dehydration in babies

Dehydration In Babies: Signs And Symptoms, Causes And Effective Home Remedies

Raising a child is one of the most satisfying things in life but it also presents a challenge to many parents. Such these challenges as flu, cold, and fever are the most the almost inevitable sickness. However, the good news is that there are many ways of managing these ailments, and they almost never pose any serious threat to the child's health.

​On the other hand, there are also some conditions that many parents tend to overlook which can be quite dangerous for babies. And one of them is dehydration, which means that the child does not have enough fluids in the body. The cause can be the loss of much fluid in the baby's body.

Understanding the signs, causes and the possible remedies is always vital if you want to keep your little one in good health

Signs And Symptoms Of Dehydration In Babies​

As a parent, it is easy to tell when your baby is dehydrated, and this is more so if you spend most of the day with him as you can tell the amount of fluid that he is taking and whether he is losing any through vomiting or diarrhea. However, it is not always that obvious and so you need to watch out for the following signs and symptoms of dehydration in babies:

dehydration in babies
  • ​Sunken fontanel (the soft spot at the top of a baby's head)
  • Dry lips and skin
  • Sunken eyes
  • Tearless crying
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Fewer wet diapers
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • Lethargy or less activity

Common Causes Of Dehydration In Babies

Knowing the signs and symptoms is always the first step in dealing with and preventing dehydration in babies but it is also necessary to know the causes. Here are five of the most common causes of dehydration in babies.

#1. Overheating

dehydration in babies

​Keeping your baby warm is vital and it is one of the things that many moms will focus on a lot. However, overdressing the baby or covering him with too many blankets can lead to overheating, which in turn results in loss of a lot of fluid. And if this happens for extended periods, it causes dehydration. Moms should remember that being in the sun for too long or excessively active on a hot day can also cause overheating and lead to dehydration in babies.

#2. Fever

Another leading cause of dehydration in babies is fever. When babies have a fever, they tend to sweat a lot so water evaporates from their skin as the body tries to cool down. They also tend to breathe much faster so they lose more fluid through exhalation, which can cause or at least contribute to dehydration.

​#3. Vomiting And Diarrhea

dehydration in babies

Vomiting in babies is often a result of intestinal infections and viruses. And if your baby cannot keep liquids down, he will be more prone to dehydration. Diarrhea, on the other hand, is in most cases a result of intestinal illnesses such as acute gastroenteritis, and it also leads to excessive loss of fluid. If your child keeps vomiting or has diarrhea but not filling the fluids lost, he will end up dehydrated.

#4. Refusal To Breastfeed Or Drink

When breastfeeding exclusively, your baby will not need any other additional sources as the milk provides enough fluid. And, for those that take formula, water is also not necessary. When the baby refuses to breastfeed or take formula, he will lose his only source of fluid, and this can lead to dehydration. In most cases, refusal to feed is a result of conditions like thrush, mouth disease or teething.

Helpful Home Remedies For Dehydration In Babies

Your baby needs fluid to survive so dehydration is a problem that all mothers need to deal with immediately. In cases of severe dehydration, you need to call the doctor as soon as possible. For mild cases, you can deal with them at home. Luckily, there are many easy and helpful home remedies that you can use and they include the following four.

#1. Feed More Often

dehydration in babies

Breastfeeding is one of the best ways for any baby ailment, and dehydration is also not an exception. Hence, breastfeeding your little one more often or giving him the bottle more frequent will help to keep him hydrated. However, make sure that you do it in small amount, and this is more so if the child vomits or has diarrhea.

#2. Oral Rehydration Solution

Whether you are breastfeeding exclusively or your baby is on formula, oral rehydration solution is a great way of replacing the fluid, sugar, and salt that he loses due to dehydration. It contains potassium and other important nutrients, and so it will come with many other health benefits for your baby.

#3. Maintain A Regular Diet Pattern

dehydration in babies

If your baby is dehydrated, maintain a regular diet pattern because any interruption or disturbance of mothers can worsen the problem. Remember to feed your little one with the same routine so that he gets the necessary energy. Avoid giving the baby foods that are hard to digest if he is already taking solids. You can feed him the easiest digestible ones like soups since they are best for dealing with dehydration.

#4. Good Or Ample Rest

Keep your baby in a cool place during the hot season and ensure that he gets ample rest. And even if the baby starts to get better, refrain him from playing and other physical activities for a couple of days. A cool mist humidifier no filter can also be a good way to keep the air clean and humidified for the baby to get ample rest. The humidifier can also help to prevent the baby’s throat from drying out.


Dehydration in babies is a more common problem than any moms might think as it poses a significant danger to the health of your baby. However, in most cases, it is easy to deal with and all mothers just need to understand the signs and watch out for the possible causes.

Once you find out that your baby is dehydrated, you should continue breastfeeding your baby as often as possible or doing oral rehydration therapy. There are also many other remedies that you can try at home but if none of them seem to work well or the problem persists, consult a pediatrician immediately.

April 17, 2018

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