Maintaining Hydration in Babies and Young Children

Maintaining normal hydration is important if your little one is sick or spending a lot of time outdoors in the heat. Here are ways to make sure your child avoids dehydration:

  • How much fluid is right?
  • Best sources of fluids
  • Stay hydrated during hot days

How Much Fluid Does Your Child Need to Stay Hydrated?

  • Most babies need about 1 1⁄2 to 2 ounces of breast milk or formula each day for every pound of body weight.
  • When babies have a fever, are vomiting, or have diarrhea, they may need 2 to 3 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight. Additionally, older children may need even more (your pediatrician can help identify just how much your little one needs).
  • On hot days, and when your child is particularly active, more liquid will be necessary. Your child may need to drink up to 8 ounces (1 cup) of water every 20 minutes in order to stay hydrated. (Ask your doctor for the best amount to suit your child’s situation.)

Best Sources of Fluids

  • If your child is still breast feeding or taking formula, be sure to continue breastfeeding or formula feeding your child when he’s sick.
  • An oral electrolyte solution, such as Enfalyte for infants and children, is a good source of liquids for little ones experiencing diarrhea, vomiting or fever.
  • Oral electrolyte solutions are easy to digest and contain water and salts in specific proportions to replenish both fluids and electrolytes.
  • You can also give your little one an oral electrolyte solution in a bottle as well.
  • For older children, water is a great source of liquid to maintain normal hydration.

Pay extra attention to your child in hot weather.

  • Hot environments like the beach or a warm car can contribute to dehydration because they often cause children to sweat.
  • Make sure your child wears loose clothing that breathes.
  • If your child is active or participates in outdoor sports, enforce frequent breaks, give her a place to sit in the shade, and offer drinks often to maintain good hydration.
  • Additionally, if you have any concerns or questions, be sure to speak with your pediatrician.

Do you still have questions about products that can help with dehydration? We're here to help! Call 1-800-BABY123 and speak with one of our live operators Monday–Friday (7am to 7pm CST) or Saturday (8am to 4:30pm CST). Or contact us online anytime.