Babies’ tummies are tiny and can reserve less fluids in their bodies when compared to elder children and adults. Till 6 months, babies get all the fluids they need through their regular feedings by breast milk or formula. But if they are exposed to high temperatures or loses fluids through fever, vomiting, diarrhea or sweating, they quickly become dehydrated.
Once babies are introduced to solid foods, small amounts of liquids will start to come from other sources such as juices, fruits, vegetables and sips of water. As the amount of breast milk intake decreases, make sure to keep your baby hydrated by giving plenty of fluids.
Signs of Dehydration:
If your baby has fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, you should watch carefully for the signs of dehydration which include:
- Dry skin
- Cracked lips
- Few or no tears while crying
- Sunken eyes
- Less urinary output
How to Treat Dehydration in Babies:
Treating dehydration is to replace fluids to restore levels of body fluids to normal. Some of the important tips to hydrate your baby when he is severely dehydrated are follows:
- Rest your child in a cool environment, until the lost fluid has been restored.
- Instead of feeding every few hours, feed small amounts for every half hour.
- Dilute juices if your older infant drinks juice.
- Offer smaller portions of milk more frequently, if your child is bottle feeding.
- Dress infants in weather – appropriate clothing.
- Use an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), these are specially designed to help hydrate infants to restore water, sugars and salts which are lost due to dehydration.
If you notice no improvement even after treating your child for dehydration at home, consult a pediatric specialist as the child might need to receive intravenous fluids in the hospital.