When to Take Your Dehydrated Baby to Hospital?
Babies may suffer from dehydration during some infection or sickness or travelling too. You can’t communicate with your baby and hence it can be difficult sometimes to find out whether he is really dehydrated or not.
Signs/Symptoms that Show Baby is Dehydrated
See the Lips
When you notice the lack of saliva in your baby’s mouth and his lips being dry, it’s a sign he is dehydrated. The dryness will increase gradually leaving the inside part of the mouth completely dry and sticky.
Urine and Bowel Movement
When your baby is dehydrated, the most important thing to check is the frequency of urine. It will be reduced to twice or thrice a day. The bowel movement will also be reduced and in the case of diarrhea, stool will be loose.
Check his Skin
In the first phase, baby’s skin will start losing moisture and become dry gradually. You can also notice some wrinkles on the skin. In the case of severe dehydration, your baby’s skin will look pale. You can feel the dryness of the skin by touching it as well. Also, the elasticity in the skin will be reduced in the case of dehydration.
Look into the Eyes
Babies often cry when they are awake and sometimes they do it in the middle of the night. Tears rolling down from his eyes is a common sight. But, when he is dehydrated, you will notice that there is lack of tears in his eyes. In the case of severe dehydration, the tear production will be stopped and eyes will look sunken.
A healthy and active baby always gives response to any action or sight. He may cry, laugh, show some signs, wonder or yell. A dehydrated baby will make minimal eye contact, show least gestures and reactions when you call them or try to wake them up from sleep. The loss of moisture from his body makes them inactive.
When your baby sleeps unusually for several hours and doesn’t respond to your wakeup call or looks too jaded to show any reaction then it should be considered as a sign of dehydration.
Initial actions to be taken in Dehydration in Babies
Till the baby is 6 months, he should not be given any fluid except the breast milk or formula milk. He will get the required amount of hydration from breast milk only. Once he is one-year-old, try to provide him small quantities of juice, water and soup. Take special care of his clothing during summer. Dress him in light and breathable clothes during summer. These are some precautions you can take to protect him from dehydration. Once he is dehydrated, these are the basic tips that you can follow.
• Give him small sips of water and don’t force as too much fluid at once will be thrown out back by babies.
• For mild dehydration, give him ORS in small sips (After Doctor’s Consultation only)
• Use clear soups, avoid packaged drinks
• Let him rest
• Follow regular diet
• Seek medical attention in the case of severe dehydration
The medical treatment for dehydration in babies may include blood test, urine test and x-rays. It’s very important to understand the signs and symptoms your baby is showing throughout the day. If you find anything unusual, never restrict yourself from seeking medical assistance as the little one is still unable to cry and tell his discomforts. The above facts and tips may help you deal with your baby’s dehydration in an effective way.