26 answers

Concern with My 8 Year Old Daughter's Frequent and Frustrating Bathroom Visits

Hi moms,
I wanted to know if any of you have dealt with your children constantly needing to go to the bathroom... I mean as often as every half and hour for urination. She also seems to have some trouble with constipation even though she eats a very balanced diet with fruits/fiber/veggies + probiotic yogurts.

She has always had this "trouble" since we started potty training years ago. I have mentioned it to our ped. and it was cast aside as children need to go frequently. This issue came to a head last week during our trip to Disney. I am not overexaggertating when I say that we spent almost equal amounts of time finding/rushing to a bathroom as we did enjoying the parks. Needless to say, my husband and I would get terribly frustrated and mad and then feeling terrible b/c she honestly does seem to need to go so often. I just feel that this can't be normal. She had a couple of accidents at school this year and I think this is related.

She has never had any UTI's that we know of (I mean you would know right, aren't they terribly painful?) and the research I find online suggest possibly diabetes or other very rare conditions. Is it possible for a child of 8 to have an overactive bladder?

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, I plan to call our ped. on Monday and explain my concerns (again) that this just doesn't seem normal. I don't want to be constantly running to find the nearest bathroom and being frustrated and angry with my daughter.

I ask her repeatedly if she is listening to her body and we do "maintence potty stops" before we go out somewhere constantly. It is not uncommmon for her to go at home and then 20 minutes later when we're out somewhere she has to go again.

Thanks in advance!

3 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

First, a HUGE Thank You to all who chimed in on my post! I appreciate you all sharing your experiences with me, it really helped. So, we went to the ped. today and had a urine test done, and everything is fine. No sugar in the urine to signal diabetes or infection. They are going to send it out for a culture but doc thinks that she has a small bladder and combined with her difficulty passing stools, this is causing her to need to go so often. We are going to start using Miralax and see if that helps with the stools not putting so much pressure on the bladder. I feel much better about it and hopefully over the summer we may see some improvement. Our Dr. also wrote a note for her teacher next year to let my daughter use the bathroom as needed which I thought was very kind. Not that her teacher last year didn't, but it helps to have something "official" on her side and that she is not trying to escape the classroom to get out doing her work.
Thanks again!

Featured Answers

Does she have allergies? I grew up having allergies and I also had to use the bathroom frequently- even sometimes having accidents at night up until 10 or 11 years of age. I think the doctor said something about the allergies making the lining of the bladder swell and making you feel as if you have to go more frequently- just something to think about- I still have to go more often than most folks, by the way, so I just try to limit liquids, especially when driving a long way! Good luck-

I have to say I had that trouble with one of my daughters before, she had accidents as well. I took he to the Dr. and she had an UTI. Has she been tested? My daughter did not have pain with hers. It was her just having the accidents at school on the bus, so I took her in. Good Luck with finding out what it is.

Take care,


I see that the other posts have talked about medical conditions she may have. My daugher had the same situation, but it was all in her head. Whenever she wasn't at home, she was so nervous about not having immediate access to a bathroom, that she would get nervous.

Especially in the car, she would ask to stop all the time. Even if she just emptied her bladder, she couldn't think of anything else, and would only focus on peeing. She made herself uncomfortable by obsessing about it.

She eventually grew out of it, but even now, my now 13 year old is nervous about the long drive we're taking this summer because she doesn't control the potty stops.

I just thought I would mention this, so you can see that it may not be medical. It could be something behavioral. Good luck to her.

More Answers

Take her to see a urologist, preferably a pediatric one. Childrens Memorial has wonderful Dr's and they come out for clinics in the suburbs. They do meet certain days in Tinley Park but will be moving from that site in Sept to go to New Lenox. There are other sites also you can visit.
And no UTI's do not always hurt or burn.

1 mom found this helpful

I would consult with a urologist. There are a variety of things that could be going on. It could be as simple as she has a urethral stricture that will only allow her to drain small amounts of urine, but because she is going so often she hasn't had a UTI. Whatever the case the doctor will probably want you to do a collection diary to see how much she really is going and how often. She may actually not be hydrated enough because she doesn't want to go anymore often and that is causing the constipation. The urologist will be able to give you more info than a regular pediatrican. Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

You didn't mention if she makes it throught he night without having to keep going to the bathroom. ALso what does she do in school? Does she have to keep going in school? If she can make it throught the night and if the school hasn't contacted you for her frequent bathroom trips (and they would contact you)- she may need to train her body to hold it and understand the difference between having to go or not. Definately talk to your ped again if he ignores it or find another doctor.


I feel your pain. I have two girls and we seem to spend alot of time in the ladies room as well. There are times that my daughters might become distracted with an activity then the urgency to use the washroom is not so *urgent*, although most times it does seem like the need to urinate is immediate...very little ability to hold it. It makes me wonder if kids at this age have a smaller bladder capacity than adults? Please keep us posted on what happens.

I took my now 8 year old daughter to a pediatric urologist for similar symptoms about 6 months ago, but my daughter was also wetting the bed, which you don't mention. The dr. said that sometimes if the bowel needs to be emptied, it can press on the bladder and decrease bladder capacity. We have incorporated miralax into our routine and I've noticed that she pees a lot less often now, so I guess that worked. The doctor will have you keep a log of all that your daughter drinks and when, and how much she goes to the bathroom (time and amount.) I learned a lot from this since the doctor said that the average kid her age was going about 6-8 times a day and we were going more than 10. Try a urologist -- good luck!

It is possible she could have a UTI without the unbearable pain. If the ped blows it off again, take her to a urologist. That's their specialty, I'm sure they will do all they can to find the problem.

Call your pediatrician or a specialist so that you can do some testing. Just because she is young does not mean she should have to go more frequently. Shorter/narrower urethras could be a cause as could be other medical concerns. I have a friend with this concern. You say this has been going on for a long time. I would address it. A UTI can go undiagnosed for a while (not for years!) if she is not getting any other symptoms or severe pain.

It seems excessive that she had to go to the bathroom so frequently.

Good luck.

My daughter (also 8) has had these issues off and onn since she was 4. She gets frequent UTIs, but never even notices until it's a hospital emergency - must have a high tolerance for pain! We've worked over the years with a Ped. Urologist, who has prescribed several things in various combinations. What's working for us now is Detrol LA in combination with an antidepressant. When she's urinating more frequently (or having accidents), we give the full course of antibiotic to treat a UTI. He wanted her to take the antibiotic as preventative ALL the time, but it was just too hard on her. Another common problem to check out is teeth crowding. My daughter went through a palette expansion with the orthodontist, which greatly improved her night breathing/snoring & bedwetting.

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