Ever wondered how often a baby should pee? And how to know if a baby pees too much or too little? Here are rules of thumb for normal baby urine frequency.
How often should a baby pee? How much does a baby urinate in 3 hours? Is there any way to know if my baby pees too much or too little?
How Often a Baby Should Pee & What to Do if They Don’t
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How much a baby generally urinates is hard to tell and varies with the age of the baby and individually.
Here are some guidelines for baby urine frequency:
Newborn Baby Urine Frequency
For newborn babies, a rule of thumb is that they should produce 6-8 heavy diapers per 24 hours after a few days of living.
Since such young babies have very small bladders, it probably means that they will pee one to several times per hour. During the very first few days of living, newborn babies will not pee very much.
For young babies, 1-3 hours in between peeing is seen as normal according to NIH (The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development).
Peeing Frequency in Older Babies
Older babies are likely to pee less often since they both have larger bladders and eat solid foods. A urination frequency of 4-6 hours (or more often) is then normal.
At some point, your baby is going to start gaining some degree of bladder control, and then he or she is even more likely to urinate less often.
Remember that in very hot weather, a baby might pee less frequently, just like adults.
Signs of Dehydration or Illness
If your baby’s urine is pale yellow and doesn’t have a strong smell, he or she is likely to pee enough. Of course, other signs of illness or pain, or if your baby will not eat or drink (also a sign of illness), he or she can get dehydrated quickly, so it is certainly good to be observant.
It can of course also be the case that a baby pees very frequently and it is a sign of illness. A urinary tract infection or Type 1 diabetes would be two possible reasons. But, in both these cases, frequent urination would certainly not be the only symptom.
For diabetes, weight loss is usually the first symptom. For a urinary tract infection in babies, an unexplained fever is often the only symptom.
But certainly, if you experience that your baby is suddenly peeing much more frequently than before, have him or her evaluated by a pediatrician.
For an excellent reference book on baby health care issues, check out Caring for Your Young Child by The American Academy of Pediatrics. (Link to Amazon)
What To Do If Baby Isn’t Peeing Enough
Now, if these guidelines and warnings signs indicate that your baby is not peeing enough you should either:
- Give your baby more liquid. For babies that are fully breastfed or formula-fed, this generally means simply feeding more often. It is not recommended to give lots of water to young babies. Older babies can certainly be offered water in addition to foods and milk.
- If your baby is showing signs of dehydration, offer your baby liquid and talk to a doctor.
- If your baby is not peeing and seems to be ill, but not dehydrated, go see a doctor, rather than trying to make your baby pee, since, for example, a serious urinary tract infection could make it difficult for your baby to pee.
If you are curious about how often other babies may be peeing and why, read through some of the following threads, dealing with similar questions.
- 6 months old with frequent urination – normal?
- Baby passes urine often
- Baby not urinating
- How often should a newborn pee?
I hope this helps,