Dehydration can be a real problem in babies, especially in the summer months or if they’re suffering from diarrhoea. As babies have low fluid reserves and fast metabolisms, a lack of liquid can quickly become serious. In extreme cases, dehydration can even be life threatening.
To help ensure your baby doesn’t suffer from dehydration, it’s important you can spot the signs and take steps to hydrate your baby quickly and effectively. Better yet, by being aware how much liquid your child needs you can help to prevent dehydration in the first place.
Why hydration is important for babies
Hydration is important for adults, kids and babies alike. Water plays a number of essential roles in the body, helping us to function on a daily basis. As babies are growing fast, hydration is even more crucial. If babies don’t get enough water, they can become ill very quickly and chronic dehydration can have serious long term consequences.
Spotting dehydration in babies
The first signs of dehydration in babies are sleepiness, irritability, a loss of skin elasticity, a dry mouth and a decrease or absence of tears. If your baby goes more than six hours without a wet nappy, or if their urine is darker and stronger smelling than normal, it’s also a sign they could be dehydrated. If your baby has sunken eyes, cold, splotchy hands and feet and sunken fontanels it could indicate that they’re seriously dehydrated and you may need to seek medical help to get their liquids up to the right level.
Preventing dehydration in babies
The best way to prevent dehydration in babies is to ensure they drink plenty of water or milk, especially when they have diarrhoea or when the weather is warm. Extra bottle or breast feeds may be required if your baby is ill or if it’s hot outside. Once your baby is six months old, you can supplement feeds with a little water, and when they’re eating solid food, you can provide as much water as is necessary.
As fizzy drinks, juices and other sweetened beverages are full of sugar and preservatives, it’s important to limit the amount your baby drinks. Water is generally much better for their health – and their growing teeth – so stick to H2O wherever possible.
To make life easier for yourself, invest in a specialist water bottle and carry liquids with you whenever you’re out and about.
If you’re worried about your baby’s hydration, talk to your doctor straight away. To find out more about the importance of hydration, or to purchase a specially designed water bottle, explore our site today.