The Time I Took My Toddler To The ER For A Urinary Tract Infection

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Not so long ago, my youngest daughter woke up on a Sunday morning complaining of her side hurting.  It’s always hard to tell at a young age if the child just feels like complaining, or if there is a real problem.

I immediately was concerned of a UTI or a kidney infection.  I gave her a good dose of charcoal and an immune booster, and off to church we went.  I kept her with me during Sunday School so I could keep a close eye on her.  Right at the end of Sunday School she threw up.  I drove quickly to the emergency room because I was afraid of it being something serious.  I have heard of those with appendicitis throwing up, and though she seemed awful young for kidney stones, I threw up when I suffered from them, so I wanted to rule that out as well.  After a simple test, the doctor assured me it was only a urinary tract infection.  This is no problem, or so I thought.  

I’ve advised many people on how to treat UTI’s naturally – I’ve treated them before at home.  I knew what to do and my daughter would be fine.

But she wasn’t.

I don’t know if her infection had gotten so full-blown that she needed something stronger than natural antibiotics, or if the problem was her being sick to her stomach and unable to take all the natural remedies I was trying to get down her {she is my worst medicine taker, and being nauseous makes it harder to get too much down her}.  I also suspect that it may have been more than just a UTI because of how very, very sick she became.

Whatever the case, my little one was not responding to home remedies like I wanted her to, so I started her on antibiotics.

Now to those of you that know me, you know that it’s a big deal for me to give antibiotics to my children.  Until this incidence, my little girl had never needed an antibiotic.  I think antibiotics can be a wonderful lifesaver – for emergency situations.  To me, a UTI is not normally an emergency.  I did not hesitate to give it to her when I realized she needed it to get over the hump of her infection.  Always use your parental instinct for what is best for your children.

Shortly after this, I made an appointment with our ND {naturopathic doctor} to get her opinion on having to resort to an antibiotic for this infection.  Not only do I want to be prepared to do what is best for my children’s health for each illness, I also want to be prepared for a day that I may not have access to a doctor.

After hearing all the natural ways I had tried treating my daughter’s infection, my ND said, Jill, you know how much I am against antibiotics, but I am also pro-life.  It sounds like you tried all you could, but the infection was too full-blown when you caught it.  The antibiotics were needed.  

OK, so her words did bring me comfort as a mom.

Can you treat a urinary tract infection naturally?


Are antibiotics always necessary to resolve this infection?

In my opinion, no.  Especially if you catch the infection early enough.  There are some cases {such as with my daughter} that they are necessary.  And when they are, I am thankful for them!

The main reason I would prefer not to use an antibiotic for a UTI, is because it harms the good bacteria and immune system, causing the infection to return over and over.  I’ve had many people contact me that had taken so many antibiotics from repeated UTI’s and were searching for natural remedies.  Some had even reached a point that they could no longer take antibiotics for this infection because they had so overused them.  And having surgery to scrape the infection off?  Yep, I’ve heard of those stories too.

Soon in the next week or two, I’ll share some natural remedies for UTI’s and what to do to prevent a UTI from reoccurring if you do have to take an antibiotic.

Update: Read my success story of treating UTIs naturally here!

Do you struggle with urinary tract infections?  How do you treat yours?  Let me know in the comments!

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. This post is for educational purposes only. The information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links. In order for me to support this website, my research, and blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement and/or links to products or services. However, I only recommend products or services I trust.


  1. Jessica Downs says

    Hello Jill! I am very sorry to hear that your daughter had to go through this. My eldest daughter had the same thing happen with her when she was just 4. This UTI was so bad that she had to be hospitalized since she kept throwing up everything and her fever never went below 105! I wasn’t happy at all with my care that they gave her, and had to insist on more than one occasion that this wasn’t just a simple case of UTI. After taking her to a specialist, they did a scan and in fact found out that it was a kidney infection. This was why she up was having such a hard time keeping anything down and needed extra antibiotics. I hope your daughter gets better from this. It is scary when our children get sick, but so very comforting to know that our great Creator God gave us natural remedies to help us and his ever loving hand to comfort us!

    • says

      My daughter’s fever was 105 too, and I told my family that I suspected it may have been something more serious like a kidney infection. I gave her some natural things along with the antibiotic, and she was so much better within hours. I’m so thankful for our loving God too, Jessica!

  2. Sarah says

    i have always treated uti with 64oz of cranberry juice, a gallon of water and I add baking soda to a couple of glasses of water to help restore ph balance. Keeping your underwear dry and moist free for a couple of days. You can change them each hour. Make sure they are 100% cotton.

  3. Kristie says

    I struggle with uti issues and had for over 25 years. I came across an article saying apple cider vinegar was good for cats with kidney infections. I figured if it was safe for cats it’s probably safe for me. For a bad uti take a tablespoon right before bed by morning you should better. Then follow up with plenty of water. For mild uti put the tablespoon of acv in 8 oz of water add some honey to help with taste and drink. I had chronic uti and had about two a month. Braggs Apple cider vinegar has a recipe on its bottle for a refreshing drink. I used that for a month drinking it almost everyday and I no longer suffer from uti. I will have one on a very rare occasion.

  4. Becca says

    Glad your little one is alright! Hoping that the ER staff did not treat you bad for trying to use natural remedies first. And did not harass you for your child not having vaccinations! Your such a great momma Jill! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • says

      Awww thanks, Becca! They actually treated us very well and did not harass at all! I’m very thankful. We’ve only had good experiences with the 2 hospitals we’ve used.

  5. Carol says

    After antibiotics didn’t seem to work too well for me on my last round I immediately started the D-Mannose with cranberry (found at health food stores and vitamin stores ). I did elderberry and echinecea also. Whenever I feel a bladder/urinary deal starting this what I go to. I have tried to stay away from antibiotics especially those like Cipro and Levaquin. Bad lasting effects can happen.

    • says

      I’m giving my daughter the D-Mannose in her cup almost daily to help prevent them. If you can avoid the antibiotic – I believe that’s best!

      • Ashley says

        My daughter is 6 yrs old and has been dealing with chronic utis for 4 years she has been hodpitalized many of times tested and poked her entire life she has had 2 vcug test still nothing she has been on antibiotics for over a year we tried taking her off after a year and the infection was back within 3 days she gets soo sick she ends up hospitalized every time on ivs and crazy meds. Im currently doing research on d-mannose to give her because i cant stand to have her on antibiotics for the rest of her life. Im just not sure how much to give her and how frequently to give it and if her body assorbs it like the antibiotic any help ladies?

        • Rachel says

          My daughter is also 6 and has been struggling with chronic uti’s and kidney infections. She was on prophylactic antibiotics and still having break through infections. She had a VCUG done at our Children’s hospital and when reviewed we were told she had no reflux. A year later she was still struggling and I wasn’t happy with her Dr. at Children’s so we went to a different pediatric urology practice. They reviewed the VCUG and said she did in fact have some very minor reflux! She had the Deflux procedure done and that has kept her from getting kidney infections but she still struggles with UTI’s.
          A HUGE key for her in preventing them is giving her Miralax daily. We have tried other methods for keeping her regular, but Miralax is the only one that has done the trick. I would never have considered her “constipated” so it was surprising to me that it could be the cause of her uti’s. The Dr. explained that with some children’s/people’s their anatomy is such that they can’t have excess stool or it can cause a UTI. Over time it has been proven that if my daughter does not have very regular, frequent soft stools she gets an infection. Our urologist says that constipation/regularity plays a much bigger part in UTI’s than most Dr’s give them credit for.
          She was taken off her preventative antibiotics last month and I have added D-Manntose to her regimen as well as elderberry. Hoping that we can keep her infection free!
          Although I do fear this is something she will struggle with her entire life as her Aunt and Great Aunt also struggle with UTI”s (that also have been found to be triggered by constipation)

          I hope you find some answers for your daughter soon! I know how heartbreaking and frustrating it can be to watch them suffer and drag them to appointments and unpleasant tests and not have any answers!!

          • says

            Thank you for sharing all of this! I have since found success with D-Mannose as well. So glad you’ve been able to help your daughter!

  6. Mandy Joseph says

    Can’t wait to read about your Natural remedies. My daughter is on her third UTI this year and 3rd round of antibiotics…it’s killing me to give it to her , totally want to try naturally!! We are also looking into reflux.

  7. says

    Thank you for being so open about the use of antibiotics even with your extensive knowledge of natural remedies. I’m glad it all worked out for your daughter and that you used your mommy instinct to do what was best at the time. ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking forward to hearing about how to treat a UTI naturally!

  8. Jaime says

    My daughter contracted her first UTI two years ago when she was 6. After suffering from one every 4-6 weeks for the next few months, using antibiotics, going through tests, and seeing a pediatric urologist, I learned how to be proactive in fighting them and preventing them and being able to avoid antibiotics. At the beginning she drank pure cranberry juice once a day, every day. She now drinks it once a week or so. If she feels like she is getting another UTI, I give her a raw, minced garlic clove on a piece of toast twice a day for a couple of days (it’s like very strong garlic bread; you can use butter or olive oil on the bread). The garlic seems to do the trick, and it never turns into a full-fledged infection. On occasion I give her D-mannose powder in water, but garlic seems to be the best method. I also make sure that she’s eating plenty of fiber-rich foods to avoid constipation so that she can empty her bladder completely. And I limit her sugar intake.

  9. Laura says

    I have had several UTI’s over the past few years and finally figured out the best method of treatment for myself. I use cranberry and also a powder called D-Mannos Powder. If I catch it right away this will usually clear it up.

  10. Jennifer says

    I have struggled with UTI’s and yeast infections for the last 14 years when I got pregnant with my fourth daughter. I tried EVERYTHING!!! I finally stopped eating sugar about 4 months ago because I thought that was the main cause. After 2 months I had a full blown bladder and yeast infection. I decided to buckle down and do a full blown natural treatment so here is what I did. Morning and night I took garlic, cranberry, extra vitamin C, and a Goldenseal / Echinacea complex for a week straight. I started feeling better after about 3 days. I still don’t eat much sugar but the natural solution was the right solution for me. I am going to try your strep treatment on my 10 year old daughter to see if we can avoid antibiotics. Glad I found this site.

  11. Michelle says

    My 5 year old daughter gets UTIs sometimes. When she first starts to feel a slight stinging, I empty out a of the Lady Soma Cranberry Capsule in some water and she drinks it. Then I give it to her once a day for a few days. I also give it to her sometimes when she is not experiencing any symptoms, just as a preventive. She drinks it happily. I sometimes also put it in her yogurt. I definitely recommend!

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