How to Tell if Your Baby Is Dehydrated

A closeup image of a baby boy who is not feeling well resting his head on his mother’s shoulder.

Dehydration is a common condition in babies, especially during hot weather or when they are sick. 

This condition occurs when the body loses more fluids than it takes in, leading to a lack of hydration. 

Babies are particularly vulnerable to dehydration because they have a smaller body size and cannot communicate their thirst as effectively as older children or adults. 

As a parent or caregiver, it is essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms of dehydration in babies and take steps to prevent and treat it. 

In this blog post, we will discuss how to tell if your baby is dehydrated and the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of dehydration in babies. Continue reading to learn more.

First, What Is Dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when the body experiences a severe loss of fluid balance.

The lack of fluids in your child’s body stops it from effectively carrying out normal bodily functions like digestion and kidney function. 

If fluids are not replenished quickly, your child may experience moderate to severe symptoms that can harm their health if left untreated. 


While the most common cause of dehydration is simply the lack of consuming enough fluids, other causes include

  • Excessive sweating
  • Medicine side effects
  • Severe diarrhea or vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Fever

How to Tell if Your Baby Is Dehydrated 

Dehydration can be a serious condition, especially for babies and young children. 

The most common sign of dehydration in babies is decreased urination. Infants should have at least six wet diapers per day. If you notice a decrease in wet diapers, it may be a sign that your baby is not getting enough fluids.

Other common signs and symptoms include

  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • Sunken soft spot
  • Crying without tears
  • Irritability and lethargy
  • Skin elasticity

If you suspect your baby is dehydrated, seeking medical attention right away is essential. Dehydration can lead to severe complications, including seizures and organ damage. 

How Is Dehydration Treated in Babies?

Dehydration treatment for babies will depend on the severity of dehydration and your child’s age and overall health.

The most common treatments for dehydration in babies include

  • Rehydration with oral fluids, such as water, juice, or a sports drink diluted with water
  • Intravenous fluids for those with severe dehydration that requires hospitalization
  • Treatment of the underlying condition, such as a stomach virus, diarrhea, or excessive vomiting
  • Monitoring the symptoms and getting the medical treatment they need 

How to Prevent Dehydration in Babies 

To prevent dehydration in infants, it is important to ensure they get enough fluids, especially during hot weather or when they are sick. 

Breast milk or formula can provide the necessary hydration for infants, and older infants may also benefit from small amounts of water or fruit juice.

Dehydration Care When Your Baby Needs It Most

If your child is experiencing severe symptoms of dehydration, you should visit State Urgent Care for further evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.

While rehydrating is enough for some mild cases, more intensive care, including IV fluids, may be required for those with moderate to severe dehydration.

Urgent care is essential for those with severe dehydration symptoms who

  • Have had diarrhea for 24 hours or longer
  • Are irritable or disoriented
  • Are extremely exhausted
  • Can’t keep fluids down
  • Have bloody or black stool.

Our urgent care facility is open seven days a week with no appointments required. Walk in now to get your child treated for dehydration. 

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