Is your newborn baby not peeing? Read this before worrying!
Many parents wonder, “ How often should a newborn pee?”. Maybe your newborn baby is pooping but not peeing. Or just seems to be peeing very little. Or the color is odd. It can all be normal. We go through newborn baby urination frequency and colors in detail in this article.
With a newborn baby, everything is – well – new, and there are so many things to worry and wonder about that we couldn’t even imagine before having the baby. One thing that you probably didn’t expect to think about is the peeing habits of newborn babies.
How often a newborn baby can be expected to pee actually changes rapidly during their first week of living. And so does the expected color of the pee!
Here is what to expect on your baby’s urine frequency and color during the first week of living:
Urination in Newborn Babies
How Often Should a Newborn Pee During The First Few Days After Being Born
A newborn baby doesn’t eat or drink much at all. During the first couple of days outside the womb, a baby will start drinking only very small amounts of breast milk or formula and hence will not need to pee very much either.
- During your baby’s first 24 hours, it may very well be that your baby only urinates once.
- On day 2, you can probably expect 2 wet (but not very heavy) diapers. (If this means that your baby actually only peed twice or peed many times but only enough to wet two diapers, is impossible to know because a baby has no bladder control and may pee in very tiny amounts often.)
- On day 3 – 3 diapers.
- On day 4 – 4 wet diapers.
Newborn Pee Habits From Day 5 And On
By the second week of life, your newborn baby has settled into a pattern of feeding, pooping, and peeing. You can expect at least 6 to 8 diaper changes or more.
A newborn baby’s bladder can only hold 15ml of urine, so this may empty as frequently as every 1 to 3 hours, which indicates a healthy bladder.
Furthermore, it is normal for the weather to influence the baby’s urine output: colder weather elicits increased urine frequency, while warmer weather causes the opposite.
Breastfed babies may also start pooping very frequently – even as often as after every feeding or more.
Newborn Baby Urine Color
The color of your newborn baby’s urine can vary. This can go from colorless or light yellow to dark yellow to pink to orange. Breastfeeding, food dyes, vitamins, herbs, and certain food can change the color of the baby’s urine (through breastfeeding).
Dark yellow urine during the first few days indicates concentrated urine, but this is also normal when you find this now and then. However, if this persists, you should call your doctor right away.
Additionally, during the first few days of life, you may notice a red-pink-orange-colored stain in your baby’s diaper, which may seem odd. This is an indication of highly concentrated urine, which consists of urate crystals, a byproduct of bilirubin, and is completely normal. It can even be that you can see actual crystals or something resembling power, which is comprised of the crystals. It can even be that you can see actual crystals or something resembling powder comprised of the crystals. This is, again, normal and usually goes away by the 5th or 6th day.
The intensity of the color is likely to level off quickly. If red-orange on the first day, the urine should be slightly more pale orange on day 2. The color will then continue to shift towards normal pale yellow urine color by day 5.
Sometimes, you may find a little bloodstain in their diapers. This can happen in both male and female newborn babies. For female neonates, this can be due to pseudo-menstruation.
Pseudomenstruation means false menstruation. This happens because there is a drop in maternal estrogen hormones, to which the baby is exposed while in the womb. Estrogen plays a significant role in milk production and the uterus’s development. This commonly occurs at 2-10 days of life and lasts no more than 3 to 4 days.
On the other hand, bloodstains can also be seen in male newborn babies who were circumcised. Neonatal circumcision is an optional surgical procedure that is common in some cultures. Neonatal circumcision is usually performed at 24-72 hours of life or less than 10 days old.
Red Flags Regarding Newborn Peeing Frequency or Color
When there is an abnormality in a baby’s urination or urinary system, the first and foremost presentation is that of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Hence, when a newborn baby manifests these signs and symptoms, it is best to call your doctor immediately:
- irritability or crying incessantly (may indicate abdominal discomfort or pain)
- not feeding
- increased urine output and frequency
- cloudy, dark, bloody, or foul-smelling urine
You should also watch out for any signs of dehydration. The signs of dehydration include:
- sunken eyeballs
- sunken fontanels
- dry mouth or eyes (when crying)
- poor skin turgor
- abnormally drowsy
Common Questions about Newborn Peeing Habits
My newborn is not peeing – should I worry?
You should take into consideration his intake for the day. Has it increased or decreased? Are there any accompanying signs and symptoms that indicate anything that is out of the ordinary? If not, then maybe your baby has peed already, and due to the nature of the diapers as their being super absorbent, you may not have noticed it. You can try putting a tissue on the diaper to see if it can absorb any wetness. Or you can check the gel material in the diaper for moisture by taking it apart.
My newborn is pooping but not peeing?
During the first weeks of life – after the very first days – your baby can have 5 to 10 bowel movements daily, and pee 6 to 8 times. It is not always easy to notice if a newborn has peed since the poop is often loose. In most cases, the baby has actually peed, if healthy.
However, if your baby appears to be ill and, for example, has diarrhea and does not produce any urine output, this indicates dehydration, and the baby should be brought immediately to the hospital.
Can a newborn pee too much?
Peeing too much can indicate a urinary tract infection. But then again, you should keep track of your baby’s intake during the day. You should call your doctor if he exhibits any other signs and symptoms besides peeing too much. Always investigate accompanying signs and symptoms when you see a red flag.
My newborn is peeing but not pooping?
Is your baby breastfed exclusively? If he is, chances are, everything in the breastmilk that he ingested is absorbed; hence, no poop. If he is not fussy or irritable, his appetite is the same, and his energy is the same, then there is nothing to worry about.
A formula-fed baby, however, can be constipated. Read about signs of constipation here.
My newborn is crying when peeing?
This may indicate discomfort or pain while peeing. They can feel pressure in the hypogastric area as their bladder stretches and contracts. This is completely normal. However, if the crying doesn’t stop after relieving himself, it may indicate another problem.
You should seek to consult immediately if your baby does not stop crying or seems abnormally irritable.
Read Next about Baby Peeing Habits
- Newborn Baby Cries Before Urinating: 5 Important Causes
- Baby Passes Urine Very Frequently: 4 Reasons to Check
- My 9-Month-Old Baby’s Pee Smells Bad, Should I Be Worried?
- How Often Should A Baby Pee? Your Baby Urine Frequency Guide!
More about Newborn Babies
- Newborn Baby Appearance – What Is Normal And Not
- Newborn Baby Development Milestones
- All Posts about Newborn Babies
- Development of bladder control in the first year of life in children who are potty trained early
- Bladder function in healthy neonates and its development during infancy
- Stools and Urine in Infants – Children’s Health Issues
- Micturition Reflex – an overview
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing are based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians who assist in reviewing and writing articles.