Children, like adults, need to be drinking plenty of fluids. This is to ensure they develop optimally, both physically and mentally. If children are thirsty, this should be seen as an alarm signal, as long term lack of fluids can be damaging for vital organs such as the kidneys if they are undersupplied. You can tell that your child is not drinking enough when they are showing symptoms. Constipation, dark urine, or dry lips indicate that your little one is not drinking enough.
How much fluid does my child need?
How much toddlers have to drink per day depends on their age and environmental factors. In the summer, of course, children need to drink more to avoid dehydration. Infants generally cover their fluid requirements with their breast milk. If you bottle feed your baby, it doesn't need additional hydration either. They eat so much until they are full - so you don't have to do anything else. When your baby has drunk enough, they will swallow audibly. Gaining weight and having a healthy skin colour will also show you that your baby is drinking enough fluids.
The only exception is if your baby is sick. If they suffer from diarrhea or vomit, the associated fluid loss can be life-threatening. In this case, it is best to discuss with your pediatrician as soon as possible whether your darling needs additional fluid.
Drinks in the first year of life - can my baby drink water?
Before the age of six months, your baby should not be given any water - not even boiled water. Because an infant's kidneys are not fully developed, they cannot break down water properly.
After about six months, you can then provide your baby with tap water. It’s always best to let the "standing" water run out of the tap first.
Healthy drinking - which drinks are suitable?
For the first few months, your little one only needs your breast or bottle milk. When they grow into a toddler, you can offer still mineral water or unsweetened fruit or herbal tea after weaning. If you want to serve a pollution-free tea, then you should ideally buy organic tea. Make sure, however, that the tea does not contain caffeine. Herbal teas as well as fennel, lemon balm or peppermint tea should only be given to your darling in the event of illness. In general, the essential oils could possibly be harmful to health. So you are on the safe side by alternating the types of tea.
You should also be careful with juices. They are sugary and often contain fruit acid, which attacks tooth enamel. Therefore, juice as a drink should remain the exception for your child because then they don’t "get used" to the sugar. If you really want to give a juice, it is best to dilute it with plenty of water.
Always remember drinking enough water is both equally important for adults as well, so after reading this please go and fetch yourself a glass of water and hydrate that body!