Recurrent Utis in Toddler Girl - Treatment Ideas

Updated on December 10, 2010
C.W. asks from Chattanooga, TN
21 answers

Hey Gals,

My 2 1/2 year old little girl is on her third UTI in 2 months. She received a kidney ultrasound which thankfully came back normal. We haven't gotten her VCUG (bladder xrays) yet because she hasn't been UTI free long enough to get it done. From what I've read on the internet, we may end up having her on a low dose of antibiotics for as long as a year until she "outgrows" her issue - but we won't know if she has an issue (with her "plumbing") until she gets the VCUG.

Sorry if this is all foreign language to you, but what I think most of you could help with are suggestions for nautral ways to help prevent these UTIs. I am thinking of getting blueberry and/or cranberry supplements - tried cranberry juice but no matter how much I diluted it or if it was the cranberry/blueberry mix, she rejected it.

Anyone been through this and have suggestions?


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So What Happened?

Thank you all for taking the time to share your knowledge! We are almost done with her current round of antibiotics and hope to get her VCUG done next week. We tried Grape and Cranberry-Blueberry juice, but she rejects it (very picky eater). We are only giving her showers now and are being very clean "down there". There are a handfull of clever other ideas mentioned here that we also hope to give a try. Thank you so much!

Featured Answers



answers from Chicago on

I had a friend whose daughter had this happen - she found that if she scrubbed the bathtub before taking baths, it happened less often.




answers from Chicago on

i agree with all the others...i too was this little girl. Have they told you if she is fused "down there"? that may be part of the issue. also, as a first step before antibiotics, try baby aspirin, that always worked for me. i had them unil i was about 10 and then again in my late 20's to the point where my ob/gyn had be on an antibiotic that i would have to take every single time i had sex (because that would be what flared them up as an adult). good luck1

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answers from Dallas on

You probably want to ask her dr about this. At her age I would hate for her to take something even natural or organic and make the situation worse.



answers from Chicago on

Hi My daughter was diagnosed with ureter reflux at 7 weeks old. She was on a low dose antibiotic until she was three when it was determined she grew out of it. Once on the antibiotic she had no break thru infections. As long as you remember it each day she shouldn't have any trouble. So you wont have to force her to drink anything she doesnt like. Once we stopped the meds. our urologist suggested the Cran -Grape from Kirkland (Costco). It has the most cranberry in it. It tastes very good, not bitter at all and she actually requests that now. Cranberry and drinking lots of water will help if its not reflux. Get her fun cups or straws to encourage drinking and make sure she urinates frequently and isn't holding it in. If she does have reflux though it won't matter if you do all of this, she will still get infections until she is on the antibiotic. If you have questions feel free to email me. We've been thru it all. It's not as scary as it may seem. Best of luck!



answers from Chicago on

Have you tried something As simple as adding cranberry juice to her diet? Change diaper brands? Let her run around with no diaper or in underwear for sometime everyday to "air out"? I hope you find a solution.



answers from Chicago on

try 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.of baking soda in about 8oz. of water. Or 1 tsp. of raw unfiltered apple cider in about 8oz. of water. You can sweetend the cider water with some raw honey. Coconut milk helps cure UTI's & so does eating asparagus. there are lots of remedies at just click on ailments & look under bladder infections. Hope you find something that works fast.



answers from Chicago on

Have you looked into food allergies? Food allergies can irritate the bladder too. What we eat has to come out too. talks about this in her book, Is This My Child? Otherwise you can do a combo of Vitamin C and Echinacea for her. Child Life products are really great and make both in liquid forms. If she has been on antibiotics, get her on a probiotic, Renew Life Florababy for her age is wonderful stuff. It is a powder and can be easily mixed into her drinks. Have her vitamin d3 levels tested to make sure her levels are up and at appropriate levels. This also helps keep her immune levels up.
Make sure to wipe her from front to back and teach her this too.
Don't force her to go the potty, like making her go before a car ride, let her learn to connect her brain to teach her how to learn cues or urges.
California Baby makes excellent non-toxic, non-perfume based bath products that are non-irritant for girls, you can buy them at Target.

Hope this helps,
Maternal and Child Health Educator
Chicago Family Health Examiner



answers from San Francisco on

cranberry tablets help, make sure she drinks enough water, wiping front to back is super important. hope she is better really soon!



answers from Boise on

Have her drink lemon juice in her water and eat soda crackers more often. She needs to change the acidity level in her fluids and food so that her bladder can't grow bacteria so easily.



answers from Chicago on

Hi! We have been going through this for the past 4 years. I am so excited though because my daughter has finally outgrown it!!!! It started when she was 4. She would get kidney ultrasounds and vcug's twice a year. Spring and fall. She was on an antibiotic every night. With that antibiotic, the child NEEDS to drink alot of water I was told because the medicine can crystalize in her bladder. No more baths, especially with bubbles. This was easier for me because my daughter was already 4. So just skip the bubbles. Make sure she is wiped front to back. Every time we went back to the Dr he would ask if she has grown. She always did, but I guess it wasn't enough. So her last growth spurt was an obvious one and it did the trick. There is a procedure to fix the "lever" that keeps the urine from backtracking, but my Dr wanted to wait and see if she would grow out of it. After 4 years of it I was pretty annoyed and wanted the procedure, but I was told by her regular Dr that the procedure is not a guarentee it will not come back. The first time my daughter had that catheter put it, I promised her everything under the sun! Unfortunately, after years of it, she got pretty good at laying nicely and not crying. Poor thing!
Good luck!!!



answers from Chicago on

Ugg, I was that little girl! I feel for you and your daughter! I think the problem I had was the valve of a kidney letting urine flow the wrong way, similar to what I have read below. I too outgrew it but went through all the traumatizing testing, antibiotics and all.

I outgrew the bladder infections but revisited them in my 20's. I know these infections all too well. I recently had one for the first time in years; it was also the first time that I recover naturally with no antibiotics. I was determined and tried everything so this is what I found:

I doubt you are going to get her to drink 100% cranberry that stuff is horrendous!

No sugar - it feeds the bacteria

*Cranberry pills do help & help change acidity of urine (maybe you can break them open and put the powder in her food)
*D-mannose - this helps keep the bacteria from sticking to the bladder. It comes in powder form, does not have alot of taste.
*Colloidal Silver - natural antibiotic
*Uva Ursi

I am not suggesting that you give all of these things to your little girl. I am suggesting you look in to them and do some research on giving these to a child. Out of all the things I tried I believe these were the ones that helped me the most. I had a RAGING infection and it took me about two weeks but I beat it!

I did a quick search on D-Monnose (I think this helped me alot) and found that it is safe for children. This is the first site that came up for "D-Monnose for child, it has a good explanation of what the supplement does.

Here is a site I looked at when researching it for myself

Best of luck!


answers from Tucson on

HI. All of this is very familiar to me. I have a 2 yr old also who has Uninary reflux or VCR. Her ultrasound came came back normal, but when we did the VCUG the urine went to her kidneys. She has been on antibiotics since May and is getting her second VCUG this month. Hers is a level 3 and we are hoping it has improved. I don't think there is much you can do for the UTI except antibiotics. They put my baby on them to get rid of it, did the VCUG and she got another UTI from it. Since she has been on antibiotics she has been farirly healthy. Diffinately nothing in her bath water. I learned that one.



answers from Chicago on

To piggyback other answers, I wash my daughter with mild soap (Johnson & Johnson baby wash, even though she's four), rinse her off, THEN collect water for her bath, using only water, no soap.

I've heard even the mildest soaps can still cause infections in girls who are sensitive, and it sounds like your daughter is.



answers from Chicago on

Go to a naturopath, use herbs for her infections , not antibiotics, while you figure everything out. I dont know where you live, I have used naturopaths in LaGrange as well as Riverside.

Good Luck!



answers from Chicago on

I agree with everyone on all the issues...... but I wanted to reinforce the NO Bubble Baths............ I know they are fun for them but most of the products even the ones made for kids are not good for little girls!!!! I know it's really hard when your child has problems and you don't know how to fix them!!! We're the Mom and we are supposed to be able to fix everything!!! Good luck.....



answers from Honolulu on

Don't use bubble bath. Or bath products with fragrance etc.
Many times, these things can cause UTI's.



answers from Tallahassee on

I went through all of this last summer with my daughter. She got her first UTI shortly before she turned 3 and the same month she started preschool. She had multiple UTIs throughout the summer and she had to have a kidney ultrasound and a VCUG (not a pleasant test). Luckily there was nothing wrong with her. For my daughter it was more of a hygene issue because at her preschool she was expected to wipe herself after she went to the bathroom and she was still learning how to do it properly and wasn't very good at it (she goes to a different preschool now).

When your daughter has the VCUG try to plan on staying home with her afterwards. If she needs to pee but says it hurts - sit her in the bathtub in a little warm water and let her pee in there because it won't sting as bad.

Hopefully there is nothing wrong with her plumbing and she won't need to be on the low dose antibiotics long term. The best things you can do to help prevent future UTIs is make sure she's drinking lots of water and sitting on the potty frequently (if she's potty trained). If she's potty trained then help her wipe and teach her to wipe front to back. If she's still in diapers or pull ups then make sure she's being wiped clean after diaper changes. Also, don't use bubble bath when you give her baths. My daughter didn't care for plain cranberry juice either but she would drink a little diluted cranberry/apple and cranberry/cherry juice. Yogurt is good too at replacing the good bacteria, especially when she has to be on antibiotics.

Hopefully the results from the VCUG will be good and there won't be a reflux issue. Good luck!

P.S. - make sure you have lots of tissues on hand when they do the VCUG because it's hard on mom too.


answers from Minneapolis on

Cranberry juice (not cocktail!) is a good preventative. The "vitamins" may help but they are simply not as effective. Try adding it to lemonade? (I personal LOVE cranberry juice - The stronger the better = )

I grew up with recurrent UTIs they diagnosed me with a valve/reflux problem that many many many little girls grow out of without any intervention. I did not and so I have just become very careful about what I can do to prevent them. Long term antibiotics are hard on the body (though if that is the only option you have...don't freak out. There are many things you can do to counteract the effects of long term AB). Anyway, maybe some of these tips will help your daughter:

Cotton undies only (gosh maybe she is in diapers...?)
NO undies at night
No tights
Lots of water
No soda
No caffeine
Limit citric acids (i.e. orange juice)
Limit spicy foods (this ones kills me)
Change your laundry detergent to Dreft or something else that is dye, scent, etc. free.
No bubble bath
Change to a very natural soap (Aveeno I think will have something).
Daily vitamin (talk to your doctor)
Don't let her hold it (again...if she is in diapers, this doesn't apply)
Teach her how to wipe after #2 (tho some doctors even question this...if #2 were such a UTI trigger, wouldn't all diaper-bound baby girls have chronic UTIs?)
Ensure she FINISHES when she pees. When she says she is done, have her wait a minute and try to go a bit more.



answers from Johnstown on

Water, water, water. NO sugar--and that includes alot of bread & starches & juice other than cranberry. Yogurt is a girl's best friend. No bubble baths.



answers from Chicago on

My little girl was just barely 2 when she had her first UTI. We were on vacation in DC. She spiked a fever of 104 and became almost unconscious. Thankfully, the hospital in DC was able to determine that it was a UTI and started antibiotics. When we got back home, we did have the VCUG. It was an awful experience because they did not sedate her. However, they did determine that her bladder was emptying back into her kidneys. I am very thankful that our pediatrician ordered these tests after only 1 UTI. Many children have to have several before they doctors order the tests. Anyway, my daughter was on the medication for a year. The medication did constipate her. So, we became very familiar with fiberous foods. We went back for a check a year later, thankfully with sedation. She did grow out of it, and everything is fine. Being on a medication for such a long time, does tend to screw with some of your systems. I would talk to your pediatrician about also using probiotics to counter some of the side effects of the medication. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

My duaghter's Dr. told me to put about a 1/4 of vinegar in 2-3" of water for her bath. She takes showers most of the time, but if she starts to hurt she soaks in the tub. The hospital she was at said that grape juice works better than cranberry juice.

Take care

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