How to treat dehydration in babies?
My baby looks lethargic and weak. Is she dehydrated?
Is your little one being less active, lethargic and not feeding properly? These could be the signs of dehydration that is common among infants.
Considerable care is required because negligence can lead to complications. As a parent, you should know about this condition so as to give timely treatment for your baby.
Causes of Dehydration in Babies
Dehydration is actually a condition and not a disease. There are some reasons that can make your baby dehydrated.
When your baby is suffering from fever, there are high chances for her to get dehydrated as the body loses water with sweat and intense breathing.
Diarrhea and Vomiting
Your baby can quickly dehydrate when her stomach is infected with virus that results in losing fluids from both these conditions.
Unable to Breastfeed
If your baby is affected with any oral disease like thrush, sore throat or teething, she may refuse to drink because of the pain.
Due to intense heat, your baby can easily lose fluids from the body through sweating.
Other reasons include:
- Baby’s tiny tummy that cannot store enough amount of fluids
- Super fast metabolism in babies
Symptoms of Dehydration in Babies
Babies can dehydrate quickly by any of the above reasons. You should watch for the below signs to check for the dehydration.
- Dry eyes and no tears while crying
- Less active
- Dry mouth
- Fewer wet diapers than usual
- Lethargic or sluggish
- Sunken eyes
- Dry skin
- Dark yellow urine
- Sunken spots on forehead
- Severely lethargic
Ways to Treat Dehydration in Babies
If you observe severe symptoms in your child, it is good to take her straight to a paediatrician so that she is assessed immediately. She may also require an admission to the hospital so that the fluids are given through a drip.
If the condition is not severe, your baby can be treated at home itself. The ways you can follow to recover the lost fluids in your baby include:
Offer Plenty of Fluids
Breastfeeding is the best cure for any ailment that baby has. Dehydration is no different.
Feed your baby with breastmilk or bottle milk in frequent intervals, but in smaller amounts. This would help to prevent diarrhea and also ensures speedy recovery.
Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS)
ORS treats dehydration as it replaces your baby’s body with the lost fluids, salts and sugars. It contains essential salts, sugars, potassium and other important nutrients. You can feed your baby with small portions at frequent intervals alongside breastmilk. There are many brands available in the market, so it is always advisable to consult the doctor before using the product.Ensure that you only use paediatric ORS for babies.
During the hot season, ensure that your baby remains in a cool place. Give her plenty of fluids. If she is only breastfed, she doesn’t require extra fluids. But, when she is bottle fed, you should also offer water alongside.
Your baby’s regular diet pattern should not be disturbed. Feed the baby in the same routine to offer her the required energy. Do not give foods that are difficult to digest. Easily digestible foods like khichdi, soups, curd rice etc are good to treat dehydration in babies.
How to Prevent Dehydration in Babies?
There are three important measures you need to be aware of so as to prevent your child from dehydration.
- Maintain a good hydration routine.
- Try to understand the baby’s urine symptoms for dehydration as dark yellow urine is a typical sign of severe dehydration
- Recognize the situations when your baby requires more amounts of fluids than normal
So, when you learn to recognize these above, you can act quickly and take the necessary steps to prevent your baby from this condition.
Hope this article will be helpful to all the new moms there. Do not forget to share your valuable suggestions if any.
This is a guest post by Aradhana Pandey.