Answered by: Stephen E. Muething, M.D.
Question: My 10-month-old baby girl has very strong smelling urine. Every time she pees you can smell it through the diaper, and on more than one occasion
the smell has been mistaken for a dirty diaper by friends and family. Why does her pee smell so bad?
Answer: A strong urine odor is actually quite common and usually not a health problem. Certain foods and herbs can cause a change in the urine odor. Also,
concentrated urine will have a much stronger odor. Finally, some bacteria in the diaper area can create ammonia from urine by-products, which also can
create a pungent odor.
If your daughter is doing well overall and is showing no discomfort when she pees, this odor is not likely to be a health problem. I would recommend
increasing the amount of water she drinks each day, which may decrease the amount of odor in her urine. If the odor remains, I would mention it to your
daughter's healthcare provider at the next checkup. Her provider may want to check a urine sample to make sure there is no sign of a urinary tract
infection. Although this possibility is not likely, you may want to take this extra step to be sure.
Thanks for asking the question and allowing me to share this advice with so many families. Good luck with your daughter.