32 answers

18 Month Old Not Urinating

I am writing in hopes to get answers of suggestions from other moms on this issue. I am a mom of three and this is the first time I am coming across this issue. My 18 month old has not been urinating much since this past Saturday. Maybe 3 wet diapers and a couple drops in the potty (twice a day). I have noticeed that her urine also has a very distinct odor to it. I called my pediatrician on Sunday and she told me to make sure she is taking in fluids, but because of her age whe is too young for a UTI or any other infections of that type. I am concerned, because it is now almost 6 days and she still is not urinating like she typically does. does anyong have any eperience with this issue? She is only 18 months old, so I know it is not a potty training issue. She sits on the potty in the morning and before her bath and will pee a little, but is just a coinsidence. Any suggestions as to what I should do or try. I am also wondering if I should call and take her to the ped, or if I should goto one of my local hospitals (thy have a Peds. ER). I am not one of those moms who jump at every lttle sneeze, but this is really concrning me. i only mention the ER because I have a feeling if I take her to the ped they will end up needing a urine specimen (via cath. beecause of her age) and/or and ultrasound, so they might send me to the ER anyway. Can someone please help me out with this one. This being my third child one would think I have been through this, but it is a new one to me. Any suggestions or inputs will be appreciated!!!!! Thanks in advance for all your help!!!!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

We got the preliminary urine culture back and there is a severe bacterial infection!!! The doc said it would be another day before the lab can tell what type of bacteria it is. The Doc did put her on medicine and the fever finally broke, so she is feeling a little better (so am I). I am hoping that with the meds she will be a little more comfortable and be able to get some sleep. Thank you to everyone for all your information and thoughts. This website proves that "moms" are the best.

P.S. I let the doc I saw on Wed and Thurs know hwat I thought about the Doc I spoke with on Sun. Had I known that this could have been such a severe problem I would have had her in the office on Sunday!!! i feel like a horrible person letting the infection go so long untreated, but I was only going by what the doc told me on Sunday!!!!! From now on I am relying on my gut %100!!!!!!!!

More Answers

I am a Neonatal Nurse, not only do UTIs occur premies, but my son had a UTI @ 4 weeks and was diagnosed with renal reflux. It can become evident at any age. I do agree if she is drinking/eating enough then -- 5 pees can be ok, perhaps she is changing her habits. Does she appear to be bloated? IN pain when she pees? Is the urine dark? Any fever -- usually the # 1 sign of a UTI in a child/infant? 18 mos is early for potty -did you train your others early too. Most Dr offices do the urine cath in the office. I would recommend talking to your pediatrician more, if you go to the ER, they will most likely not do a US or VCUG right then, they will schedule, since it is not urgent. She will have her urine checked and the results read before any other diagnostic studies. If you have that instinctual feeling something is wrong then definitely get some follow up on this!

1 mom found this helpful

I think you are right to be worried. When my son was a few months old we took him in to a kidney specialist because there was a history of problems in my family. (My sister had repeated UTIs and they discovered urine refluxing into her kidneys. She had corrective surgery at 6 years old- this was back when it was less common to screen for so it took them a long time to figure it out so now she only has the use of one kidney.) When I was pregnant my ultrasounds showed fluid in one of my son's kidneys so we were worried. My pediatrician recommended that we take him for a VCUG and an ultrasound. While this was traumatic for him, he was too young to remember it and it was over quickly and we have the peace of mind knowing that he is healthy.
So I would agree that you have to get her seen just in case. There is something wrong here and she is certainly not too young for a UTI. Call your doctor back one last time and stress that there is an odor. This is a sign of a problem. Tell them that you really need to bring her in to be seen and if they can't get you in you will take her to the hospital. Don't take no for an answer. If they still refuse, bring her to the hospital.
I would try to get a urine sample beforehand so they don't have to do the catheter. Wash and disinfect her potty so it's as sterile as you can get it and then try to get her to pee in her little potty and save the sample in a sterilized sealed container. They may not accept it, but it's worth a try. Otherwise, give her lots of fluids before you go so it won't be too hard to get a urine sample at the dr's office/hospital.

After this is all over with, I would look for a new pediatrician. This is not good advice from your doctor and I can't believe they would not suggest that you come right in on Monday.

Hi C.,
Does she have a fever or is cranky? 18 months old is Not to young for a UTI... my daughter had a kidney infection at only 7 months old. Her main symptoms were crankiness ( or just not acting herself) and then fever and smelly urine. Now, every fever or anytime she is acting unusually cranky she needs to go into the doctor for a urine sample... even if the doctor suspects the cause is something more common such as teething or an ear ache.
I would take her to a doctor, they can try and do a urine catch with a bag... but it doesn't often work, and if they find any bacteria they will most likely do a catheter anyway. Caths are a horrible experience to go through, but if it is a UTI you want it treated quickly so that permanent damage is not done to the kidneys.
When my daughter had hers, we had to do a cath, and an ultrasound and then a VCUG with a pediatric urologist but it all turned out okay. She has no reflux from her ureters and no kidney damage. I would definitely get your daughter checked out...you know your child better then anyone and if you feel something is not right its best to get it looked at.

Best of Luck

Dear C.,

18 months is NOT too young to have a urinary tract infection. Bubble baths are one cause. Have her checked.


Take her to the dr. right away. SHe is not too young. If you are not satisfied with your doctors response go somewhere else. If you really don't want her to have the catheder insist on the bag method (they will sort of stick it to her below her belly button.

Take her to the doctor and have her tested for an urinart track infection. There is something going on. And if the Dr. won't run the simple urine test FIND A NEW DOCTOR! Not urinating can cause lots of big long term problems. A.

Hi C. My name is S. I am a mother of two a six yr old girl and 2 1/2 yr old boy. I would definatley be concerned I am no doctor but as any mother you know your child better than a doctor you know what is the norm and what is unusual for them. I would ask the pediatrians office for a urine collection bottle to bring home then the next morining when your child has to urinate make sure it is on a very clean potty free of any fecal residue or chemicals let her urinate in that potty and then pour it into the urine collection bottle for the doctors office if you are not going there right away refrigerate it but bring it in the same day they can test it for urinary tract infection which she may be getting from her baths my daughter has a long history for this to this day I stopped baths when she was old enough that helped but even pools, and not using the facilities at school enough trigger it in her. If not a UTI I would ask to see a specialist then just to be safe. Another thing absoulutley no bubble baths only mild baby soaps like head to toe bubble baths trigger UTI'S Good Luck. Sue

Hi C... I would certainly pursue this issue with your dr. If she doesn't make a big deal out of it, you could take her to a urologist. I think not peeing much for 6 days is cause for concern.. Is she drinking enough? when she cries, does she have tears? I don't thi nk youneed to go to the ER, but I would certainly want a dr.'s visit and soon...
good luck!

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