UTI Three Times in a Row in 5 Years Old

Updated on February 18, 2015
A.H. asks from Clearfield, UT
19 answers

Please help,
I am scheduling an appt with the pet tomorrow for the third time in three months for my daughter. she is having another UTI again!!! I am trying to clean her well down there and has showed her how to wipe herself well after a bathroom session...I know she does not clean well at all but I am limited in how much i can help her keep herself clean, she does not tell me when she goes and she does tell me, she says she did it at school so I dont know how well she cleaned, but when she does it at home, I can see it is very bad, but anyway, i dont give her bath anymore, I do backet shower for she is too fearful of the shower and that way i can control how much soap touches her in there, but...as i child myself I was not that great at cleaning myself down there and never got sick in there anyway...I dont know if this is a lack of hygiene ( what else i can do) or could be the sign of an underlying related illness...please has it happened to you?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from Norfolk on

Have her sit on the toilet backwards.
Have her wear breathable cotton underwear.
Bathes are fine but use very little almost no soap - no bubble bath - that can be very irritating.
NO soap should be touching her 'in there'.
Have her drink LOTS of water - cranberry juice is good too.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

previous job, my manager's 5 yr old had frequent UTIs. I remember she had to take her daughter to a specialist and they had to do special tests. I do recall her saying one test was painful for her but do not know much about it. I guess there is some certain condition that can cause frequent UTIs. Unfortunately, I don't know the final outcome for the girl.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Abilene on

My daughter had a UTI that lasted for over a year. She started at 9 weeks and had it well over her first birthday. We did testing to make sure there were no physical abnormalities. After ruling that out it was treating the infection. What was bad is the bacteria would mutate and we would have to use different antibiotics every few weeks. Her pediatrician explained if there were any colonies of bacteria left the infection would keep recurring. It took well over a year to clear up. I was having to come in and have her straight cathed by the doc and they would send to lab. It was horrible but we finally got a clear of infection specimen.

Please get her with a specialist if your pediatrician isn't following up to make sure the infection is cleared. It is so important to make sure the infection is completely gone.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Two suggestions -1) have they cultured the urine to find out the best antibiotic to use? Perhaps the infection doesn't really get cleared up and the same infection just keeps coming back. 2) have her sit backwards on the toilet - the different position may help her empty her bladder better. Sometimes the cause of UTI's isn't cleanliness, but it is important to teach her how to wipe properly.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Okay, first of all, completely disregard Gamma's description of the bladder. It is IN NO WAY like a "snot sucker." That is 100% complete and utter nonsense. There is NO bladder suction during intercourse or at any other time. Anyone who has taken a simple anatomy class understands that the bladder is made of smooth muscle cells which stretch to accomodate urine, and contract when there is no urine present. It does not "return to full size" unless it is full of urine. I am shaking my head at just how absolutely ridiculous an idea it is to think that the bladder would work as a suction bulb. Good grief.

I would suggest that you have your daughter tested for yeast infection. I'm thinking that whatever you are seeing is yeast related, since a UTI isn't really something you'd see upon checking.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I highly doubt her UTI is due to lack of hygiene. If she is have UTI's in a row, it's more likely that the first one never cleared up.

People get UIT's for a variety of reasons, not just lack of hygiene. I took baths as a child. I'm not certain I always wiped correctly. I didn't have a UTI until I was in my 20's, and I think I've only ever had one UTI that wasn't during a pregnancy.

She can absolutely take baths. Her bath water can be just water. Wash her body with a wash cloth. You can clean her private parts with the wash cloth. Just make sure you do her rear end last, and just do a quick pass through when you do her vaginal area.

When you do see her doctor, mention what you've been doing and ask lots of questions. But it might be time for her to see a urologist. This could be a really strong bacteria, but you want to get rid of it now before the infection worsens. I've had a kidney infection, and they are not fun! Wiped me out for over a week. Mine was caused by a kidney stone getting lodged in my kidney, but UTI's can cause kidney infections.

She probably needs to see a urologist.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Please get a referral to a pediatric nephrologist. It could be that the infections aren't even completely clearing. With back-to-back recurrences like this, that's pretty easy to check. After her course of antibiotics is done, another complete urine culture should be done to make sure that there isn't a trace of infection left that's just waiting to come roaring back. Have her drink cranberry juice (or take cranberry tablets) on top of the antibiotics and after she's done with the medication. It really does help prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract. If whatever she is on isn't getting the whole infection, she may need to be on something like Bactrim for a longer period (10 days instead of 3 or 5), or take something different like Keflex or Cipro.

After they are sure the infection has actually cleared, if she gets more then it would warrant a full exam where they use a catheter to fill the bladder with a dyed liquid and then can watch the bladder drain. They would also most likely take ultrasounds of her kidneys and bladder. The imaging from the liquid test can tell whether or not there is any obstruction or scarring in the urinary tract, etc.

I had recurring UTIs starting at around age 3. Part of my problem was that I had a very narrow opening at the end of the urethra, so there was a procedure that I had done to open that up a bit. I was then put on preventative antibiotics for a few years (2 or 3 I think). I had a few flare ups throughout childhood and then more recurrences once I became sexually active. I'm still prone to them but know how to better prevent and manage them so I only need to be treated with antibiotics every few years.

There are lots of reasons for recurring UTIs - have her seen by a doctor who specializes in this so you can get to the true root cause and have that treated.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

We taught our daughter to wipe front to back even when she just urinates. I don't know if it best practice, but after a bowel movement she wipes with toilet paper and then finishes with a baby wipe. Just be sure she isn't flushing them. I frequently deal with hemroids and had a doctor suggest that to me.

Another thing is to be sure her underwear is 100% cotton. If she wears tights be sure they are also 100% cotton crotches. The only UTI I've ever had was when I spent two weeks in a very hot climate. I had to wear dresses or skirts and wore bike shorts underneath the help prevent chafing. The shorts were mainly Lycra. Anything that isn't 100% cotton can't "breathe" and can contribute to UTIs.

Like others have said, baths are OK as long as the water isn't soapy. If you want to continue giving showers, I second the idea of getting a handheld shower head. They are super easy to install and uninstall. Even if you rent your home you can put one in. My kids hated showers until we got one and now that is all we do. If they do play in the bath, we still use the shower head for rinsing off.

It is very likely she needs a stronger antibiotic to get the UTI completely cleared up.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Christy! I have never taken an anatomy class and just from 7th grade biology I know that is the most insane thing I have ever heard! On the simplest level suction needs air and there is no air in your bladder.

You don't pee air do you Gamma?

If bacteria is present it has its own form of locomotion. I don't have a lot of experience with UTIs for whatever reason none of us seem to get them. But since it is bacteria it has to be getting there somehow. Have you considered having her wash her hands before and after she goes potty?

I mean say she has been playing out in the yard all day, I would imagine there is all sorts of microscopic things on her hands. Perhaps something as simple as washing her hands will help.

Sorry, I know my knowledge is limited but at least I know my bladder is not a giant snot sucker!! Yikes!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'd take her to urologist and get a kidney scan. Usually reflect gets caught before now, but maybe there is something going on with the kidneys.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I haven't had this happen, but where you say she does not clean well down there, I agree with the other moms - go over how you properly wipe so no fecal matter is going the wrong way.

I know some little ones don't get that you have to keep wiping until it's all gone, so just go over this again if you say she's not doing a good job. I would watch her a few times (without stressing her out) when she's home just to make sure she's got the method down pat.

I have the opposite - neurotic wipers. They use half a roll of toilet paper - but still, I like to give girls baths. I don't put any kind of bubble bath in the water or anything scented. But a bath seems to get them clean in areas that I don't think we'd necessarily reach as well in a shower.

If it's not related to hygiene then your pediatrician can certainly recommend next steps or other things to watch for/avoid.

Good luck tomorrow :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

What kind of extensive cleaning are you doing? Too much could be forcing bacteria up into the urethra, or causing more irritation on the surface.

There are 2 things to consider. One is wiping after a bowel movement and being absolutely positive that the wiping is from the anus toward the back - not coming forward toward the vagina and the urethra. Fecal matter is loaded with bacteria. Is she using toilet paper? Maybe consider the wet wipes (you can buy the adult wipes so she doesn't feel she is using baby products). If the wipe is clean, she's clean. If it's not, she drops it in the toilet and takes another one. She should not use that wipe anywhere near her urethra. So teach her that poop and pee are totally different and can't come together.

The second thing is that she had a UTI that wasn't fully treated by the right antibiotic, and so it keeps recurring. What antibiotic did she take for the first 2 infections? Perhaps it was ineffective and you need another one. Discuss with the pediatrician who is doing the urinalyses that show the infection to begin with.

Soap doesn't cause UTIs so avoiding it is counterproductive. Use regular soap. Do not use antibacterial soaps at all. They may be harmful to the skin, but worse, they are killing off the weaker bacteria so the "super bugs" are stronger and more resistant to antibiotics. That's not just for UTIs of course - that's across the board. Basic simple soap that lathers when you rub your hands together is what is necessary for hand washing and body washing. Teach your daughter that, for hands, after using the bathroom, wet hands and use a mild soap, but turn off the water and rub to get bubbles, singing the ABC song (not too fast). Go between the fingers and under the nails. Then turn on the water and rinse. The friction & lather help get rid of the bacteria.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm sure your pediatrician will give you good advice.
And I'm sure you've heard all the usual...
Write it down!
Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'd go to a ped urologist , and also get her blood sugar tested.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My niece has ongoing UTI issues and it's not due to cleanliness. Please ask the pediatrician for more information. I know one thing they had to do was cut out juice. She cannot have ANY juice.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

I've been very fortunate to have had only one UTI in my life. It sounds like she is not learning how to be clean and clean herself. Have the doctor go over it with her - many children learn better when a person of authority tell them how to do things.

You may want to purchase some hygienic wipes. Have her keep some in her backpack for school and keep some in the restrooms of your home and have her clean with those after using the restroom.

You've got to get it through to her that when she doesn't clean herself properly, it smells and makes her body hurt and makes her sick. You can probably find a book at the library or bookstore to read to her, as well. Also, teach her that cleaning down there is just as important as having clean hair, feet and teeth... it's all part of the same body and the entire body needs to be clean.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

Oh my, my daughter has had more UTIs than I can count I am afraid.

Most of the time, it is NOT due to a lack of hygiene. That is a great easy way to start figuring out the problem, but rarely works.

I would think that your ped will order some tests. There are a few things they will look at to make sure there is nothing structurally wrong with the systems down there. They will also make sure that there is not something going on like reflux...where the urine is pulled back in. These things can be corrected and nothing that you or your daughter are doing wrong.

In my daughters case, she was severely constipated. Which was news to me because she has a bowel movement every day. And if that goes on too long, their bodys don't know the feeling of when they have to go. So for us, it is going to the potty every two hours, backwards, making sure she voids everything, giving her fiber/mirilax, making sure she takes her vitamins and probiotics..and if everything is done perfectly every day, she doesn't get another one. However, that is not always the way it works unfortunately. She still gets them.

I have never ever had one in my life, so this is quite a learning experience for us. I hate taking her in with another one as I feel I have failed as a parent, which really, I have since I am not 100% on top of all those things above.

We have seen a urologist and a gastro to figure all of this out. It may take a while to figure it out. But UTIs, especially when they get to the point of a fever, are serious. Luckily, we know right when she gets one, her urine smells bad, she gets moody, and sometimes leaks. Only twice out of all the times has she ever had a fever. She has never ever had pain with it.

I am glad you are taking this seriously, but if your doctor doesn't think it is test worthy yet, I would start tracking bowel movements and have her go to the bathroom every two hours (not at night of course). Have her pee, then stand up, then sit down and try again..or have her sit backwards on the toilet (big pain with clothes on). This may help in the mean time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Could be lots of thing. She could have a defect in her tubes, the wrong antibiotic is being used, any soap in the vag area can cause uti's. just use water only to clean her and see a pediatric urologist.



answers from Chicago on

I have had so many UTI's in my life, I actually spent a huge chunk of time as a kid in hospitals trying to figure out WHY! Even the experts were baffled! There were some theories that stuck, though, including a horseshoe shaped kidney, my bladder not fully emptying (so that some urine does not leave the bladder and can get infected) when I went etc. My doctors encouraged me to drink drink drink water to help keep things moving through bladder. They also encouraged me to use the bathroom as often as possible (not a problem when you are drinking that much water!) and be 100% sure to empty fully. I would agree with a few others here that if she has two back-to-back, it is likely that the first one didn't clear up all the way. It can seem like it did, but even a tiny speck of bacteria left there will flare into another infection. Make sure you check with a pediatric urologist if this continues. Remember that not all infections respond to the same meds, so it might be that she needs different anti-biotics to clear it up. Baths are ok, but not bubble baths as that can be irritating and encourage bacteria. Also, be sure to ask the doctor to tell you what the bacteria is after EVERY infection. They should be sending to the lab to test - if it comes back as the same bacteria, that could give them a clue as to where the infection is coming from. I hope she feels better soon, these things are miserable!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions