Babies are extremely 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.
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:
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 breast fed, it is unlikely that she will become dehydrated, unless she has a fever or illness.
By Gizelle Bichard
Other pages on breastfeeding problems in connection with this page
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