Written by Editorial Team
To ensure a safe and healthy lifestyle for their baby, the mother will take many precautions – picking out fruits and vegetables carefully, sterilizing plates and utensils, keeping track of the baby’s daily routine, etc. They are also aware of the microorganisms that enter the baby’s body through the mouth, nose, and ears causing infections resulting in cold, fever, stomach upsets, earache, etc. But urinary tract infection in babies is common too.
Most mothers will take necessary precautions to shield their babies from various infections. However, even with all that, there is one thing that these mothers tend to forget. There is another hotspot for microorganisms to enter the body – the urinary tract. Urinary tract infection or UTI is a typical issue among babies who are under two years. Before their fifth birthday, around 8% of baby girls and around 1-2% of the babies experience at least one UTI. Recurrent UTIs are also common among babies.
In This Article
A urinary tract infection is an infection caused by bacteria in the urinary tract of a baby.
The urinary tract consists of
Urinary tract has two parts
A urinary tract infection can happen anywhere along this tract. However, the lower part — the urethra and bladder — are more common sites of infection.
Three types of UTIs in babies. They are
Bacterial infection and abnormality in the urinary tract are the reasons that trigger UTIs among babies. Bacteria, which usually dwell in the large intestine, will be present in the poop of the baby. These bacteria have several chances to enter the urinary tract. It can get into the urinary tract through the urethra or through lymph and blood.
If it enters the body through the urethra, the lower urinary tract is generally infected.
If it gets into the body through lymph and blood, kidneys and bladder are mostly infected (which is more serious). In short, irrespective of the way the bacteria enter the urinary tract, if the urine-carrying bacteria is not disposed of in the body within a certain time (through urination), it UTI in babies.
Here are some ways through which the bacteria get into the urinary tract of the baby:
Issues with the structure or function of the urinary tract can also cause UTIs in babies and young children. Issues that affect the body’s capacity to banish urine from the body include:
The usual flow of urine starts from the kidney through the ureters to the urinary bladder. This one-way flow happens because of a flap-like valve situated between the ureter and bladder. In some babies, due to several reasons, this valve will not work properly.
This will result in a condition called vesicoureteral reflux, the reverse flow of urine (from the bladder through the ureter into the kidney). If this happens, the bacteria that is present in the urine stored in the urinary bladder moves to the kidney through the ureter. This can result in kidney infection, which is a really dangerous matter.
Some kids clutch the pee and delay setting off to the washroom. They hold the sphincter muscles tight to keep playing or doing what they are engaged in. When they are not able to wait longer, they hurry to the lavatory.
However, most of the time, they may not be able to unwind their muscles enough to guarantee the complete expelling of urine from the bladder. This causes urine to remain in the bladder, which may bring about bacterial development.
The flow of urine can be obstructed due to any structural abnormalities in the urinary tract of the child. Kidney stones can also cause urinary blockage. This results in an accumulation of urine in that part of the track, which can lead to an infection.
Babies who experience constipation are more prone to catching urinary tract infections. During constipation, the stool turns out to be hard and dry. This solid stool applies pressure on the urinary tract, obstructing the flow of urine. Therefore, the chance of flourishing and multiplying of the bacteria increases, prompting the infection.
Wearing tight-fitted bottoms, especially for boys, can result in blocking urine and thereby increases the chances of UTI.
The signs of UTIs differ depending on the area of the infection and the age of the kid. Here are some of the signs in children based on their age:
|Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections In Babies|
|Babies aged under two months||Babies above two months to two years old|
|Fever, Inability to thrive||Fever|
|Jaundice||Pain in abdomen|
|Unexplained persisting irritability||Unexplained persisting irritability|
|Not feeding satisfactorily||Poor feeding and changes in appetite|
|Cloudy or bloody urine||Strong odor of urine|
|Baby cries during urination||Cries when urinating|
Baby girls are at a higher risk than baby boys because the urethra of the girls is shorter and nearer to the rear end (anus). Wiping and cleaning from back to front after a bowel movement (especially during the time of toilet training) increases the chances of infection in girls as it is easier for microorganisms to enter the urinary tract.
Once your baby shows the symptoms of UTI, see a pediatrician or pediatric nephrologist. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic syrups. The duration of medication and its dosage will depend on the kind of bacteria causing the infection and the severity of the infection
After finishing a course of antibiotics, your pediatrician may ask you to repeat the urine tests to confirm the infection is no longer there. It is vital to ensure that the infection has gone completely since a reinfection can be more difficult to cure. Babies younger than 30 days old with UTIs may need hospitalization.
Here are a few steps that help to protect the baby from urinary tract infections.
UTIs in babies are normally simple to treat. However, if left untreated, they can bring about long-lasting kidney damage and even kidney failure. Studies prove that babies under age 2 are more prone to serious renal damage than older ones. Therefore, it is important to diagnose and treat UTI in the baby at the earliest opportunity.
Yes, diapers increase the chance of babies contracting UTI. The risk increases further when the frequency of changing diapers decreases.
UTIs in babies need medical attention. It is not possible for these infections to heal without treatment. UTIs are treatable with antibioticss and can resolve within a week. Antibiotic treatment is important to eliminate infectious microbes and restore health in babies.
Infant urine with a urinary tract infection has a pungent, almost ammonia-like odor.
UTIs are always caused by bacteria. Only if baby wipes are contaminated with germs may they cause urinary tract infections. Baby wipes contain alcohol, which destroys germs, therefore they are unlikely to cause urinary tract infections.
With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.
Busy Boards For Babies – How it Helps in Baby’s Development
Spaghetti Play For Babies – How it Helps in Baby’s Development
How to Prepare Your Baby For Doctor’s Visits – Challenges and Tips
Itsy Bitsy Spider Rhyme For Babies
Top Activities For A 7 Month Old Baby – Benefits and Tips For Parents
Developmental Supportive Care For Newborns in NICU by Dr Lathiesh Kumar Kambham
Get regular updates, great recommendations and other right stuff at the right time.