

It doesn't hurt to get it checked out.

What's the worst that can happen? You get laughed at for being pfb.

If you don't get it checked out, it could be a lot worse than that. I'm not saying it will be, and I hope it's not, but I'm just saying that I think you are doing the right thing in calling tomorrow.

It might be better booking him in with your GP - I guess it depends on how good your HV is. Some are better than others.

Hope it is nothing, anyway.

How did it go?

letsgetreadytoramble Tue 18-Dec-12 14:35:12

The Health Visitor said its likely to be the introduction of formula that is making it smell strong, she didn't seem worried at all. Although I did just take him to get weighed, and despite the fact he's been having more milk than he needs recently, he hasn't put on any weight for a month. It's possibly because he's had croup for a couple of weeks, so I'm going to weigh him next week again and if there's no improvement I'll make an appointment with the doctor.

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