Is Your Baby Dehydrated?
Babies are incredibly resilient, but at the same time, they are so small, that physiological changes can occur very quickly.
Babies have a high metabolic rate, coupled with a relatively small amount of bodily fluids. For these reasons, dehydration in infants is much more common than in adults. Infant dehydration can be quite dangerous if left unchecked, so be on the lookout for the warning signs of baby dehydration.
Signs of Dehydration in Babies
Some symptoms of dehydration in babies are relatively easy to pick up, but by then, it may be quite serious. Often, dehydration in a baby accompanies a viral or bacterial infection, which increases temperature and thereby fluid loss.
Dehydration in a baby may be accompanied by the following:
- Sunken eyes.
- Sunken fontanel.
- A decrease in the number of wet nappies.
- Unusual sleepiness.
- Dry mouth.
- Dark urine.
- Dry lips and skin.
- Rapid breathing.
Causes of Dehydration
Babies and Dehydration ~ When to Seek Help
If your child refuses to feed, seems lethargic and has not had a wet nappy for a number of hours, call the doctor. If she cries without tears and her skin feels cold and damp, it is a good idea to seek medical attention. A skin pinch can also tell you that your baby is dehydrated. If the skin does not spring back to normal immediately after a gentle pinch, this is a sign of a dehydrated baby.
Dehydration in a baby can be prevented by always ensuring an adequate fluid intake. If your baby is breastfed, it is unlikely that she will become dehydrated, unless she has a fever or illness.
By Gizelle Bichard