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ketone odor on babies breath

My grandson is 8 months old.  He is a caucasion, fair haired and complexion, with blue eyes.  Neither of his parents have diabetes, nor is it known in other close relatives.  The baby ocassionaly has the odor of ketone, or a nail polish-like aroma, on his breath.

The baby appears to be, otherwise, healthy.  He seems to be thriving and has what appears to be normal growth thus far.  His appetite is robust and he drinks several bottles of formula a day.  He does not like water from a bottle, nor does he like juices that have been offered.

He is advancing from scooting around to getting onto his knees and making efforts to crawl rather than pull himself along on his tummy.  His strength and muscle tone seems to be appropriate for his size.  He has a good grip on an offered finger when he is assisted with standing and making preliminary "steps", with assistance.

The odor is infrequent and has only been noticed several times since his birth.  The first instance was in his first week or two after birth.  He has subsequently had the odor a couple times, at around 6 months and now, more recently, within the last week.  The odor seems to last for only a day or so.
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Avatar universal
Hi ilandbob,
Please keep in mind that we are not doctors on this forum. I'm the mom of a diabetic teenager.

It is easy to do a blood-sugar test, so to be safe I would suggest that his parents ask for him to be tested at his next pediatric exam. Just to rule out diabetes. He'll get over the shock of the ***** in a few minutes!

But given the other things you say, it seems quite unlikely to be diabetes. The normal symptoms would be drinking an unusual amount of fluids, soaking his diapers and losing weight, and it sounds like none of those are happening, so the ketonic breath could be from something else, hopefully minor.

Enjoy your grandson, and try not to worry-- he sounds like a healthy boy!

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Avatar universal
Thanks, so much, for your quick response to my question.  It seems I am more concerned, or perhaps more aware, of medical issues nowadays than I ever was when our own daughters were babies, 25 + years ago.  Having the internet available for research is just an amazing thing.  I'da worried a lot more about this issue waiting for the little guy to visit with his pediatrician.  Thanks again.

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