31 answers

Need a Sample from My 3 Year Old

Hi. My daughter's doctor and I think she may have a urinary tract infection because of some comments she's been making and the fact that she says her abdomen hurts. The problem is to diagnose this issue my daughter needs to provide a urine sample. We tried a few times yesterday but when I hold the cup or place the cup in her potty chair she cries and won't go. Do any of you have suggestions on how to obtain a sterile sample without traumatizing my child?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your helpful responses. Turns out she just needed some time to adjust to the thought of the cup in her potty. By the end of the day yesterday I told her she needed to go while the cup was in her potty and she went without any problems. Of course it probably helped that I promised a new pair of summer shoes (that she needed anyway) if she could fill the cup. Thanks again!

Featured Answers

There are sterile bags with adhesive strips that you can place over the child's area. Phoenix Children's Hospital used it on my child all went well!

Find a tupperware or any container to fit inside the potty chair, or even line it with a plastic bag...


I have a 2yr old girl. I thought she might have a bladder infection and took her to the doctor yesterday. They made me do the same thing. I was thinking, "I'm never going to get her to pee in this cup". Anyway, I took her in the bathroom and sat her on the potty and leaned over her. I stuck the cup behind her and held my hand under her from behind. She never even knew I was doing anything. She thought I was holding her up. I did it so fast and never even told her she had to pee in a cup. I just told her to go potty. So, maybe try being a little sneaky if you can. I hope that helps! Good Luck!

Mother of 2 girls!

More Answers

I remember my pediatrician gave me a bag, kindof like a giant bandaid, that was meant to work for little boys for urine samples. stick it on and then put the diaper/pull up/undies over it.

easier yet, baby wipe her hands and private areas and let her hold the cup in the (dry)bathtub to do it. tell her you won't watch, then turnon the faucet in the sink (say you are washing your hands). The running water can encourage the urine flow.

Clean her "potty chair" with a disinfectant wipe so that it is clean/sterilized.

Have her urinate in the potty chair, then transfer the urine from her potty chair to the specimen cup.

I hope this helps and she feels better.


L. Kandell, MS, RD, IBCLC
Registered Dietitian/Pediatric Specialist
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Scottsdale, AZ
Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle through Good Nutrition, Right from the Start!

Since the sample has to be sterile saran wrap wouldn't work. How about making it a game. Set the cup in the bottom of the potty chair and tell her if she can fill it up she'll win a prize. Show her how to spread her legs on the potty chair and look down to aim. As long as you don't touch the inside of the container with your hands it's fine. Have the prize be her favorite treat or tell her you'll take her for an ice cream cone. You know what she likes!


Hi R.!

Ask the doctor, or maybe you can find it at a drugstore, a sterile half-bowl type container that catches the urine when your daughter is just sitting normally on the toilet so she doesn't havee to pee in a cup. Then empty it into the sterile specimen cup, that the doctor also gives you ahead of time. Refridgerate the urine if you can't take it in immediately, but get it in later that day.

They make hat bowls that fit between the toliet and seat. This will allow her to just sit there and urinate. You may be able to find these at your local drug store. Good luck

If you don't have any luck with the other suggestions you could request that they cath her. I had to have that done with one of my daughters to check for a UTI. It is quick.

Hi R., I have two boys and the easiest way is to have her sit on a training potty and just make sure you sterilize it prior to her using the bathroom. She will feel like she is potty training again but just let her know it is only for a day that she needs to use it. Once you get it, you always know positive rewards are nice:) Get her favorite coloring book or story out. take care and hope your daugther feels better!! Take care, G.

When my daughter was 16 months old and NOT potty trained we had to do this - I put her in the tub for a bath without using the restroom first - kept the bathroom a little cool and had her stand in the water until she had to go. Hope this helps

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