Summer is a great time to talk about a very common question we get about infant hydration: can babies drink water? If the baby is less than a year old, the answer is no, they should not be given water. Giving a baby water can cause their sodium levels to drop dangerously low. This can result in seizures, comas, or even death. The amount of water that can cause a baby to have issues is very small. If you take your baby swimming, do not dunk them underwater, as they can naturally swallow some water.
Another worry that parents often have is how to keep a baby with vomiting or diarrhea hydrated. If your baby is under a year old, or particularly under six months, they should be given breast milk or formula. This will provide all the hydration they need. If they are unable to tolerate breast milk or formula, then you should bring the child to the emergency room. Signs of dehydration include a sunken soft spot, skin that feels doughy, an inability to make tears, or a dry mouth. If you are concerned about infant hydration, call your doctor or bring your baby to the emergency room.