Frequent Urination in Children

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Frequent urination in 5 year old boy

July 2008

My almost 5 year old is peeing every 5-10 minutes. This started a few weeks ago when I noticed he was peeing every 1/2 hour or so. Since then the frequency has increased.I have reviewed similar post on this subject from 2004, but am looking for more feedback then that post got. We have taken him to the doctor. He does not have a urinary tract infection and this is not from diabetes. The doctor believes he has meatal stenosis. Which is a narrowing (stenosis) of the opening of the urethra at the external meatus. This constricts the opening through which urine flows out. The doctor has suggested a wait see approach and to do clear water baths to see if it goes away on it's own. If not,surgury is required. We love out doc and trust his advice. I would like to hear from other people with this experience. Did it go away? Was surgery successful? There are some articles saying that frequent urination can be psychological. Has anyone experienced this? Any feedback will be helpful. Thanks.

Our four year old son does the same thing, often peeing every ten minutes. After serious consideration of the issue, I've come to the conclusion that he's a stark raving lunatic. Like all other children of his age. It comes and goes on a weekly basis--sometimes he forgets that he needs to pee so much, and sometimes he moons around dramatically bemoaning his sensitive bladder and the fact that it prevents him from ever being able to leave the house. I've decided to treat the condition with benign neglect and gentle mockery, which seems to be working quite well. Good luck; and tell him not to flush every time-- there's a water crisis on!

Missed the original post but my 5 yo daughter had this recently. I researched it and apparently it is common in this age and is caused by mild anxiety. My daughter's was triggered by telling her I was going away for the weekend. It lasted on and off for months but reading your post I realized it had subsided! I'm hoping starting K soon doesn't bring it back. The only strategy I used was being as reassuring as possible and trying not to make a big deal out of it (hard to do when she was getting up 7 times in a row at bed time). this too shall pass

Frequent urination in 6-year-old

Feb 2008

About 2 weeks ago, my 6 1/2 year old daughter started urinating frequently, at least once an hour (and I hear it's about every 1/2 hour at school). Our pediatrician advised me not to worry, that some kids do this as a nervous habit. We've ruled out diabetes as a concern, as she's overall very healthy and we know that each trip results in very little pee. Any experience with this or ideas on what could be causing it? She's generally an anxious kid, otherwise there's no major stress or upheaval in our lives.
many trips to the bathroom

Hi -- my daughter started doing the same thing at a similar age. While I don't consider her an anxious child, she is an intense child and feels EVERYTHING acutely. You pediatrician is right -- it will go away, but it is disturbing while you are going through it, especially when we would be out and had to find every bathroom everywhere. After a period of time, when she had to go 20 or 30 minutes after the last trip, I would say, ''We will be home shortly; we're on our way.'' At first, she would panic and yell, ''I REALLY have to go!!'' and I would very calmly say, ''If you can't hold it, don't worry, honey, just do your best. There is no potty right here.'' I tried not to say it with anger or panic, just calm. She never had an accident, and this was after I was sure that this was just a habit. I honestly think that as soon as she felt any filling of her bladder, she perceived it as really having to go. She is 10 now, and just fine! Good luck, stay calm, and she will too. sign me Potty Smart

You are smart to notice the connection between anxiety and frequent peeing. My friend's son did this around age 5. The best thing to do is COMPLETELY IGNORE the peeing. Just stop saying anything about it. It will probably stop within a week or two. P.S. You can look it up online, there is even a name for it. Good luck! Anon

I would be worried about a urinary tract infection or pin worm. If you have ruled those out, I agree with the advice you've be given. Frequent urination can lead to a smaller bladder size. The bladder re-models over a period of time if it is only carrying a tiny capacity all the time. So I'd check into these other things and then if negative start behavior modification trying to go with timed voids no frequent than every 2 hours. Also, avoid bubble baths, make sure she is wiping front to back, etc. These are suggestions, I don't know your daughter and any more than you've mentioned in your e-mail. Good luck. Elaine L. Pico, MD, FAAP, FAAPM & R

When I get nervous I have to pee alot. Perhaps what you might want to consider is talking with her about her nervousness and encourage her and praise her when she is taking courageous things. Read some books on how to help her be less anxious. Also, ask yourselves if you are anxious people because she could pick up on your emotions and act them out. It sounds like just an opportunity to help your daughter to relax more. Nanny in the know

Check for diabetes. This is one of the first symptom.

Frequent urination in 4.5 y.o. boy

June 2004

my 4.5 y.o. son seems to pee constantly. He runs back and forth to the toilet sometimes 10 times in an hour. each time he pees only a little bit. Or he stands for a moment untill the pee finally comes out, only a couple drops. This seems to really frustrate him. He also does this when we are out, frequently needing to stop on walks and pee in the bushes. We are having his urine tested for diabetes and for a bladder infection, so I have two questions: 1. is there anything else medical we could be looking for? and 2. is this behavioral? Does anyone have experience with this, and if it is behavioral, do we just wait it out? Could he just be impatient and not want to wait untill all the pee comes out? though to me that suggests a lot of control if he can stop mid stream.... Any advice, medical or anecdotal, would be appreciated. Thanks! anon

Another problem that could perhaps cause behavior like that you describe is vesico-ureteral reflux, in which urine backs up from the bladder into the ureters and even the kidneys. My son had it diagnosed while he was still in utero. It's worth asking whether it is a possibility in your son's case, because a bad case, untreated, can cause permanent harm to the kidneys, or even destroy them both. Even if your son turns out to have a bladder infection, and especially if it recurs, you should ask about whether he might have reflux. It is a cause of urinary tract infections, especially in boys, in whom they are otherwise quite uncommon. anon

My daughter also went through a spell of frequent urination at about age 3.5. She tested negative! for a urinary tract infection. The doctor said that children sometimes get fixated on the need to pee often. He said that if you just think about going hard enough, it's difficult not to have to go. He predicted it would pass after a while and it did. I just didn't draw any attention to her behavior and made it easy for her to go outside as needed. It took a couple of months for the frequency to return to normal. Hope your situation is as simple! anon

6-year-old with nervous bladder

Since Kindergarten began my six year old has developed a nervous bladder. Physically he's fine.....we had his blood and urine tested and the doctors say eventually it will go away and that it's not that uncommon. So far it hasn't interferred too much with playdates although he's running in to pee every 15-20 minutes. The good news is that he sleeps right through the night...10 hours...without having to go. We're not making a deal of it however I'd like to know if others have gone through this and what we can do to encourage or help him. Thanks

our daughter has the same problem. seems to be an issue when she is anxious. our doctor advised us to let it run its course and it seems, once she is back in a comfortable place, it goes away. good luck.