Why does baby urine smell like ammonia

Normally, only collected urine does not have a pronounced specific smell. It appears only 15 minutes after urination. This is due to the decomposition of urea by bacteria.

You may not notice discoloration or sediment in the urine, but not a foul-smelling odor. If the urine smells like ammonia in a child, this is a serious reason for parents to think about the state of health of their baby.

After all, ammonia is a special compound that is formed in the body as a result of the deamination of compounds that are formed due to a lack of carbohydrates in the body, diseases or decomposition of proteins. And if it is found in the urine of a child, you should consult a doctor and get tested.

The content of the article:
  1. Norm concept
  2. Possible reasons
  3. Treatment

Norm concept

It is normal to have yellow or bright yellow urine. Depending on the consumption of food, the color can turn dark yellow or bright scarlet, in the case of eating beets.

There is a clear dependence of the color of urine on the formed diet or the use of drugs. However, odor is not expected.

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It is worth sounding the alarm if there is sediment or blood in the urine, which indicates diseases that are dangerous to life and health. A pronounced unpleasant odor is also a warning sign.

If a child’s urine smells like ammonia, this is a reason to consult a doctor and perform a series of studies.

Possible reasons

In order to eliminate a possible problem, you need to know why the child has such a smell.

There are many reasons why a child’s urine smells like ammonia. This is possible through completely normal age-related changes, individual nutritional characteristics, as well as a violation of the prescribed diet.
Factors that can trigger the appearance of an unpleasant urine odor:

  • Vitamin D deficiency. This is due to the fact that in our climate, many babies lack vitamins, in particular, which cannot be obtained from food. You can be sure that the real reason lies in a deficiency of vitamin D, if there are such accompanying symptoms: stunted growth, excessive sweating, poor hair growth on the back of the head, lack or deterioration of appetite.
  • Respiratory viral diseases. With an increase in temperature and severe dehydration of the body, in order to cure the disease, serious medications or antibiotics are prescribed. They can affect the entire body, causing an ammoniacal odor in urine. Particular attention should be paid to long-term medication.
  • A drastic change in diet. The child’s body is very sensitive to any changes in the habitual diet. If a nursing mother has introduced a new product to her menu or often tries exotic dishes, overeats, or starts using a new formula for feeding, the baby’s discharge may acquire a specific smell.
  • Retention of urine – If the urge to go to the toilet is often suppressed, urine stagnates and may change color and odor. The same applies if the biological fluid is not formed for a long time due to dehydration or other disorders in the body.
  • Poor hygiene. The use of substandard diapers can also be one of the reasons. And dirty, stale laundry provokes liquid droplets to react with bacteria, which, as a result, create an unpleasant odor. Then the problem is observed in the morning or before hygiene procedures.
  • Problems with nasal breathing. Due to the lack of incoming oxygen, the body’s metabolic processes slow down. As a result, the liquid comes out in a saturated form.
  • Excess toxins in the body. With strong physical and emotional fatigue of the body, toxins are formed. When they decompose, an ammonia odor is formed.
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It is not uncommon for the stench to occur due to a serious illness that requires immediate treatment.

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Ammonia odor is one of the symptoms:

  • cystitis,
  • urethritis,
  • pyelonephritis,
  • diabetes mellitus,
  • hepatitis A,
  • tuberculosis,
  • vaginitis,
  • food poisoning.

In order to exclude the presence of the disease, it is necessary to make an appointment with a doctor and undergo a detailed examination.


The basis for treatment, of course, will be the recommendations of the attending physician. Determining the causes and treatment on your own is fraught with a deterioration in the child’s condition.

The child will be assigned a urine test for acetone, blood for sugar, as well as general tests. After receiving the data, a treatment regimen will be developed.
Parents will be required to provide the doctor with an approximate list of foods that are typically consumed by the child. It may be necessary to monitor the reaction to specific foods, tracking the general condition with keeping records in a separate notebook.

  • Correction of the diet and drawing up a special diet. The nutrition of children should be balanced in vitamins and minerals. If the reason was the presence of a specific disease, for example, diabetes mellitus, sweets are eliminated from the diet and the amount of incoming carbohydrates is controlled.
  • Taking vitamin D. Most often, a harmless, but effective “Aquadetrim” is prescribed.
  • Restoring water balance.In case of frequent dehydration, it is necessary to increase fluid intake to restore the water-salt balance, to restore the coordinated work of all body systems.
  • Herbal decoctions. Decoctions from such diuretic herbs: hawthorn, rose hips, cranberries, lingonberries have a beneficial effect. However, only after consulting a doctor.
  • Medication If urine smells like ammonia due to the presence of a specific disease. Appointed by the attending physician in accordance with the diagnosis and age of the child.

Any changes in the child’s body cannot be ignored. Especially if there is a symptom such as an unpleasant smell of urine. It is much easier to prevent or stop the development of the disease than to let things go by themselves and worsen the child’s condition.

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Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.