How to Tell If Your Baby is Dehydrated

Heather Chaet

baby on beachWho hit the beach this pat weekend? Loaded up the minivan, chucked Baby in her uber-cute swimsuit in the car seat and had a fun family day in the sand? Isn't summer with Baby so fun? I loved summertime when Kiddo was a baby: hanging out in the park, getting outside, picnic playdates. Gone were the cold days of runny noses and stomach flus. Here were the days of sun ... and dehydration?

We all know what it feels like to be dehydrated, maybe you get a little light-headed, a bit woozy. And it's serious when a baby does get dehydrated because her little body -- with less fluids and higher metabolism rate -- can't take as much as we can.  Add to this the fact that our babies can't say, "Hey, Mom, I'm not feeling so good. Can you pass the bottle?"

So, how do you know when your baby is dehydrated

It is tough. Many of the signs of mild dehydration are normal baby signs: sleepy, irritable, thirsty. I mean, your baby can show all of those right around nap time, right? You can also look for sunken eyes and if she's crying but no tears are rolling down her cheeks. If she has those signs, and you've been in the heat or even a hot room for a while, get more fluids into her. But experts say the best way to tell if your baby is dehydrated is to check out her diapers.

Yup, the diapers are the key, my friends. In the summertime, keep track of how many wet diapers she has -- the normal amount is at least 6 wet diapers a day for infants and toddlers, but track her on a normal day and tuck that number away in your brain. If you've been outside a lot, and she hasn't had many diaper changes, she may be a little dehydrated. Also, take a look at the diaper before you toss it into the trash -- I know, not so fun, but can you tell if her pee was darker? Amber-looking? That is a huge sign as well.

If your little one is showing some of these signs, call your doc and see what he recommends. Many may say to grab something like Pedialyte or plain water in small amounts (depending on how old your baby is) to help get her little body hydrated again. 

What do you do to keep your baby hydrated in the summer months?


Image via AndyLawson/Flickr

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