What Causes Decreased Urination in Babies?
Newborn and Baby Data Verified

Decreased Urination in Babies - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Management

Published on Dec 26, 2022 and last reviewed on Jun 30, 2023   -  5 min read


It is a condition called oliguria in which a child passes very less urine. It is caused due to various reasons. Read below to know more.

What Is Decreased Urination in Babies?

Decreased urination in children is called oliguria. There might be various reasons for the decreased urine output in children. The decreased urine output in children may be due to various reasons, and the following are the few factors where decreased urination is seen.

  • If there is any blockage in the kidneys and the kidneys are not functioning properly, causing low output in children.

  • If the child does not pee or pee excessively, it is a sign of some systemic conditions.

  • For children, the amount of urine out varies differently. Generally, it is 1 mL/kilogram (kg)/hour, while oliguria in children refers to an output of less than 0.5 mL/kg/hr.

  • In children, the number of wet diapers is a matter of concern.

  • Recurrent urinary tract infections are because of kidney damage or another systemic condition.

  • Low urine output can be seen in anybody. It can be seen in either babies or adults.

  • Low urine output occurs due to acute kidney failure.

What Are the Causes of Oliguria in Babies?

Oliguria in children is due to various reasons. The babies will often recover independently, but sometimes medical treatment is required. The causes of oliguria in babies are:

  • Dehydration: The major cause of oliguria or decreased urine output is dehydration. Dehydration is caused by vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased intake of water. During this ailment, the kidneys tend to store as much fluid as possible.

  • Burns and Any Other Serious Injuries: Burns or any serious injuries cause dehydration resulting in decreased urination and causing oliguria. Any serious injuries resulting in blood loss, septic shock, or anaphylactic shock also result in dehydration, ultimately leading to decreased urine pass in children.

  • Obstruction: Any blockage in the urinary tract, like renal stones, causes a disturbance or abnormal passing of urine. The obstruction may be due to any renal stones or tumors obstructing the passage of urine. There are various conditions that cause urinary tract obstruction such as prostate cancer, kidney stones, phimosis, and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

A few drugs or medications also result in oliguria. The following drugs may result in a decreased output of urine:

  • Certain antibiotics.

  • Few non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin and Ibuprofen.

  • Chemotherapy drugs.

  • ACE inhibitors are used to decrease blood pressure.

  • Medications are used to treat overactive bladder.

  • Contrast liquids are used to take any images or X-rays of the body.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Decreased Urination?

The signs and symptoms of decreased urination in babies include:

  • Urinates less than three times per day.

  • Feel like the bladder is full but will not be able to pass urine.

  • The color of urine may be dark in color.

  • Fever.

  • Abdominal pain.

  • Extreme fatigue.

  • Edema.

  • Pallor.

  • Hypertension.

  • Proteinuria.

  • Haematuria.

  • Bone pain.

  • Foul smell in urine

  • Confusion. are also a symptom of oliguria.

How to Prevent Decreased Urination in Children?

If one has diarrhea and is vomiting, try to intake more fluids.

  • It is very important to notice the urine output as early as possible.

  • It can be noticed by the number of wet diapers the child uses per day.

  • Keep a count on urine output.

How to Diagnose Oliguria?

The following are the ways to diagnose decreased urine output in children:

  • The healthcare provider will do a proper physical examination of the child.

  • If required, the medical practitioner may advise a few diagnostic tests.

  • The doctor will check for the severity and the amount of urine passed out daily.

  • The urine sample is collected for the urine examination.

  • Sometimes the patient may be advised for image tests like ultrasound or any other tests for a clear picture of the condition of the kidneys.

  • CT scans.

  • Blood tests.

What Is the Treatment of Oliguria?

  • Oliguria is treated by the severity of the condition or how much urine is passed.

  • It has to be treated in the very early stages. Otherwise, it may result in renal failure and other complications.

  • Clear soups and popsicles help in hydration in a toddler.

  • If the patient is dehydrated, the doctor may advise having electrolytes.

  • Toddlers who have been ill can begin eating again when they have not vomited for four hours. For decades, people have used the BRAT diet, which consists of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, to ease diarrhea and vomiting in children, which helps in hydrating and thus increases urine output.

  • Avoid children from going out on a sunny day so that they can be protected from dehydration.

  • Catheters are used to remove excess fluid in the kidneys.

  • People with kidney failure may need renal replacement therapy, like dialysis. Renal replacement therapy refers to treatment that performs the function of healthy kidneys.

  • In serious conditions, the patient needs to visit a nephrologist, and for any renal failure, the patient may need kidney replacement therapies like kidney transplantation or dialysis.

  • Always keep track of the urine count.

  • In young infants, check for the diapers or number of diaper counts to keep track of urine output.

  • In serious conditions or obstruction of renal stones, the stone may be broken with sound waves or removed with the help of surgery.


Decreased urine in children is called oliguria. which is a condition caused due to various reasons such as dehydration caused by vomiting, diarrhea, and any other renal failure or a few drugs, burns, and injuries leading to blood loss also lead to the decreased output of urine or decreased urine leads to renal failure. Renal failure may result in several symptoms, such as edema and infections. In severe cases of renal failure, this can be treated by surgical procedures, renal transplantation, or dialysis. So if the patient notices any signs and symptoms of decreased urine output, immediately consult a physician in the early stages. There is a good prognosis if the treatment is done in the early stages of the condition's onset.

Last reviewed at:
30 Jun 2023  -  5 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

Will intake of Cotrimoxazole cause renal failure in aged people?

Query: Hi doctor, I am a 60-year-old male. I took Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim 400/80 mg three times a day for three consecutive days. I got a serum creatinine level of 2.25 mg/dL, EGFR of 29 ml/minute, and albumin to creatinine ratio of 430 mcg/L in my renal function tests. My urine sample is yellow wit...  Read Full »

Relaxed Vaginal Outlet - Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Article Overview: A relaxed vaginal outlet involves vaginal prolapse along with pelvic organs protruding from the vaginal opening. Read this article for greater insights. Read Article

Richa Agarwal
Richa Agarwal
Obstetrics And Gynecology

What Is a Relaxed Vaginal Outlet? The relaxed vaginal outlet is a condition of vaginal prolapse where the wall between the vagina and the rectum becomes weak or damaged. As a result, the vaginal opening becomes large, causing the pelvic organs (such as the urinary bladder, uterus, urethra, rectum, a...  Read Article

Uric Acid Nephropathy - Types, Etiology, Diagnosis and Treatment

Article Overview: Uric acid nephropathy is a condition characterized by the deposition of urate crystals in the kidney. Read this article to know about it. Read Article

What Is Uric Acid? Uric acid is a weak organic acid formed as an end product of purine metabolism. It exists in two different forms based on the pH. When the pH is less than 5.5, it is called sparingly soluble undissociated uric acid form. The substantially more soluble form, when the pH is 7.4, is ...  Read Article

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Oliguria or Decreased Urination In Babies?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.