Is It Blood? – Most Likely Not
You have been changing your newborn’s diapers for several days. It is all good and your baby is not too fussy. One morning, you noticed an orange spot in your baby’s diaper. You brushed it aside thinking it’s probably nothing to lose your sleep over. However, it’s beginning to happen more and more often. What is going on? Now that you think about it, it does seem to look a little bit like blood. So the question is this:
Is it blood?
Good news is that it is most likely not blood. Even though it’s not blood, there are still two possibilities as to what you are looking at. Both of them are not life threatening, unless you really neglected taking care of your baby, and there are other worrisome symptoms. However, one of them is more serious than the other. Always double check with your pediatrician to confirm what you are dealing with right now.
If it is not blood then what could it be? Even though it looks like blood, it is not something that scary.
Ever Heard of Urate Crystals? – Wait..what crystals?
If you are truly looking at an orange spot in your diapers, then you are most likely looking at something known as urate crystals. No, you won’t see bling bling shiny crystals in your baby’s diapers. If you do, then it’s most likely something else like SAP (superabsorbent polymer) for example.
Basically urate crystals are extremely concentrated urine (pee). Why does pee get concentrated point to becoming crystals. The answer is simple. Your baby is not drinking enough fluids. In other words, not enough milk.
It’s common sometimes in newborns when they are breastfeeding. In the beginning, there won’t be enough production of breast milk, because it takes time for the mommy to develop it. Another problem is that your newborn isn’t latching well onto her mother’s nipple.
Since newborns enjoy sleeping a lot, so they can go hours without feeding, and parents will think it is normal. Before you know it, your newborn is becoming more and more dehydrated.
There are several solutions to lack of breastmilk. Breast feeding mommies requires constant stimulation in the nipples and draining out the excess milk in order for more milk to be continuously produced. If your baby goes to sleep halfway through feeding, then try to pump out the rest of the milk and store it in the freezer. Breastmilk can last at least three months in at deep freezer.
Prepare yourself some formula. This only works if your baby is less than one month old and hasn’t gotten overly comfortable with breastfeeding yet. If she is already beyond a month old, you will have to work very hard to train her for the bottle. In the situations where she is dehydrated, it will become much more difficult.
Find a breastfeeding friend. If you are lucky, maybe you can make a friend who is breastfeeding now, and borrow some of her excess milk. Ask nicely to see if she is willing to spare some breastmilk with you.
Are There Other Signs Of Dehydration?
The orange spot isn’t the whole story. Your baby’s orange spot might also indicate something else in which I will cover with you later. This depends on how well you judge the color of the spot you are looking at. If it is orange, then it’s most likely dehydration. However, if it’s more reddish like brick stains, then that is probably something else more serious.
Confirm with other signs of dehydration. If you have a newborn that’s dehydrated, then you will notice a more obvious sign. Her fontanel (the soft, vulnerable part of her head that moves like a beating heart) will look sunk in when she is dehydrated. That is one big sign. Other signs are sticky, dry lips, mouth, and tongue. Another big sign is that she hasn’t wet her diaper over six hours.
Here’s a summary of signs for dehydration:
- orange spot in the diaper, or orange poop
- sunk in fontanel
- sticky dry lips
- dry mouth
- dry sticky tongue
- no wet diaper for over six hours.
Sometimes it’s just mild dehydration. Just in case, always contact your pediatrician to confirm how serious the condition your baby is in. Sometimes it’s not dehydration.
UTI – Maybe You Know Someone That Had This
UTI is short for urinary tract infection. Basically, it’s the infection of the urinary tract including the kidneys, the bladder and the ureters that connects the bladder to the kidneys. This is usually caused by bacteria that doesn’t belong there. It’s usually transferred from your baby’s poop to your baby’s pee pee area. I know a lot of elderly women that had this and it is very painful.
UTI is one possibility for the spot you see in your baby’s diaper. However, the color of your baby’s pee will look a little different. It will look reddish or “brick stain” in color. Brick stain color is a common way doctors describes it. It is very easy to confuse with urate crystals depending on how good you are at judging colors.
If your baby has UTI, then she most likely need to head to the emergency room. The reason this is the case is because UTI causes inflammation in the urinary tract. Inflammation is another way of saying:
If inflammation and infection lasts long enough, your baby can suffer something known as renal failure. What this means is that your newborn’s kidneys officially don’t work anymore at that point.
Kidneys are important because their job is to clean out blood toxins. Normally your blood has a lot of waste products (urine) circulating. Your kidney filters it out of your system so that you have fresh, nutritious and oxygenated blood.
However, before you panic, make sure your baby is having UTI first. There should be other signs and symptoms to confirm that your baby has UTI. For example:
- She is acting abnormal and strange
- She is drooling a lot
- She is having high fever
If you see any of the above signs, then immediately contact your pediatrician.
Prevent UTI in the first place. The best way to avoid UTI is to change your baby’s diapers more often. This is especially true if her diapers are soiled (has poop in it). Also keep in mind to wipe your baby’s butt from front to back. This is to avoid letting poop and invisible bacteria from reaching her pee pee area.