Dehydration: Drinking Enough Fluids (Babies and Young Children)

Topic Overview

When your child is not feeling well, he or she may not want anything to drink. This may happen if your child has a fever or diarrhea or is vomiting. It is important that your child drink enough fluids to avoid dehydration.

Not drinking enough fluid can cause constipation. When the weather gets hot or when your child is getting more exercise, he or she needs more to drink.

Use the following table to determine how many 240 mL (8 fl oz) bottles or cups of fluid your healthy baby or child needs each day.

Feeding amount by child's age

Child's age

Volume in millilitres

Number of 8-ounce bottles or cups


6 months


950 to 1,000


4.0 to 4.5


9 months


1,000 to 1,250


4.5 to 5.5


1 year


1,200 to 1,350


5.0 to 5.5


2 years


1,350 to 1,500


5.5 to 6.5


4 years


1,500 to 1,800


6.5 to 7.5

Keep track of how much your child drinks and urinates when he or she is ill. Remember that children may need to drink more when they have a fever or diarrhea or are vomiting.

Credits

Current as of: June 26, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor MD - Emergency Medicine

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

Thanks to our partners and endorsers: