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Long story....daughter Holding Urine for Long Periods of Time

My almost 3 year old daughter is holding her urine in for unbelievable amounts of time. Saturday she didn't go for 24 hours and today it had been 26 hours since she went. For the past 3 weeks, she has been complaining that her "bo bo" hurts and was crying every time she peed. Most days she was holding it for 8-9 hours or we were lucky to get her to go once a day. I think it started as a control, stubborn thing because she wants to wear a diaper and then I started worrying that it had turned into something more serious. I took her to the dr. on Feb 19th and he said she probably had a yeast infection and told me to put monistat on the outside area and to keep an eye on it. She also had the flu at that time, so we weren't sure what was causing what. Then it just kept getting worse and she kept holding her urine longer and longer. On top of everything else she was throwing up in the middle of the night for almost 2 weeks. Finally this past Monday I took her back to the dr. and he said she might actually have a bladder infection and that could be what is causing her to throw up. They sent us home with a kit to get a urine sample to get a better idea what was going on in there. For 2.5 days we were unsuccessful at getting a sample and he told us to take her to the ER to cath her. With a long wait and lots of begging she finally peed after 26 hours of not going. We were able to get a sample without having to cath her (THANK GOD). The ER ran the lab and everything is okay with her urinalysis (THANK GOD again!). So my question is, have any other parents experienced this or had problems with their kids holding their urine this long? Her teachers at school said it is not normal and the nurses and dr. said so too. I am wondering what in the world could be going on if their is no infection? Anyone have any suggestions?

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all the helpful hints and advice. I talked to a wonderful nurse at Children's Hospital in Urology last week and she has given me great guidance and has me keeping an eye on a few things. I also put my daughter back in diapers all weekend and she went several times each day again. I still am not sure what is going on, but I am backing off the potty a bit and taking all your suggestions to heart. I also wanted to clarify that the whole time between her 2 doctor visits & trip to the ER, I was in contact with the nurse at her dr's office many times (since one mom mentioned I waited too long to get back to the dr). They kept acting like it wasn't a big deal, but the more time that went by between pees and seeing my daughter in pain, the more worried I got. That was the frustrating part. That's why I decided to ask on mamasource... because I knew all the moms would be more helpful and offer some suggestions. I am definitely going to find a new dr and keep a close eye on this. Thanks again to everyone!!!

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Hi L.... It sounds as if you have done everything pysically... How about taking her to see a child psychologist? Maybe its just a matter of some kind of attention she is needing? Worth a shot.. Aj

Maybe she needs to see a thearpist. Maybe something has happened to her that has her out of sorts causing this. She might have seen something scary to her, maybe a pet has died, or maybe a kid told her something that didn't set well with her. I am so sorry that something like this is happening to her. But there has to be some reason that she is doing this and the mind can do weird things to the body. Maybe her talking to someone professional that knows how to get info out of a kid might be able to get to the root of what is going on. It is just a suggestion. Good luck and I hope that you are able to get this problem solved.

What detergent do you wash her clothes in? I used Gain and it was cause my daughter to be very irritated there. We had no idea what the problem was and we tried everything from diperrash cream to yeast infection med. Finally I switched to Tide for another reason and her irritation cleared up almost instantly. I finally put the two together and I will never use gain again. Just something to try. Hope it works out.

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I'm a little late in replying to this and I see all the suggestions that you have been given and taking her to a urologist is needed. HOWEVER! I'm seeing alot of people talking about DRUGS and MEDICATIONS! In my opinion....ONLY IF THIS YOUR ONLY ALTERNATIVE AND BECOMES LIFE THRETHNING. Too many parents are way too quick to allow doctors to give medications to their small children who are still growing and developing! Taking a medication for the rest of her life from this age now will probably cut years off her life becuase of the damage the drugs are doing to her liver and kidneys! DO NOT GIVE YOUR CHILD OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS AT ALL! Yes, holding her urine is not natural and I do not believe she is holding it at all. NO ONE CAN HOLD THERE URINE THAT LONG! If she is not urinating there IS A PROBLEM! How is her WATER INTAKE! Stop all store brought fruit juice and other drinks, including cow's milk! WATER AND FRESH JUICES ONLY! Please until you get this under control, I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO ELIMINATE ALL JUNK FOODS, PROCESSED FOODS AND SUGAR-use grade B maple syrup instead. Start squeezing lemon in one glass of her water w/some maple syrup every morning. Give her as much RAW, ORGANIC-ONLY fruits, veggies and grains as you can and also do this in liquid form. In other words start JUICING at least once a day! Give her carrots, beets, spinach, brocolli, cabbage, kale and all leafy greens, onion, ginger, apple. You can do all these together or you can do in different variations. The ORGANIC carrots, beets, and apple will give the sweetness you and her need when juicing the greens and onion(small piece of onion) Also do fruit smoothies for her...strawberry, blueberry, stoneyfield yogurt, bananas, and ice.

Because of this problem you need to make sure that she does not get too much poisens and toxins building up in her system and her blood. Our diets need to be 80% RAW and until we start eating they way human beings are meant to eat, Americans will continue to have the unexplained health problems seems like only we are dealing with in America!

I also strongly suggest that you get connected with Holistic minded doctors, other moms and dads, and start learning about alternative and intergravtive therapies! Often times when children have problems like these when they are this young, if they don't take care of themselves while growing up, they will usually start dealing with other issues as a result of whatever the unerlining problem was when they were young. I DO SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE! I have two kids one 26 now and my daughter who is 13! Girls will have lots of issues especially as they enter into puberty and start their period!!!! GET YOUR DAUGHTER HEALTHY NOW! Look up & join www.holisiticmoms.org (Holistic Moms Network-National organization) and buy these three books as a start and reference point for you: Prescription for Nutritional Healing and Prescription for Dietary Wellness:Using Foods to Heal both by Phyllis Balch, CNC; and Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Zand, LAc, OMD; Rachel Walton, RN & Bob Rountree, MD

Something to remember...pH balance in our bodies should be 7.3 give or take a point. anything more or less means our body is out of balance and has an internal environment for disease.......DIS-EASE. Remember all illnesses are basically ONE. It starts inside by what we feed it. Water, frutis, vegetables, grains and legumes and you'll be on the right path to health. But remember once thing about our food supply....if it's not locally grown and picked when it's vine-ripened then it was picked to early and will not carry the nutritional value it should have and some of it actually does more harm than good. This is why AMERICA IS SICK! We need to stop messing around with our food supply and land and begin to go back to growing foods locally and eating foods "in-season" only. Your other solution is something called Juice Plus+. If you have not heard of this, you really should look it up.

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I had a very similar experience with my daughter the first time I tried potty training her. She was 2 1/2 years old. She said she wanted to go potty. I took her word for it and started the potty training. Two days later I noticed that she started holding her urine. Like your daughter she started complaining of pain, and I realized that she was in pain from holding her urine so much. Afraid that she would get an urinary tract infection from holding her urine, I stopped all attempts to potty trained and put her back in diapers. She just was not ready. I have a son in college and ironically he was easier to potty train that she was. However, I realized that not every child is the same. My daughter is now 3years and 4 months old. Last week I explained to her that it was time to wear under wears. She was not for it at all. I took her diapers off and told her that we didn't have any more diapers. After a few minutes she agreed to put her new "princess" under wear on. She had a few accidents the first day. She appreciated the fact that I was very supportive and did not make a big deal out of it. The fact that I didn't over react to her more than normal accidents encouraged her to keep trying. By the second day she went all on her own without any accidents and she has been doing great ever since. Her dad and I took her to toys r us to buy her favorite toy in recognition of her great efforts.

Every child is different and eventually they will let you know when they are ready to be potty trained. You keep trying until the day comes. In my opinion the best way to do it is at the child's own pace.

Good Luck and all the best for you and your daughter!

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I would definitely take her to a pediatric urologist! My daughter had bladder issues from age 4-6...She had accidents all the time. I thought it was just from her not wanting to take the time to go but her pediatrician said it was not normal and sent me to a ped. urologist at Children's hosp. They ran several tests and discovered she had a weak bladder which medication helped. My point is, if everyone says it's not normal you need to get to the bottom of it. and a ped. urologist knows what to look for and what tests to run etc.

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My heart ached for the Mother and daughter going through the painful experience of a small child having difficulty urinating. (And, also, to the mother a few days ago, whose child had difficulty with her stools.) Mom, have you ever had a bladder infection? They can be HORRIBLY painful! If she is having that experience, no wonder she cries! (I have personally had a bladder problem, after a long airline flight, that was so bad I had to go to a hospital. I was also throwing up! But, I did not show positive on their test for a bladder infection. I'm not sure that is the only way to ascertain a problem, particularly if it is caused from yeast infiltration. Does she ever have blood in her urine?) Anyway, in my opinion, the main treatment for both urine and constipation problems is as much water as you can get your child to drink! Maybe if you can find a way to correlate drinking more water with less painful urination, even she, at her young age, will begin to comprehend how important a good quantity of water is each day, as relates to easing her discomfort. (Try drawing pictures with her about how she looks when it hurts with only one glass of water in front of her: a frowny face; and how she looks when it doesn't hurt with several glasses of water in front of her: a big smile?) I have only limited suggestions; but I hope they will be helpful. Many years ago, I had a daughter who frequently had pain with urination. (She also had continual difficulty with elimination, and would sit for hours trying to "go", and cry and moan pitfully.) I finally capitulated and asked my Pediatrician to run whatever tests were necessary to see if she had any intestinal blockages of any kind. I STRONGLY REGRET having allowed them to run the tests, which involved a Barium enema on a four year old girl! In retrospect, the hospital lab's lack of sensitivity in handling that uncomfortable test, made me realize what a mistake in judgement I had made. I now believe it was as serious as the equivalent of a RAPE experience to her!! At the very least, it was a terrible violation to her. So, please think carefully about it before you move forward with major testing (and, if you have to have it done, insist that you stay with her during the entire time she is on the testing table! I begged to be allowed to stay with her while the test was done, but the hospital staff refused. I should have picker her up and walked out, at that point!) I forcefully insisted too late, ignored their instructions, and found my precious little girl crying and left ALL ALONE in a bathroom, to painfully expel the barium solutions they had injected into her! She did, however, have continual problems with yeast infections, clear through her young adulthood, affecting both her urination and bowel movements. I believe three things contributed to this: her love of milk (to which she was later acknowledged allergic to some degree); lack of sufficient water intake(there always seemed to be a strong odor associated with urination, or on her underpants) and her innate tension. (She continued to have intestinal problems all of her life, sometimes throwing up and having explosions of runny stools, both at the same time, after periods of stress!) I think yeast played a MAJOR role in both physical mal-functions! (Many physicians won't even acknowledge the negative effects of a yeast condition; so please make sure you have a pediatricion who does!) She loved juices and sugar in her iced tea; but didn't want to drink just water. I should have found more creative ways to encourage her to drink more water. (I did find a tiny little mug from an amusement park that we had visited, and provided her a small teapot of water that she could refill her little mug all by herself, over and over again. That helped with her quantity of plain water intake!) I now believe she had a sugar/insulin resistance problem that was overlooked by our Pediatrician, although he was recognized as a very good one. (A couple of ideas: Crystal Light artificially sweetened Lemonade is very good, if real lemon slices are placed in it and allowed to sit for a while, before pouring. Cranberry juice weakened with a small amount of water, and just a little bit of orange juice is palatable, too, and not so bitter as cranberry juice, alone.)The important thing is to STOP ALL SUGARED BEVERAGES, except for prune juice, if you can get her to drink it! (Put it in some unique little glass or tiny cup, just to tickle her!)She won't miss the sugared drinks for long, which is an interesting thing about sugar's compelling insistance! Our bodies forget our desire for sugar quickly. As for elimination or stool difficulties, again, I recommend greatly increased fluids with minimal sugar (as any sugar at all can cause severe constipation); and another idea: Orowheat makes an "extra fiber" wheat bread that is excellent. I think that would have helped my own daughter, had we known so much about the benefits of fiber, when she was young. Also, increase her fruit roughage, as in more apples, oranges, etc. I have fed my grandchildren Crispex, a Rice cereal, as opposed to any of the sugared cereals, which is also good fiber and low sodium, but it tastes good even for finger snacks! (Even prune juice won't help soften stools if there is not enough water intake!) Sugars, wheat and cream/milk all FEED YEAST! Please don't give up on getting answers about your daughter's potential yeast problems, as the resulting damage to my own child is that we have now been told that her continual yeast issues could now affect her ability to become pregnant, as an adult. Some damage was apparently done over the years. I encourage you to take her to a children's Urologist! And, maybe even a Holistic Physican, because they usually recognize yeast issues. (Surprisingly, many holistic doctors are also M.D.'s) Best of luck, for her sake, as well as your own!

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Be sure your doctor cultures the urine sample. Sometimes there is enough bacteria to cause problems, just not enough to show up without growing a culture.

Has your daughter ever had an accident at school? If the teachers fussed, she may be worried now.

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I would also try a little fresh lemon squezzed into water to drink or even some cranberry juice. They work wonders for the bladder and are a more natural approach. Good luck.

I hope you find some helpful tips. My daughter is 3yr and I have the exact same problem. I just kept thinking she would out grow this maybe it was a phase. So plan on making apt with the pediatrician to see what i can find out. Ive heard from a couple of different people that if ur spine isn't alligned right that could have some affect and they she may need to see a urologist.

My brother and sister in law experience that sort of thing with their girl. After years of doctor visits they actually found her urethra to be too small. So it did actually hurt her to use the restroom. She has since had that fixed and is now fine.

I wish I had seen this thread 2 months ago. We went thru a similar experience. First, our daughter decided to start holding her urine at preschool for 6+ hours. She'd unleash when we got hom in her diaper. Then in Feb, we decided it was time to potty train. We did all of the things they tell you to: use a doll, buy cute panties, reward for staying dry, reward for using the toilet ... Well, she held it all day. After 12hrs, I put her back in diapers and waited. Nothing happened so I put her to bed and called Children's. The nurse told us to go to the hospital as this wasn't normal. By the time they saw her, it was 15 hrs. They checked her out and said that it was behavioral vs a blockage and sent us home. They said come back if she hasn't peed by morning. The dr said eventually the sphincter muschle would give way :) After 26 hrs, she finally did peed. She had complained that morning that she was worried about peeing in her panties. So we figured that she had a confidence issue. We stopped potty training. About 2 weeks ago, my husband decided to teach her about how the bladder works. Using one of those nose aspirator and a cup of water, he showed her how when you drink, your bladder fills up, when you relax, pee comes out. He let her squeeze it several times and then asked her to do the same. (She hadn't peed for multiple hrs so we knew something was there. She took a deep breadth and all of sudden peed. She was so surprised and proud that she's peed on the toilet ever since, only having 1 accident. Of course we are providing treats, toys... I offer double treats if she does it at school and when she has a BM on the toilet. Again, we saw that once she had the confidence, she had did it. I did consult with a couple of drs about this. Baring a medical issue, which you do need to rule out, they weren't as freaked out as I was about the 12-24hr of holding it. They said if it passed 24hrs, then they'd be concerned as it could turn into a medical issue. But again, if it's behavorial at some point the kid will have to pee. The challenge is figuring out what is causing the behaviorial issue and nipping that in the bud. I feel for you as that's not easy. Good luck and keep us posted.

I know the problem I am writing about is weeks old and I hope it fine by now or at best getting there.

no one touched on this possibility:

when I was little after I would sit in the tub and play sometimes for up to an hour I would get out and I would hurt down there- and going to the bathroom was really really painful never to the point of not peeing BUT could be a cause.
and when my gals were little I refused to let them play in the tub after taking a bath --- I would drain the drain the water and let them fill it back up with clear totally soap free water and then play. something about soap and bubble bath caused me to be very sore down there.

my mom discovered that it hurt and she checked and I was really red ----

we discovered that if I just took a bath and got out quick I was fine but I lived playing in the tub.

would not hurt to check if your daughter takes longer baths than 10 minutes or so. just remember to check after her skin is normal color (the hot or warm water could cause her skin to be red)

I work at the Children's hospital and we routinely do studies on children who have been diagnosed as "dysfunctional voiders". Many of them will develop bladder infections and with the increased pressure in the bladder from refusal to void will reflux that infected urine back into the kidneys, which if left untreated can cause permanent damage. I don't mean to scare you, but I do think the problem needs to be addressed with a pediatric urologist ASAP! Best of luck!

My friend's daughter is going through this very same thing right now. They too rushed her to the er. As it turns out she has a Urinary Tract Infection. This could be caused either by not drinking enough water and/or holding in the urine for too long. So if it's the latter, it probably began as a control thing, but now it really does hurt to go potty. If it's a UTI they can give you meds to clear it up, then you can talk to your daughter about how going potty more often will help her not hurt there again.

First I'd say your waiting an awfully long time to get her to a Doctor????? Feed the child yogurt - daily. Also she is obviously not getting enough fluids like water, cranberry juice, or any juices. Finally in the yogurt you can put fresh blueberries. But she needs all of these and to get to a doctor before a couple of weeks.

I know you have a plan, but I want you to know that you are hearing this is abnormal...but my daughter did this too. She was potty trained at 18 months but she would not go in any potties that she was unfamilar with until she was amost 3 1/2. My husband and I went away on vacation right before her 3rd birthday and my mother didn't have her potty seat...so my daughter held it for 24 hours until she got back to day care to a familiar potty again. We went thru the same thing with having to get a cath and she as well did not actually have a bladder infection.

She eventually grew out of it and now she can go anywhere. Maybe your daughter is like mine and she has potty anxiety when it comes to new locations. What helped for us is we got her a potty ring (the kind that sits on your big toilet) and took that with us...it usually was familiar enough that she could be encouraged to go.

Don't give up!!! It will get better :)

Well I know that I have had chronic kidney stones for about 4 yrs or so but 9 outta 10 times you always have an infection with kidney stones! So the UA you got you need to make sure that it was a clean catch which means with a child that age after a bath etc... But if it is just stubborness try always pushing fluids juices and waters if she dont like Cranberry juice mix it with a juice not as strong cranberry juice is a natural diuretic and also has special stuff that numbs the bladder and kidney and Urethra. which thats what it sounds like it actually hurts... It burns with urination! I know since I have chronic Kidney stones I have chronic bladder and kidney infections! And one more thing try to push lots of fluids and make bathroom time a fun time sing and dance to the bathroom and have her in there when you go and say okay your turn! Don't make it into a worried concerned You have to go!!! make it fun! Okay right after we go pee pee we will go to the store! Don't do a if you go pee we will do something fun do a once we're done here than we can do the things we needs to do! Hope this helps if not then it might be time to see another doctor! Mandy

I understand your concern since my dtr from a young age like your dtr has has had bladder issues especially r/t sensation and not knowing when her bladder is full so she didn't know when to go. She was diagnosed with an immature bladder which she'll eventually outgrow. A pediatric urologist recommended that I have my dtr "try" that is get to toilet every 2-3 hrs whether or not she had to go or not to get her bladder used to emptying itself. That is called bowel and bladder training. Asking your dtr to try whether she has to go or not will help her learn to release any urine she may have in her bladder. Also, giving her alot of fluids helps too. Water is best. There are also urinary irritants I learned about which could also be affecting your dtr's bladder e.g soda, vitamin c etc, but you have to test out the list to find out. I had to do this for 2 wks and she got better when reduced to drinking just water for 2 wks. Good luck.


Hi L., My son holds it of which I think is entirely to long too - sometimes only going 2-3 times daily.
This may be entirely to simple of a question - but are you making sure she has lots and lots of good clean (non-tap) water a day? My son used to hate water - now, with a lot of prayer and persistance, it is his favorite drink.
This one does stump me. You are fortunate there not to be an infection yet. It's a good thing that you are watching it all and on top of it. On an ending note.....I don't think yeast, though a nasty issue that many deal with, would keep you from going to the bathroom. You might try to see a Naturapathic Doctor to see if there are any nutritional deficiencies causing this. Good luck!

Is she afraid of something? Something may have happened in the bathroom once that frightened her. Take one experience plus a child's imagination and odd things can happen. My just-turned-4yo likes to hold it for a very long time.

Hi L.... It sounds as if you have done everything pysically... How about taking her to see a child psychologist? Maybe its just a matter of some kind of attention she is needing? Worth a shot.. Aj

Dear L.,
I have worked in pediatrics for 12yrs and usually when this happen it is indeed an infection of some kind. You stated that she had the flu and vomiting at some point.If this should occur again,sometimes kids will have an infection like strep throat,which causes child to put hands in mouth, then they touch their private areas and transfer the infection,which would not show up on u.a.,but would on culture of urine,but if neg they would probly not culture.Next time look at your childs throat, also if child has infection, they will hold urine as it hurts to pee.

IS she getting enough to drink? make her drink ALOT - whatever she wants - for several days and try "potty training" her again. Take her with you when you go and just reinforce all you taught her in the beginning. To go as soon as you feel the need etcetera. I know if I have to go and hold it for a while then soon it begins to feel like I don't really have to go - waiting can also stretch the bladder and make it larger to hold more and maybe she has just stretched out her bladder. Anyway, I would try to re-train her and see what happens!

yeah get a second opinion or a third she has to have a infection or some kind of cystitis i am a nurse and the minute i read that i could only thik that the yeast infection is there so there most be something else growing get a second opinion not all doctors are right a nurse who cares and have seen mistakes !!!!!!!!

My daughter was between 2 and 3 when we kept getting kidney infections. They took a long time but finally called me at work after I believe X-Rays revealed that she has kidney and bladder damage. I cried and cried. Children's in Seattle had her go through Urol dyamic testing every year and we had to cath every day 4 times a day. We would boil after use and reuse. She did that for about 7 years
Then about the time she was to start her periods they took it away. She also had to be on a low grade antibotic and still had a lot of infections She would hold it so long that she would bend over and if we tried to move her to the pot she would turn totally red as if she were holding it. She called it her problem. We had to wait then take her. She tells me now it was that she just held it too long. But she is a healthy young adult now. Years ago I asked the doctor what would be the worst that could happen and he said a transplant with pig bladder. That scared me for years. Her one kidney never grew and only works and always has only worked 10 % of the time. I also have heard of people who have three or four kidneys. Some with one. Her one kidney grew slightly larger to compinsate. So there could be a more serious problem and specialists can figure it out with all the technology today it is far better to have problems now then years ago. Ultra sounds tell a lot. Keep searching and keep brain storming. Document it so you have a log to show the doctors. God Bless and pray it is just stubborn not ready for potty yet. God Bless G.

My 20 year old daughter would rarely go to urinate of have a bowel movement. I didn't make a fuss over it, just made sure she had a good diet, rich in liquids and fiber. Today at 20 she still does have have a daily bowel movement like I do. The only problem she has had was constipation for over 10 days. She tool stool softeners and drank lots of water and finally after 14 days has a bowel movement. I think her problem was the starchy diet she was eating at college and the doctor said the same thing and told her to lay off white bread. I have infiltrated whole grain and wheat breads and pasta in our menus. Good Luck and God bless.

dear Neighbor: I agree with the medical professionals. To hold that long is not the norm. However having said that what do you do? Without calling up stubborn traits and focusing on her abilities. Extra praise when she does urinate and extra fluids might help. I think you need professional advice. Hugs and good luck

Hi L.-
It looks like you received a lot of responses to your situation. I just wanted to let you know that my daughter did the EXACT SAME THING! I have no idea why - she did it the entire summer that she was 3 1/2. She is now 5 and we still have to make sure that she goes "pee pee" first thing in the morning. We also did a lot of bribing (ie: if you go pee pee you can have a piece of candy). But seriously, she would hold it all day long. It was crazy. Nothing ever came of it - but maybe it's just a 3 year olds way to have a little control over us...but rest assured. It will get better. Hope this helps knowing that someone else went through the same thing. Good Luck!
P. :)

I've been thru this and we still struggle with it daily. I'm with you I believe it's a control issue that and I'm bad myself about using the restroom especially in public. My daughter has Vesicoureteral Reflux (kidney reflux). After our second UTI our dr referred us to a urologist and testing showed she has the above stage 2. There's four stages of it. Normally in the milder ones they typically out grow it by age 5. We were taking microdantin daily. We off it now for 6 months so see if she develops any UTI. The urologist told me that they should go when they wake in the morning, 2 while at school, once when they get home and before they go to bed. Maybe if you make it point to make her go to the restroom at those times she'll get in the habit of going. Hope this helps

You need to have her kidney's checked by ultrasound. When she doesn't go for long periods of time, the urine will fill her bladder and then start pressing it's way back up to her kidneys. It's called kidney relfux (think how acid reflux works and it's the same thing) and it can seriously damage her kidneys. My niece has this problem. She wouldn't go for long periods of time either, had serveral bladder infections, and it ended up taking her doctors a while before they found the problem. She now has to take a medicine everyday for probably the rest of her life and is checked yearly or more if she is showing a problem. It is treatable, but can cause the loss of her kidneys if it's not.

Maybe she needs to see a thearpist. Maybe something has happened to her that has her out of sorts causing this. She might have seen something scary to her, maybe a pet has died, or maybe a kid told her something that didn't set well with her. I am so sorry that something like this is happening to her. But there has to be some reason that she is doing this and the mind can do weird things to the body. Maybe her talking to someone professional that knows how to get info out of a kid might be able to get to the root of what is going on. It is just a suggestion. Good luck and I hope that you are able to get this problem solved.

I have a condition called IC and kidney problems as well, since birth.

I had successful kidney surgery back in 1997 and pain, fevers, and vomiting associated with the pain and infections that i would get are much better.

However i still have a painful bladder condition called IC Intersticial Cystitis ICHELP.ORG, from being in the urology system for 20 years it sounds to me that she has "difficulty urinating" (obviously) and speaking from someone who lived with bladder issues for 17 years being passed off as "normal" i would suggest that you keep her diapers on as long as it takes to find out if it is indeed a comfort/defiance issue and if it keeps up i would personally request an very simple, twilight procedure where they can take a look at her bladder to make sure it functions properly, enabling her to empty her bladder normally.

I would hate to see another child be passed through the system like i was before i got relief 19 years later. Good Luck. I am rooting for her!

dont know if you tried the lemon juice in the water like someone had suggested, but if she is like my daughter tehn the lemon juice mixed with milk (if she is drinking milk) can cause the throwing up. Lemon juice actually crudles milk and causes them to throw up. Just a bit of advice after my daughter was throwing up after lemon stuff and we finally figured it out. normally it happens pretty fast though.. but thought you might like to file that in your random stuff to know... hope she is better... if it is any consolation my daughter holds it for a long time too. she can go like 8-10 hours before she goes. so hopefully your daughter will atleast go that often soon. good luck

I have four daughters, my youngest who was in the hospital at 3 weeks with a urinary tract infection. They discovered that she has severe urinary reflux...it is not kidney reflux as someone wrote in a reply to you. Somewhere there is a deformation in their uriter...what carries the urine to the bladder...and this causes the urine to shoot back up and bepending on the severity can eventually reach the kidneys. OVer time this can cause kidney damage. My daughters situation was a bit different because she actually has one kidney that is duplex...two kidneys in one with two uriters...and one kidney that is normal.
All four of my girls have large bladders from holding thier urine as some point. Over time this can cause a problem if it is not addressed.
My youngest has had surgery and is no longer on the sulfur med that some people had talked about.
There are so many different reasons that your daughter could be having a problem down there.
I really think you need a new pediatrician. He sounds not thorough at ALL. First of all there are pediatric lotions for yeast infection that work great.
I think that you should for sure have a full workup with a ped urologist. They should do a renal ultrasound, and maybe a VSUG...test to see if her urine is flowing properly. Also, even though you feel bad having your daughter have to get a cathadar...it takes 30 seconds when a urologist gives one and it gives you a clean catch of their urine which will give you the best read if something is going on.
All of the things that I talked about could be causing her pain, causing her to hold her urine, but she may not actually have and infection in her urine.
Good luck.
From a mom who has too much experience with this stuff!!

My daughter has had problems going to the bathroom and held it in too, not for that long though. When I take her to the doctor, they say everything is fine. What I started doing is giving her liquid PROBIOTICS at the first sign of any problem. You can get it at Health Food Center. It costs about $12 and lasts a long time. Make sure it has "millions of live organisms guaranteed". Works like a charm everytime!

Just off the top of my head, it could be a couple of things. #1 she may associate using the restroom with taking away fun time. I myself as a grown up am notorius for doing the same thing. I'll wait till after my show is over or until after I'm done reading, or etc... and by the time that has come around the urge has faded and I forget strange huh? But it does happen and maybe she just doesn't want to take the time to use the restroom and now she has gotten her body trained to go every 8 or 9 or 24 hours. Starting out at small intervals, eventually you can get to that many hours. There's been times when I'm at work and realize I haven't used the ladies room all day!! Now on the flip side it is definately not good for you. Maybe since she is still small, you can offer small rewards to increase her need to try and go as much as possible. Such as ice cream, a special movie video, a small toy etc.... nothing expensive just something to make her mind focus on using the restroom. The second thing is that if she has even the slightest irritation, it could burn and that would make her not want to go at all and at 3 years old it could be very scary because she doesn't understand why it hurts. I hope this all helps, good luck!!

omg! Your daughter sounds like my youngest at the moment. She hold her urine too. I could not figure out why until I noticed her scared too pee on toilet and I noticed her private area was red. The doctor told me she was over wiping with paper causing it to be chapped and this was burning her when she urinated. My daughter gets yeast infections alot as well. So we started yogurt once a day and lots of water. This seemed to help her alot. Good luck with it!

Funny story to share: my daughter used to have no problems using the toilet at home, but would hold it ALL day at daycare. When I would pick her up after work, we would make a bee-line for the restrooms and she would go in the toilet for me before we drove home. One day, as she was coming out of the restroom stall, her daycare teacher came out of the adjacent one and exclaimed "I knew you could do it!" Thereafter, my daughter started using the restrooms at the daycare during the day.

This may or may not be related to all of your symptoms...but here goes. When my sister was that young, she kept having upper respiratory problems..(i.e. runny nose, sinus & ear infections, coughs, etc.)They were back to back & severe I think. She ended up taking her to a different doctor (an old man at the time who really knew his stuff) and when my mom gave him the rundown on how long this had been going on, and not clearing up, he said he thought she had bladder reflux. Anyway, she ended up on a sulfur drug for 2 years I think, then she outgrew the condition. But once she got on the meds, all the sicknesses went away. Hope I didn't confuse you too badly.

My five-year old daughter doesn't hold her urine unless she is hurting or burning down there. This happens nearly every month and I know one of the episodes is coming by the smell of her external genetalia. I attribute this to a yeast infection and will put Monistat on the parts she will allow me to touch. When it burns really bad I use Dermoplast on her, a numbing spray I recieved after each of the children were born. The only way I can get her to pee then is to put her in a tub of warm water and let nature take its course.

There's no physical reason like a urethreal deformity? There is the chance of physical injury too which may have to be explored. But, if she's just holding out to use the diaper instead of the toilet, then it will be a battle of who's willing to wait longer.

Hi L.,

I know you already have a plan but just to add a bit...
When I was young, I fell off of a playstructure and landed directly onto a steel bar. For months it was SO painful to potty. I held it for days. My mother didn't know for weeks what had happened at preschool until she mentioned in conversation that I had pain when taking me to preschool one day. This was long before "accident/boo boo reports". Just thought I'd mention as another possibility.

I truly feel for you, L.! Two of the three girls we're adopting have this problem. It was so bad a couple of years ago that the eldest of the three held her urine for close to 24 hrs. When she came home from school one day, she came running to the front door to get into the house. She saw that we were going through the garage, but nothing made sense to her at that moment. She frantically told us that she had to get to the bathroom, but at that moment she had no control whatsoever. We had to literally jump out of the way because of the force of the release of bladder pressure. Afterwards, it was as though she was in shock. She told us that she had no idea she had to go to the toilet until she got to the doorstep. She also said she had no idea that holding her urine would cause such an automatic release like that. From that day on we had to remind her to go to the bathroom 3-4 times a day. She's now got the hang of it (at 10yrs. old), but only out of habit in going at certain times, not because of the actual urge to go.

We asked our doctor about it and he said that with having been in diapers until she was 5 yrs old in foster care, it may take her a very long time to get used to feeling when it's the right time to urinate. In addition, she has been diagnosed with anxiety which could play into the element of her not knowing what her body needs to do at certain times. The doctor suggested that we give our daughter a glass of water several times during the day to ensure the "flushing of toxins" in her system. With more water in her system, she actually can sometimes "feel" when it's time to go use the bathroom.

It took a lot of trial and error until we found a system that seemed to give some results.

You sound like a very conscientious mom so I'm absolutely sure you'll be watching for other signs as well. Follow your instincts as you have already done. You're doing a great job so far. It's just a matter of time before this will all be second nature for your daughter.

Good luck! Take lots of deep breaths while loving your daughter through this.


What detergent do you wash her clothes in? I used Gain and it was cause my daughter to be very irritated there. We had no idea what the problem was and we tried everything from diperrash cream to yeast infection med. Finally I switched to Tide for another reason and her irritation cleared up almost instantly. I finally put the two together and I will never use gain again. Just something to try. Hope it works out.

I have two adult daughters and had problems with both of them holding urine etc. My oldest sat on potty and instead of urine, blood came out........we went to the Urologist the next morning and he put her in the hospital right then! He did a Cystoscope on her as well as an IVP, she had a severe Kidney infection that did not show on the Urine sample. He also had to stretch her Uretha...the little hole the urine comes out. Anyhow............7 years later I had my second daughter and the exact thing happened to her, we went through all the same stuff. We also found that her left Kidney is smaller than her right. As an adult she continues to have Kidney infections a couple of times a year.

My suggestion to you is that you get your daughter evaluated by a Urologist. If you live in the Greenville/Easley area I would suggest Dr. Hamilton at Greenville Urology. He is a great doctor. All the docs at that office are wonderful. Your daughter holding urine may or may not have to do with potty training etc, but if she is complaining of pain in that area I would have her seen by a specialist.

Hope all goes well with your daughter and this problem clears quickly. I will be praying for you both.


L., I had that problem when I was younger and my daughter had that priblem. With me I was afraid of the toilet and would not go till I wet myself imagine th humilation a seven years old wetting myself at school. My daughter was afraid to go in public also the automatic flush scared her. I ended up going to school during her bathroom breaks to convince beg and plead on bended knees to go. Finaly I bribed her with M&M's that worked. I am so sorry that you are having to go through this, it is stressful.Good luck and God bless.

((HUGS)) to you and your daughter. I've never heard of kids holding it for that long. I know that sometimes, withholding toileting can be a reflection of some kind of stress. Is there anything going on that could contribute to this situation? Is she pooping or withholding that too? I would assume both, but if she is pooping, that would be interesting.

My daughter (5) has problems with constipation, and her ped gastroenterologist said that anytime a kid feels pain with bowel movements, they tend to withhold because they simply don't want to be in pain. They don't understand that NOT having a bm can be more painful. He said it's just a vicious cycle. Maybe urinating is similar for her because she did have pain at one time.

Any possibility of anything else going on medically? I'm no doctor, but kidney stones or something, maybe?

I would DEFINITELY get more direction from the pediatrician. If you're not happy with the answers, seek a second opinion. SOMETHING is going on here and needs to be addressed. Withholding like that can definitely cause an infection.

Prayers to you both,
(Mom to 2 who's had more UTI's than I care to count)

I know you now have a plan, but i wanted to add something :)

My 3 1/4 year old daughter is not potty trained. She's super bright and fully capable but does not want to do it. When we tried to pt a while ago, she would hold it in all day too. She wouldn't pee in the potty (and at that time not in the diaper either). Her holding lasted until we stopped PT and let her have her diaper back and stopped mentioning going potty.

Funny thing is my dd would pee outside in the grass the other day when it was warm, but not in the potty. So we backed off again.

Maybe your daughter just isn't ready yet for the potty. We've talked with teachers, physicians etc and all say to completely back off, don't mention it and let her take the lead

Good luck!!!

My daughter is going through the same thing and its very concerning, the urologist told us if she did not go within 8 to 9 hrs that we had to take her to the doctor or er for a cath. Its very heart wrenching watching her go through that procedure, im at a loss i dont know what it going on with her. I understand it is very bad for them to hold it, but what can i do?

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