This surprised me at the beginning (two weeks ago). I couldn't smell the diapers to check whether they were wet. And I also couldn't feel them since the diapers absorbed the urine so well (and that resulted in a trip to the emergency room since we thought he wasn't urinating). I am now using weight to tell whether they are wet or not.

But the smell intrigues me. Why doesn't it smell? I guess I can assume that it's because the breast milk is so perfect that there's no ammonia extracted. Does this mean that it will stay this way until he's eating solids?

asked 18 May '11, 13:06

Guido's gravatar image

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Well, there seems to be a lot more information behind why urine might smell abnormal than normal smells. However, based on a quick overview, my best guess would be that newborn urine isn't concentrated enough yet to smell. According to The Mayo Clinic, "Urine odor is related to the volume and concentration of a variety of chemicals excreted by the kidneys. Normally, diluted urine has little to no odor." Another site,, appears to agree saying,

Newborns generally urinate up to 10 times per day. Urine typically ranges in colour from clear to pale yellow, and has little or no odor. As the baby grows older, she will urinate less frequently, but in larger amounts. An odor of ammonia may become more apparent in the urine. This longer the urine is left in the child's diaper, the more intense the odor becomes.
I stumbled across an interesting class lab exercise titled

answered 18 May '11, 16:21

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Kiesa ♦
accept rate: 26%

edited 18 May '11, 19:53

@Kiesa I was just about to quote from the same website. I can attest to the factg that urine odor becomes more concentrated the longer it is in the diaper. When I open the bag of cloth diapers to wash them there is a distinct scent of ammonia.

(18 May '11, 16:34) Tammy ♦♦
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Asked: 18 May '11, 13:06

Seen: 9,132 times

Last updated: 18 May '11, 19:53