Home > Baby Helpline > Baby Urine Questions > My Toddler Did Not Urinate for 6 hours – A Reason To Worry?
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for information.

My Toddler Did Not Urinate for 6 hours – A Reason To Worry?

toddler not urinatingMom’s Question:
My 18 months old toddler did not urinate for 6 hours, is it wrong? I am worried that he is sick, but he seems ok. Should I contact the Dr or are there signs to look for that something is really wrong? He is happy.


Baby Helpline:

Young Toddler Not Urinating – Normal or Not?

I agree with you that 6 hours seems like quite a long time for an 18-month-old child to not pee, at least if it was during day time. If he didn’t urinate for 6 hours at night and he doesn’t feed at night, it can be completely normal.

The general guideline for babies older than 12 months is that not peeing for 12 hours is a sign of dehydration, while for babies younger than 1 year, 6 hours with a dry diaper is a sign of dehydration. So your baby is definitely on the safe side if looking at general guidelines, but parents know their children best and of course, variations from child to child are big.

Some things to consider, to assess the situation:

  • Did he eat and drink as usual during these hours?
  • When he did urinate, was the pee light colored and with a mild smell? If the urine seems to be concentrated (dark yellow, sharp smell), then your son might simply need to drink some more water.
  • Is he showing any signs of holding back? He could be holding back because it is painful to pee.
  • Does he have any fever or any other sign of illness that could indicate for example a urinary tract infection?
  • If he shows no other signs of illness, I wouldn’t worry too much, just make sure you offer him liquid on a regular basis. Even just a mouth full now and then is much better than nothing.

An 18-month-old baby is often very active and on the go, so it can sometimes be a bit difficult to get them to stop to eat or drink. You can provide him with a bottle or sippy cup of water to carry around and feed himself. (Just don’t put anything else than water in the bottle, to prevent cavities.

It is also possible that you are experiencing your son’s first signs of bladder control. Although quite early and 6 hours is a long time, it may be that he has been holding it a bit longer than usual on purpose. In such case, you can actually try showing him a potty and let him try it if he wants. You can go to the bathroom together. 🙂 No pressure, he is still very young, but some kids are interested early and then you can let the potty training come very slowly and naturally.

If your baby does seem ill, seems to be in any kind of pain, is not eating or drinking, has a fever, smelly urine or signs of blood in his urine, contact a doctor.

I hope this helps!


P.S. Here are two excellent reference books for baby health issues and injuries:

More Babies That Are Not Peeing

Image by: Jennifer

Find comments below.


Feb 14, 2014

6 Hours OK
by: Anonymous

Hi, six hours is not a long time not to urinate.

The minimum time to be concerned would be 12 hours without urination. No urine for 12 hours could be a sign of dehydration and you should call doctor. Six hours is OK.

Does your baby go more than six hours without drinking fluids? Maybe that is cause.

Feb 14, 2014

by: Melenie

My son has gone all day without urinating and only pooped onced. I took him to the Ped. Center and they tell me their is nothing wrong with me. What do i do? He is not eating much or drinking? What culd happen? He is 11 months old.

Mar 01, 2014

my son is 8 months

by: Sari01

my son is eight mths & he went approx 14 hours without urinating.
Why? Is this ok?

Aug 25, 2014

No pee
by: Anonymous

My son is 7 months old, and we just had a rough weekend in the ER with really high fevers. But one thing that doctors are not addressing is that he really has not peed since Friday (5 days ago). He was not eating very well and has diarreah, but I think he should still pee a little bit. I was told to wait until he gets lethargic and I can’t wake him. Why do I have to wait for the extreme? And now that I am getting him to drink more, I should see urine but there is still nothing. Why can’t I get a doctor to address this? I am not a frantic mother, I am a concerned one that wants my baby healthy. So where is the urine going if he is not urinating? After two bottles since 1 am this morning there is nothing? Does this sound right to you?

Aug 25, 2014

No urine for 5 days…

by: Baby Help Line (Paula)

Hi anonymous with a son that hasn’t peed for five days,

No, it sounds absolutely crazy to me that the doctors were not concerned with your son’s lack of peeing. I would take him back and demand further investigation. I don’t want to upset you, but this really has to be taken seriously. Don’t leave ER until you have a doctor who listens to you!

I wish you all the best. Please keep us posted!

(A tip: Bring a new diaper to the ER, so they an weigh both the one he is using and a new one to determine if he has urinated at all.)


Jan 09, 2015

My 5 months old baby has no urine output for 8 hours for 2 night
by: Faith

Hi, I have a daughter who is 5 months already.. For the past 2 nights, i noticed that she has no urine the whole night, my pedia advised me to collect her urine in a wee bag for urinalysis.. Could it be UTI? Because I know when its UTI, she should be urinating more than usual… Please help thanks

Jan 09, 2015

To Faith

by: Paula (Baby Help Line)


If your daughter is wetting her diapers as usual during daytime, it doesn’t have to be a problem, but it still sounds wise to check her urine for bacteria. Does she eat a lot during the night? If not, she might simply not have to go very much during the night.

Try to observe her fist wet diaper in the morning – is the urine strong smelling? Very yellow? If so, she might need a bit more liquid before going too bed. Or she might bee a bot too warm during the night and sweats a lot. Also check for other signs of dehydration, such as dry lips.

I don’t know if she is breastfed or formula fed or has started with solid foods. If she is exclusively breastfed, and you think she might need a bit more liquid, simply breastfeed her a little bit more. Babies that drink formula or eat solid foods, can have some additional water.

If she does seem healthy, no bacteria in the urine and pees as usual at daytime, then she might just be one of the babies that will be ready for potty training quite early.

Hope this helps,


Jan 12, 2015

no urine morethan 12 hrs
by: worried mum

hi my son is 2 yrs old and 11 months. im worried now bcoz he is not urinate tonight 14 hrs now. we been to pedia this morning bcoz last monday night he keep on vomit after his milk and lastnight he didnt drink much liquid and no eating. doctor tell me not to worried much bcoz he is fine after vomiting. Today he keep on playing even he didnt drink much milk and water. and this afternoon he vomit again after his 3 oz milk. Around 6pm he was sleep till now. He drink some milk with oatmeal and fruits shake and also I give him small amount of pedialyte still no pee.

Anyone can help me what to do to make him pee. His lips not much dehydrate but im still worried bcoz he didn’t drink much water and milk.

Jan 12, 2015

Keep up with the pedialyte

by: Paula (Easy Baby Life)

Hi worried mom,

Just keep up with the liquid. Try giving him a tea spoon every 5 minutes. More if he accepts it and isn’t vomiting. Pedialyte is great.

If he is alert and doesn’t show other signs of dehydration, he is likely on the way to get better. But he really needs the liquid!

If you can offer get him to drink a tea spoon of pedialyte every five minutes for a couple of hours and he doens’t vomit, increase to 2 or three tea spoons. This will rehydrate him.

If he continues to not pee or becomes very tired or get dry lips or mouth or show other signs of dehydration, take him back to the doctors.

If he likes fruits or veggies with a high water content, you can offer that too after a couple of hours without vomiting, such as small pieces of water melon of cucumber.

I hope this helps. Remember that I am not a doctor. But the tea spoon every 5 minutes, to provide hydration and prevent vomiting is the advice given by doctors to me many times when my young children have been sick and vomiting.

Kind regards,


Mar 22, 2015

what is a normal pee interval for a baby

by: Catherine

I too noticed that my 5 month old son hasn’t pee’d for 8 hours at night! Seems a long to me since during the day he pees quite frequently. It seems this is quite common with a lot of babys so I’m guessing its probably normal. I will however ask my paediatrician next time I see him and will also watch for signs of dehydration just in case.

Mar 22, 2015

Feeding and peeing…
by: Paula (Baby Help Line)


How often does your baby feed at night? At 5 months, some babies are not eating as frewquently at night and not as much either. So urine production will not be as abundant as during daytime.

If you are one of the lucky few to have a baby who sleeps through the night, then it isn’t that strange if the baby does not pee for several hours. Unless your baby seems ill in any way or is showing signs of dehydration, then I don’t think there is much to worry about.

But please let us know what the doctor said!


Aug 16, 2015

my son havent urinated over 24hrs
by: Anonymous

My son haven’t peed in 24hrs what should I do also I took him to get circumsized in may after the fact he started peeing in the bed he is three and been potty trained a little before he turned two I’m very confused and worried..

Sep 02, 2015

Disabled son 22 months old
by: Brandy

Hi my son has a brain defect and he has sympatjetic storms bit will not pee. He had 12 oz of fluids and still hasn’t peed I ve done pedialite and coconut water and water. The doctor said keep pumping him with as much fluids as he can take.

Could his kidneys be shutting down or could he just be tired from his storms? He’s an amazing baby he’s not supposed to be alive according to doctors. He was born with anencephaly. Please help.

Worries mother brandy

Sep 05, 2015

More fluids to make baby pee

by: Paula (Easy baby Life)

Hi Brandy,

Are there any reasons to believe that your son is dehydrated? Has he been ill, had diarrhea, vomited or simply had a really poor appetite?

If not, I would be worried if he doesn’t urinate even though you keep giving him fluids. I actually think you might want to take him to the ER to rule out any infections or blockage that makes it difficult for him to pee. Just giving him a lot of fluids without investigating why he isn’t peeing seems wrong to me (unless he is obviously dehydrated).

So head over to have him examined. Better safe than sorry!


Sep 16, 2015

mom who is freaking out
by: Anonymous

Hi my son has a stomach virus. He has peed but he starting getting diahrea he hasn’t peed. He is drinking plenty of fluids . I’m just really worried about him. He is two years old. Could there be something seriously wrong with him? Or is because like my friend said. He is pooping liquids and so long as he keeps drinking plenty of fluids he should be fine. Can you please help me?

Sep 16, 2015

Have your son checked!
by: Paula (Easy Baby Life)

Hi mom,

I don’t think you should settle with pooping liquid. Diarrhea means that the liquid is not absorbed by the body, while urine comes from excess liquid from the kidneys. Big difference.

Is he showing any other signs of dehydration, such as lethargy or a dry mouth?

In any case, if it has been more than 8 hours, or close to 8 hours since he urinated, then definitely call a doctor.

That said, it can be very tricky to know if a child is also urinating when pooping loose stools, so if your son is alert and not acting sick, he might be peeing even if you can’t see it.

But still call the doctor!

Good luck,

Sep 26, 2015

sick baby?
by: sarah

My daughter is 15 months and normally has a very keen apitite but for the past two days she’s hardly eaten anything and today hasn’t eaten a thing but did have her morning bottle earlier, i have been trying to offer her water but she won’t take it,and hasn’t peed all day. last night and the night before she was sick both nights with what little food she had and today has diarrhea but hasn’t vomited yet could i please has some advice x

We have changed to a new commenting system. Add your comments below or return to Baby Urine Q&A.