What is Causing Your Baby’s Dehydration? Signs & Treatment

Smitakshi Guha

When your baby suffers from diarrhoea, it’s important to keep the little one hydrated in order to avoid any complications.

When your baby suffers from diarrhoea, it’s important to keep the little one hydrated in order to avoid any complications. The bodies of little babies are very tiny and they have a faster metabolism. It is important to make up for the lost fluids and electrolytes before their entire body gets affected and their health gets critical.

What are the signs of dehydration in babies?

Babies, in particular, get dehydrated very quickly when they have diarrhoea. Here are some signs that your baby is dehydrated:
• Sleepiness
• Dry mouth
• Thirst
• Decreased number of wet wipes (since the baby urinates only once)
• Lack of tears
• Dry and stiff skin
• Sunken eyes

How to treat dehydration in babies?

The most recommended mode of treatment is an oral rehydration solution (ORS) to get a baby’s body rehydrated. You can administer the solution even if your baby is vomiting. Your aim should be to prevent your baby from throwing up or having loose stools while you give him the ORS. A baby is considered hydrated if there are at least 6 wet diapers in a day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), babies and children weighing less than 10 kg (22 pounds) should drink 60 to 120 ml (2-4 ounces) of ORS for each episode of vomiting or diarrhoea and those weighing more than 10 kg should drink 120 to 240 ml (4-8 ounces) of ORS after each episode.

You can start a BRAT diet too for your little one. BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Apple, and Toast. This diet is highly recommended when your child has an upset stomach.


If your baby had an episode of diarrhoea, avoid milk products for the next 48 hours. Milk products are difficult to digest. However, this doesn’t imply to breastfeeding moms. For older kids, make sure they don’t drink soda, sports drinks, or energy drinks when they are dehydrated. These drinks do not contain the right amount of glucose, sodium, potassium, and chloride to balance the electrolytes in their body.

If there are signs of severe dehydration, seek medical help immediately. Doctors will test the blood to know the electrolyte levels in your little one. If they are too low, the doctor will prescribe intravenous fluids to make up for the lost electrolytes. In some cases, a small tube is placed into the child’s stomach and fluids are administered through this pipe. This is called tube feeding and is recommended only if the child is severely dehydrated and is not in a state to consume fluids.

For any concerns related to your child’s health, you can now consult top paediatricians online on mfine.

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