I had to get a urine sample from Baby A recently, and after messing it up, decided to look online for instructions. There were none, at least none with pictures or illustrations which is what a sleep deprived mind boggled new mom needs. 10 years ago, I had similar problems getting a sample from Mr P as a newborn.
And so, without further adieu, here are my tips to take a urine sample from a baby, using a bag. (If your doctor has special instructions, please do what he or she says!)
If your doctor asks for a urine sample, he or she will give you some equipment. A bag with a U-shaped sticky area, a receptacle to hold your baby’s pee, and possibly some sanitary wipes. Make sure you get extra bags. It’s very difficult to get a good sample, especially if your baby is the sort who poops a lot.
A collection bag, skin sanitizing wipes, and a diaper.
Wipe baby carefully with sanitizing wipes (provided by dr. or lab, NOT the kind you use on your counter!). If you have a daughter, be especially diligent to wipe all of the folds and creases.
Open the sterile package and remove the urine collection bag. Remove the paper, exposing the sticky strip.
The adhesive isn’t terribly strong, so don’t worry that it will hurt your baby. It will hold the bag, but isn’t like taking off a bandaid.
Place the U-shaped foam pad and bag opening around your baby’s urinary opening. Easy for a boy, a little more challenging for a girl. The bulk of the bag should be above your baby’s genitals for a newborn, and the foam pad should look like a U (not an N). Press gently on the adhesive and make sure it’s stuck. *UPDATED TO ADD* We had to get another sample from Baby A at the doctor’s office, and this nurse put the bag on the other way – in an upside down U. I guess it doesn’t really matter, and it simply depends on where you want the bag to lay, to the front or the back.
Diaper as usual, and wait for baby to pee.
The urine will collect in the bag. When you change your baby, carefully wipe any poo off the bag and pour the pee into the jar or receptacle. Put it in the fridge until you can get it to the lab.
If That Doesn’t Work…
Sometimes the force of the baby’s urine stream will dislodge the bag, and it will slip out of position or a baby’s stool will contaminate the urine sample. You’re going to have to hold it.
Remove baby’s diaper, and carefully wipe his or her genitals with sanitizing wipes.
Place a waterproof pad or thick towel on your lap.
Place baby on towel. Remove strip from collection bag and stick it to the baby, as before.
Leave the diaper off and hold the collection bag in place. Placing a finger or two at the bottom of the U will help.
Wait for baby to pee. Naptime is great for this. Offer baby a drink to move things along.
You might want to get a good book or make sure the channel changer is nearby.
If your child is old enough to sit up, you can try having them sit on a potty. You’ll need to sterilize it first, though, with bleach (rinse very well) or boiling water. Any stool will contaminate the urine sample, though, so it may take a couple of tries before you get a good sample. Keep cleaning and sterilizing the potty – you don’t want bacteria from a poopy to cause a false positive!