My daughter in law just called and her daughter 6 1/2 months old had some blood from her vagina after she changed her diaper. Is this normal or what could the cause be? She is quite upset right now.
Nancy (San Diego, CA)
Why You May Find Blood In Baby’s Diaper
I’m not surprised your daughter in law is concerned, she could be imagining all sorts of things. It can sometimes be difficult to know the source of the blood when found in the diaper.
Here are some reasons why a baby may have blood in the diaper:
- Babies can often have a tiny amount of blood in their poo, or the anus can crack if they are a bit constipated. You find more info on blood in a baby’s poop here.
- Newborn babies do sometimes have a little bit of vaginal bleeding due to all the hormone changes, but I would expect that to have settled down by now.
- Blood in the urine can also happen due to infections mainly, and should always be reported to a doctor, who can find out what is causing the blood.You can read more about blood in the urine here.
- A little girl could also have a small wound somewhere from being naked and sitting down on something. How active is your grand-daughter? If she is crawling around and climbing over things, maybe she didn’t have a nappy on and had a minor injury?
- A so-called straddle injury is also common in children. It happens when, an actively playing child falls and lands a genital area over a hard object, such as a bike frame, an armchair rest or a side of the bathtub. But this is a less likely possibility in a child who, like your granddaughter, does not walk yet.
- Sometimes there can be nappy rash that has bled a bit. It can be hard to see where it has come from, it may look like it was from the vagina, but babies kick around a lot and wriggle and it could have come from elsewhere.
- A vaginal infection, caused by transferring the bacteria living in the gut into the genital area may also be causing bleeding. The transfer of the bacteria occurs through the child’s hands and with poor hygiene of the region.
- A foreign object, such as a toy part or a piece of toilet paper is also known to be a cause of vaginal bleeding in baby girls.
I would get it checked just in case there is some infection or injury. The doctor will be the best person to diagnose anything in this case.
A final tip – an excellent reference book to keep at home for first info on possible illnesses in the baby is Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, 6th Edition: Birth to Age 5 by American Academy Of Pediatrics. (Link goes to Amazon, where you can check it out.) Maybe an appreciated gift for your daughter in law.
Good luck, you daughter in law is lucky to have such great support from you,
Wishing you well,
(Answer approved by our Medical Reference Team)
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