21 answers

Urine Smells like Maple Syrup

Has anyone ever noticed their baby's urine smelling very sweet like maple syrup? This happens especially in the morning when there's a full diaper. I don't know if it's something in the diaper that reacts with the pee or if it's something in the pee? Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and know what causes it.

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Thank you everyone for your advice, suggestions, insight! I did call the doc and she said if my daughter is fine then it's most likely nothing. If it was MSUD she would have other symptoms and most likely be dead... It's either food she's eating or the reaction with the diapers. It's only in the morning when the diaper is very full. We use Huggies Ovenights so maybe there's something in them? Who knows. But I'm glad to hear that other people have experienced this smell too.

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Funny you mention that...when I get my daughter in the morning and her diaper is really wet, it does kind of smell a little maple syrup-ish. I never though about it that way! I think it's just the smell of all that pee in there. I'm not worried but always better to ask the doc.

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Please take your baby in to a pediatrician. There is metabolic condition which causes urine to smell like maple syrup. It is usually picked up on the metabolic screen the state does on newborns. But, your baby may have been missed. Early treatment is vital. Please go in right away

C. Lybol, DEM (midwife)

1 mom found this helpful

L.,

this can be very serious - call your PEDIATRICIAN TODAY!

I don't want to panic you or freak you out, but a very quick google search gave me some very disturbing information. I suppose it 'could' be nothing... but it is NOT NORMAL to have urine that smells like maple syrup.

look here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/urine-odor/AN00958

and here: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/units/disorders/whataregd/...

don't delay - better be safe than sorry.

I'm so sorry if i made you panic - but definitely get it checked post haste!

Oh my goodness, I hope these other moms have not given you a heart attack. It's the diapers, sister. What brand do you use? When we used the Kirkland brand from Costco, we never noticed that gross smell. I think that Pampers are the culprit, if my memory serves me correctly.

Hi Lynne. Not to alarm you, but I believe that there is actually a metabolic genetic disorder called "maple syrup urine disease". You can google it, but I would certainly call your pediatrician. Best of luck, S.

After reading a little about the maple syrup disease...it states that symptoms are noticed within a few weeks of life. Your daughter is 10 months old already and since she isn't in a coma and having seizures at this point in her life, then I'm sure she is fine in regards to the maple syrup disease...besides it being pretty rare, if there is nothing else wrong with her except that maple syrup smell, I wouldn't start freaking out about it.

However, there could be a diabetic problem possibly if it is unusually sweet....so keep an eye on it. Like does it smell also when her diapers are not to wet? Or more when they are full?

I have had three kids in diapers...all who are now out of diapers....and there is one thing I can say.....when the pee mixes with the materials in the diapers...it 100% DOES smell a little like maple syrup. This is something I have ALWAYS smelled and known happens. Especially if they are very full diapers.If you used pampers brand especially. Huggies a little too, but mostly pampers gave that smell.

I seriously wouldn't worry about it to much. I would be more worried if it was very foul smelling which could indicate a kidney infection or something....or dark in color as well.

You can ask the pediatrician if it would make you feel better, but honestly this is something I have smelled and even till this day as I nanny for a little boy....I have been dealing with it again.

Seriously- don't worry about it.

I would strongly suggest that you take your child to the doctor to rule out diabetes and celiac. Your baby's urine shouldn't smell that sweet.

Good luck.

Mom of a 13 yr. old daughter and a 21 yr. old stepdaughter and an elementary teacher for 27 years

I'd definitely call your pediatrician because there is such a disease called maple syrup urine disease (I forget the exact name). I know it sounds like I'm kidding, but I'm not. I heard about it on a pediatric podcast and the person who told you to go to the pediatrician right away was correct.

Please call them right away.

I read the links that were posted about Maple Syrup Disease. It said that left untreated the child would die within a few months of life. Obviously, your child does not have that rare genetic disease or, you would have known about it when symptoms would have presented within the first week of life.

I have also noticed a maple syrup smell in the morning when my son's diaper is soaked. We use Pampers. From all the posts, it sounds rather common.

my son's does as well and I was wondering the same thing my sister told me to talk to his doctor so he can be tested for diabetes

Ask your physician to check for ketoaciduria - inability to metabolize long branch chain amino acids - i.e. luecine, isoluecine and valine. Check for any source of these in her diet.
HTH,
Laura

I think there is a syndrome that causes a maple syrup smell. Some kind of deficiency. Google it.

Funny you mention that...when I get my daughter in the morning and her diaper is really wet, it does kind of smell a little maple syrup-ish. I never though about it that way! I think it's just the smell of all that pee in there. I'm not worried but always better to ask the doc.

I would not panic. All urine has a slight odor to it. Think about it....your daughter has been peeing in a diaper all night long, it's warm- it's going to be stinky! I am fairly certain there is nothing wrong.

I have two boys and both of their diapers were stinky too!

Also, I agree that the components that make up a diaper may have something to do with it too.

Hang in there and don't panic. I am sure everything is fine. :) MV

Are you taking fenugreek for milk supply by chance? that can cause a maple smell. Like other posters have said there is a condition called Maple Syrup Urine Disease that can cause this. Although it's rare, I would put a call into a ped just in case.

I did read some advice from others. Definetely rule out with your ped. about this maple syrup disease. I don't change my boys diapers all night, & when I do change them in the morning, I notice that the urine does have an odor. Sometimes it smells sweet, but think about it, the urine has been sitting in there all night. It's going to smell. There could be a chemical in the diaper for absorbency that makes it smell that way. I really don't know why it smells sweet sometimes. I don't notice the sweet urine smell any other time, except in the morning. Of course, don't take the advice of me, I would hate to find out your child had this disease down the road & you didn't take them in.

I have noticed that too! I don't have an explanation as to why, but I have always thought that baby urine smells like maple syrup . . . never looked at a plate of pancakes the same!! Glad to hear I'm not the only one : )

Does diabetes run in your family? Does your baby seem to drink alot & urinate alot as well? If yes, you should probably talk to your pedi about checking her glucose to rule out diabetes. Good luck!

L.:

I would put a call into your ped or fp.

P., RLC, IBCLC
Breastfeeding and Parenting Solutions

L.,

There is actually a condition called Maple Syrup Urine Disease. You may want to check with your pediatrician.
The fact that it wasn't detected at birth, I am thinking
at this age it may be the reaction to the diapers, but maybe ask your doctor.

K.

It might be something in her diet but there is also something called maple syrup urine disease. It is a metabolic disorder, most likely at 10 months this would have already been diagnosed but it might be a good idea to bring up to your doctor anyway.

I just had this problem with my 13 month old-just in the am and very full diaper. I freaked out and had him tested for MSUD and then found that my mother in law added fenugreek to his favorite food. Fenugreek can be taken to increase breast milk production and is also used in indian and middle eastern cooking. Fenugreek causes this odor in urine so find out if your baby is getting any.

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