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Why do newborns cry before urinating?

By iddirect
Crying baby lying down

Babies, especially newborns, tend to cry a lot for various reasons, most of which are perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about. However, many parents notice that their babies tend to cry before urinating and don’t know what is causing it. In this article, we’ve compiled several natural and health-related reasons why.

What’s the difference between crying before and during urination?

Firstly, we should establish that it means something different if a baby cries before or during weeing. While crying before urination is usually nothing to worry about, if your baby cries while they pee, it might indicate something is wrong.1 The act of weeing could be causing your child pain, potentially because they have a urinary tract infection (also known as a UTI).2 This is one of few signs that your baby possibly has a UTI. Other symptoms to look out for are a change in the colour and smell of the urine3 and a fever4, though these are less common in babies.  

If you have any concerns about your baby’s health, especially if your baby has a temperature, iD recommends you speak to your doctor as soon as you can.

Mother Baby cry toilet

Why a baby cries before going to the toilet

When it comes to crying before or while peeing, several things could cause it, including discomfort, nappy rash or irritation, and baby elimination communication.

Crying because of discomfort

Some babies cry while weeing because they are experiencing discomfort. Paediatricians generally believe that this is normal; the bladder stretches as it fills up, which in turn puts pressure on the bladder. This signals the baby to cry and the pressure causes the child to relieve themselves.5 This is a perfectly natural process and not a cause for concern.

Nappy rash and irritation causing crying

If your baby experiences nappy rash or other irritation around their genitals, it may make urinating uncomfortable or painful. This can lead to them crying before urinating.6

If your little one has nappy rash, try switching to the Baby & Junior Range available on iD Direct. Our nappies and pants are soft and breathable, meaning you can be sure that your baby will be kept dry and comfortable day and night.

Mother Baby communicates pee

Crying due to baby elimination communication

If you have confirmed with a doctor that there is no rash or infection, another possible reason for your baby’s crying could be Elimination Communication, also known as Natural Infant Hygiene. It is a very instinctual process that some babies go through.7 It is a natural way that babies communicate that they need to pee. In addition to crying, a baby might signal their need to wee by:

  • sudden fussiness or stillness
  • flailing or being agitated
  • shivering
  • becoming still and staring into space
  • unlatching while nursing
  • grunting, turning red, straining or making a ‘poo face’
  • being restless while sleeping8

As we’ve outlined, crying before urinating is very natural and something lots of babies do. However, if you have any concerns about your baby’s health, particularly if you suspect they have a rash or infection, don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor.

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Sources

1 “Newborn Baby Cries Before Urinating: 5 Important Causes”, Easy Baby Life, 27 August 2021, Source: https://www.easybabylife.com/baby-cries-before-urinating.html
2 Ibid
3 “Urinary Tract Infection in Babies”, Jennifer L. W. Fink, 2 March 2017, Source: https://www.thebump.com/a/uti-baby
4 Ibid
5 “Crying before urinating”, Dr M. L. Kothari, 2018, Source: https://www.practo.com/consult/crying-before-urinating-my-one-month-old-baby-cries-very-loudly-before-urinating-no-other-symptoms-likel-fever-etc/q
6 “Newborn Baby Cries Before Urinating: 5 Important Causes”, Easy Baby Life, 27 August 2021, Source: https://www.easybabylife.com/baby-cries-before-urinating.html
7 “What is Elimination Communication?”, The Nappy Lady, n.d., Source: https://www.thenappylady.co.uk/news/what-is-elimination-communication.html
8 “Newborn Baby Cries Before Urinating: 5 Important Causes”, Easy Baby Life, 27 August 2021, Source: https://www.easybabylife.com/baby-cries-before-urinating.html

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