ask an expert

Does my baby have a urinary tract infection?

My two month old feels slightly feverish and has smelly urine is this a urinary tract infection?


Greg Severson | Pediatrician

Greg Severson

There are several reasons a newborn's urine can be "smelly," some are concerning and others are not. One of the most common causes, ammonia buildup in the diaper, is not a serious problem.

While the urine can be malodorous with a urinary tract infection (UTI), this is not the most common way for a UTI to present in an infant. Fever which is very uncommon in young infants, should always raise red flags. A UTI should be one of the top considerations when an infant develops an unexplained fever. Uncircumcised male babies and female infants are at greater risk for a UTI. 

Many studies have shown the inaccuracy of trying to determine a child's body temperature (if he/she has a fever) by touching his/her skin. 

I would recommend you take your child's temperature (with an infant thermometer) and if it is elevated I would immediately contact the baby's physician to alert him/her to what is going on. It is likely the doctor will want to see the child. A UTI in a young infant (your child's age), can be associated with more serious issues, so it is very important the child be seen by your health care provider.

Read more answers by Dr. Severson