How to make sure your baby stays hydrated this summer

Hot weather in England is welcomed with open arms and happy hearts. The inclination is to flock to the sun, worshipping its rays as if they were the last bit of natural light one might see weeks…months…years even. Right!?

I know that especially when the sun is out I am bustling my family into the great outdoors – whether it’s garden time at home or fabulous adventures into town and yonder. 

Not to kill the summer spirit or anything but there is, however, a thing about lovely hot weather – and that thing is dehydration. Babies and small children are not as good at regulating their body temperature and are consequently sensitive to fluid loss.

It’s up to us to help our babies keep cool, and in the fun and games of warm weather it’s really easy to be negligent when it comes to topping our kids up with water.

So basically, dehydration happens when the body loses more water than it takes in. The signs of dehydration in babies might be: sleepiness, not as many wet nappies, dry mouth, fewer or no tears when crying, mottled skin…

If you suspect that your babs is dehydrated, the obvious thing to do would be to dose her up on water but this is not a good idea because water can dilute the already low levels of minerals in the body, which in turn will further impede body functionality. For a baby, the best thing to do is to continue giving breast milk or formula with some fluid (water) top ups in between feeds. In other words, don’t substitute milk for water.

I know that the times that I have been the most conscious of any of my babies being dehydrated has been when we travel – especially in hot summer climates. Often you’re so busy getting from A to Z, seeing sights and making sure that babs has had enough sleep that the effect of the warm weather on the poor dear is lost in the mayhem.

And before you know it babs is one unhappy, thirsty, little traveller. I made sure I had a bottle of water with me wherever I went  (it’s not always easy to get hold of decent water when out and about in another country) so that in between feeds I could top up with some good old H2O – as they say, prevention is better than cure.

Listen to your baby, be observant, keep the liquid flowing…and have a fabulous summer!

Do you have any top tips to keeping your baby hydrated this summer?

Source: “Prima Baby & Pregnancy”, June 2014 p66