Babies, especially premature babies, are much more susceptible to problems that can sneak up on you, such as dehydration. While dehydration can show up as a result of illness, it can also happen when your baby gets overheated in hot conditions.
Here’s what you need to know.
Dehydration Is More Likely in Babies
Babies develop dehydration much more quickly than adults do. Their systems are smaller and the proportion of water to body mass is much different. If your baby is a preemie, then the likelihood of developing dehydration becomes even greater. It’s really important to stay alert to the signs of dehydration so that you can work quickly to take action.
Look for the Signs of Dehydration
It’s tough to spot dehydration if your child can’t talk to you and tell you what she’s feeling, so you have to be more aware of physical symptoms. If your baby has been vomiting or has diarrhea, then it’s highly likely that she’s experiencing dehydration.
Some of the biggest signs of dehydration in a baby include:
- A dry diaper, even after several hours
- Concentrated urine
- Dry mouth and lips
- No tears or sweat
- A sunken look around the eyes
Any of these signs mean that you need to take some action now to hydrate your baby. Remember also that these signs can show up very quickly if you’re outside in the sun or otherwise in a hot environment.
Keep Water on Hand
Offering water, breast milk, or formula is one of the fastest ways to help your dehydrated baby, but you don’t want her to drink too fast. This can especially be a problem if she’s overheated. Get to a cooler location if you’re out in the heat. Pay attention to how your baby is responding. If you’ve caught the situation early, there may be nothing else needed.
Continued Signs of Dehydration Require Additional Help
If your baby doesn’t show signs of improving or she starts vomiting or has diarrhea, these are signs that your baby needs more help. Contact her doctor or take her to an emergency room to determine what other treatments are necessary. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to dehydration because it can become severe very quickly with babies.
Preemies can be even more susceptible to dehydration. It’s a good idea to hire pediatric home health care providers to help you stay on top of all the little details that can point to dehydration, especially if your baby is premature.