It is sometimes necessary to get a urine sample from a baby to do testing. Most of the time, urine is collected in the health care provider's office. A sample can also be collected at home.
To collect a urine sample from an infant:
Thoroughly wash the area around the urethra (the hole where urine flows out). Use the soap, or cleansing wipes that your provider gave you.
You will be given a special bag to collect the urine. It will be a plastic bag with a sticky strip on one end, made to fit over your baby's genital area. Open this bag and place it on the infant.
Put a diaper on the baby (over the bag).
Check the infant often, and change the bag after the infant has urinated. (An active infant can cause the bag to move, so it may take more than one try to collect the sample.)
Empty the urine from the bag into the container provided by your provider. DO NOT touch the inside of the cup or lid. If at home, place the container in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until you return it to your provider.
When finished, label the container and return it as instructed.
Thoroughly wash the area around the urethra. Clean from the front to the back on a female infant, and from the tip of the penis down on a male infant.
Sometimes, it may be necessary to obtain a sterile urine sample. This is done to check for a urinary tract infection. A health care provider will take this sample using a catheter. The area around the urethra is cleaned with an antiseptic. A small catheter is inserted into the baby's bladder to collect the urine. It is removed after the procedure.
There is no preparation for the test. If you collect the urine at home, have some extra collection bags available.
There is no discomfort if the urine is collected using a bag. There may be a brief period of discomfort if a catheter is used.
The test is performed to get a urine sample from an infant.
Normal values depend on what tests will be performed on the urine after it is collected.
There are no major risks to the infant. Rarely, a mild skin rash from the adhesive on the collection bag may develop. There may be a small amount of bleeding if a catheter is used.
Reviewed By: Liora C. Adler, MD, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Hollywood, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.