wikiHow to Treat UTI in Babies

Three Parts:Using Conventional TreatmentCaring for a Baby with a UTIExploring Alternative Therapies

Urinary tract infections or UTIs are surprisingly common infections in babies and toddlers. Boys and girls are equally susceptible, especially in the first year of life..[1] This ailment can affect the kidneys, bladder, or urethra due to harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Pseudomonas, candida, and proteus. It usually leads to a distressed and irritable child, leaving the concerned parents frantic for a cure. It can also sometimes result in kidney damage if the infection is not treated promptly. Nevertheless, the good news is that these infections can be cured easily with antibiotics and simple hygiene maintenance at home, all starting with Step 1 below.

Part 1
Using Conventional Treatment

  1. Image titled Treat UTI in Babies Step 1
    Confirm the presence of a UTI before treating your baby. The first step in treating your baby's UTI is a visit to your doctor to get a urine sample taken. Then, they'll send the sample to the lab for a culture sensitivity test to confirm the UTI and to determine the causative bacteria. Only then can you know which course of treatment is best for your child.
    • If your baby is less than three months old, your doctor may advise hospitalization. Intravenous administration of antibiotics in such young babies is recommended, and it will likely heal the infection within 48 hours.
    • However, if your baby is more than three months old your doctor may advise hospitalization only if he/she is dehydrated, has a persistent high temperature above 38 °C (100 °F), has an underlying urinary tract condition, or a family history of kidney diseases.
      • Babies who are more than 3 months old and do not display the above symptoms can be treated at home after consulting a pediatrician to assess the severity of the infection.
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    Get your baby started on antibiotics. Antibiotics are the mainstay of western medicine for treating UTIs since they can control these infections within 48 hours once treatment is started. Amoxicillin and clavulanate, ampicillin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and nitrofurantoin, are usually preferred in the treatment of UTIs in babies. Once you confirm the UTI infection with your baby's doctor, he or she will prescribe any one of these oral antibiotics to treat your baby:[2]
    • Amoxicillin and clavulanate are available commercially as Augmentin and Augmentin XR. They can be administered orally in the dosage of 20mg/kg/day in divided doses given thrice a day for 3-7 days. Severe infections may require divided doses of 40mg/kg of amoxicillin.[3]
    • Ampicillin or Omnipen is also administered orally; 12.5 to 25 mg/kg of ampicillin can be given every 6 hours for 3-7 days.[4]
    • Trimethoprim/sulfhamethoxazole is available as Bactrim. It is also administered orally, and its recommended dosage is 5-7 mg/kg/day given 6 hourly for 7 days. This antibiotic is also used for UTI prophylaxis or to prevent the recurrence of these infections.1-2 mg/kg of bactrim administered orally in divided doses can prevent the recurrence of UTIs in babies.[2]
    • Nitrofurantoin is available as Macrobid and is recommended in an oral dosage of 5-7 mg/kg/day to be given in divided doses 6 hourly for 7 days. Nitrofurantoin is also recommended for UTI prophylaxis. Two divided doses of 1-2 mg/kg body weight/ day are prescribed for this purpose.[2]
      • You will have to use the antibiotic syrups or suspensions available for pediatric use if your baby is not old enough to swallow pills.
      • Dosage calculations are generic and based on weight. However, make sure you consult a doctor before using these medications.
  3. Image titled Treat UTI in Babies Step 3
    Consider paracetamol or acetaminophen. You can give your baby one of the pediatric paracetamol or acetaminophen suspensions available at the pharmacy to bring down fever and reduce pain arising from the UTI. 10-15 mg/kg can be given orally or through rectal suppositories. Check with your doctor to determine the exact dosage that is right for your situation.[5]
    • You can give up to 5 doses every 24 hours if required.[6] However, be wary of overdosing. Talk to your doctor about how much is appropriate for your baby.
  4. Image titled Treat UTI in Babies Step 4
    Learn how to administer the medication properly. Oral antibiotics are usually administered through a medicine dropper or oral syringes for babies that are too young to take pills. Here's how to correctly administer oral medication to your baby:
    • Wash your hands. Washing your hands reduces the number of microbes on your hands, lowering the risk of contamination.
    • Shake the medication, if instructed. Commonly, baby medications are suspensions. Drug components settle on the bottom of the liquid giving you an uneven mixture of dosage. Shake it to get an even dose.
    • Measure the correct dosage in the oral syringe or dropper.
    • Hold the infant upright. An upright position prevents your baby from breathing in the medication to his or her lungs, which can be fatal.
    • Administer the medication between the baby’s gum and cheeks slowly, one drop at a time. Allow the baby to swallow. This prevents aspiration and gagging.
    • Give water or the baby’s regular milk through their bottle. This flushes out the taste from your baby's mouth, which may be unpleasant.
    • Wash your instruments and hands to avoid contamination.

Part 2
Caring for a Baby with a UTI

  1. 1
    Give your baby plenty of fluids. Fluids will flush out the bacteria from your baby’s urinary tract, make the urine less concentrated or acidic, reduce inflammation, and prevent dehydration. See that your child passes urine at least 6-8 times in 24 hours.[7]
    • You can give fluids in the form of water and breast milk to babies below 6 months of age. Babies old enough to take top feed and semi-solids should be fed plenty of water, milk, and fresh juices to increase their fluid intake.
      • Make sure you dilute the fruit juices before administering them, as some of them can increase the acidity of urine.
  2. Image titled Treat UTI in Babies Step 6
    Avoid giving your baby acidic food and drinks. If your baby is old enough to consume semi-solid or solid food and drinks besides milk and water, be cautious as to what you feed him or her. Avoid giving your baby pomegranates, citrus fruits, and tomatoes while the infection lasts as these fruits could increase urine acidity too. In addition, carbonated drinks can irritate your baby’s urinary tract, so avoid giving them to your baby as well.
    • Keep your baby on a diet of more bland, basic foods and drinks. Stick to water, diluted juice, breast milk, and cereals, vegetables, and sweeter, less acidic fruits.
  3. Image titled Treat UTI in Babies Step 7
    Keep your baby's genitals clean. If your baby's diaper is soiled or full, immediately change it – bacteria love urine and baby poop. Clean the genital with an antimicrobial baby wipe. You can use antimicrobial soaps in cleaning the genital area also. In wiping the genital area of the infant, here's what to keep in mind:
    • Wash your hands. Again, this reduces the number of microbes on your hands and prevents cross-contamination.
    • For a male baby, wipe from the tip of the urethra, that is the genital opening, to the base of the penis in a circular motion, then to the anus. This technique avoids contaminating the cleaned area.
    • For a female baby, wipe from the surrounding area of the vagina in a stroke away from it, from front to back. Discard the baby wipe. Then wipe from the clitoris to the anus twice with clean baby wipes. Discard the wipes.
    • Wash your hands. Once more, this prevents cross-contamination, this time keeping you from getting sick.
  4. Image titled Treat UTI in Babies Step 8
    Bathe your baby regularly. Once a day, bathe your baby with warm water and hypoallergenic soap. This keeps your baby's body (and genitals) clean, preventing the spread and growth of bacteria. Be sure to dry off your baby, too!
    • In a small tub, be careful not submerge the baby in the water; instead, hold the baby in a position where the head is higher than his/her feet. Start cleaning from the head down to the toes. This method makes them more comfortable in addition to being an efficient way of bathing hygienically.
  5. Image titled Treat UTI in Babies Step 10
    Consider using cotton or cloth diapers for your baby. The use of cotton diapers or cloth diapers are encouraged for babies with recurring UTIs. These diapers do not encourage bacterial growth unlike their disposable counterparts. Cotton/cloth diapers provide greater ventilation and make the babies comfortable too.
    • Fitting them to your baby is just like a regular disposable diaper, but it is washed after use.
    • However, you must also buy the other necessary accessories needed such as pins and a bucket or trash can with a cover for storing soiled diapers.

Part 3
Exploring Alternative Therapies

  1. Image titled Treat UTI in Babies Step 11
    Learn why alternative therapy may be beneficial to your baby. Antibiotics and other conventional medicines sometimes cause side effects and kidney damage. Long-term use of antibiotics could also make your baby resistant to the effects of some antibiotics in the future. Hence, alternative therapies like homeopathy are considered reasonable options to help treat and prevent UTI in babies.
    • Most importantly, homeopathic medicines are generally regarded as safe for babies as they have minimal or no side effects. These medicines go through a process of potentization to dilute the original or crude medicinal substance and to activate its medicinal properties. These extreme dilutions make these drugs safe and effective in the treatment of a number of illnesses.
  2. Image titled Treat UTI in Babies Step 12
    Consider using cantharis. This is a popular remedy that's often used for especially painful UTIs. Cantharis 30 orally once a day for 15 days should help cure the infection, especially if your baby exhibits the following symptoms:
    • Crying on passing urine or afterwards
    • Cloudy urine mixed with blood
    • Passes frank blood from the urethra
    • Extreme restlessness
    • Redness of the genitals
  3. Image titled Treat UTI in Babies Step 13
    Try lycopodium clavatum. This remedy is similar to cantharis and is often indicated for similarly painful UTIs, where children cry after passing urine due to pain in the urethra, have cloudy urine with reddish brick like sediments, and in those who urinate more during the night. Lycopodium 30 orally once a day for 1 month may relieve these symptoms.
    • Lycopodium is also known as club moss, running pine, ground pine, lamb’s tail, fox tail, and vegetable sulphur. It is available in certain pharmacies, vitamin and supplement, and health food stores. However, before treatment, consult your doctor to find out if this is safe and appropriate for your child.
  4. Image titled Treat UTI in Babies Step 14
    Try borax. Borax is sometimes recommended for children with urinary tract infections that are so painful they may shriek or cry before beginning to urinate, as they know the pain is coming and, as a result, are afraid to urinate. The child also cries on any downward motion. Borax 30 orally once a day for 15 days can be effective in such cases.
    • It also may help treat UTIs in people who are sensitive to noise and suffer from motion sickness.


  • It is important to finish the prescribed medical regimen to avoid recurrent infection.
  • In the case of recurrent infection or other SERIOUS complications more drastic steps might be taken.
  • If the child is male in later years teach them to pull back foreskin and foreskin hygiene as this is the safest and healthiest way.


  • Never circumcise a male unless infection is recurring or any other serious need.
  • Circumcision is painful and causes complications only do so if the child is seriously at harm otherwise they may resent the circumcision.
  • Do not pull back a male infants foreskin, they will learn to clean and pull it back in their later years.

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Categories: Urinary Health