Wednesday, March 19, 2014

8 Ways To Keep Baby Hydrated When Sick

As a result of a nasty thing known as a stomach bug, I learned a few things about keeping babies hydrated.  Baby Blossom is 10 mos old, was throwing up and had diarrhea, just so you have a little background info.  I thought I'd share a few things that worked for us.

#1 - Nurse, Nurse, Nurse
My babies have always loved the comfort of nursing when they are sick.  I give 'em as much as they want when they want (which is really no different from what I do when they aren't sick.)  But, to say, Nurse, Nurse, Nurse, is really to say, Hydrate Yourself, Hydrate Yourself, Hydrate Yourself, which brings me to the next point. 

#2 - Drink Water In Front of Them
Baby Blossom was way more interested in drinking what I had, than what was in her sippy cup.  I just wanted fluids in her!  So, I set the example.  I drank lots of water!  I don't know what to tell you if you're squeamish about your baby drinking after you.  I just know that I was ready to do whatever I could to get her drink, including letting her drink out of my cup. 

#3 - Flavor Your Water
I tried making my own Pedialyte, since many moms have great success with this.  She didn't like it.  My children are used to water all the time, so to her, it tasted gross.  (It has a mild, salty taste somewhat similar to Gatorade.)  What worked for me was putting ice and a very small splash of 100% juice into her water.  She liked the slight change of pace.  I did NOT go overboard with the juice because I didn't want it to add to her diarrhea. (It didn't.)

#4 - Straws
I used the straw like a little siphon and siphoned into her mouth.  It's similar to using a dropper, which was actually next on my list to try, though I never got around to it.  (My straw theories worked!)  I think a dropper would work very well for a younger baby.  If your baby is a little older, try some fun curlicue straws.  The Dollar Store usually has them for cheap. 

#5 - Ice Popsicles or Very Large Ice Cubes
I dug out my beloved summer Popsicle molds, put in a very small splash of 100% juice and filled them the rest of the way up with water.  Baby Blossom sucked on them.  My older children actually asked for these when they were tired of me pestering them to drink water. 

#6 - Wet Wash Cloths or Wash Cloth with a Very Large Ice Cube
Baby Blossom was happy to suck on a clean, wet wash cloth.  I also inserted a very large ice cube in it.  (She was fully supervised.)  More fluids down that little throat!

#7 - Make a Game Out of It
Grandma came over and true to form, teased Baby Blossom into downing several ounces of H2O.  She simply grabbed Baby Blossom's sippy cup, pretended to take a drink, giggled and handed it back to Baby Blossom, who quickly snagged it and took a swig.  Can't have Grandma drinking all your fluids, can ya??!!!

#8 - Novelty Cup
This is my most successful point of all.  I filled a plastic cup with a sturdy straw and set it down on the floor.  She crawled over to it and drank and drank and drank.  I was shouting HALLELUJAH! 

I kept a sharp eye on the number of wet diapers she had in a day.  This is something to watch with babies.  Using that Novelty Cup was a huge lifesaver for me, but mostly it was a combination of ALL the points that kept her hydrated.  It was full-time job, just nursing and thinking up ways to get more fluids in her, but it worked.  I'm so thankful for the Lord's hand upon us during that. 

(See your doctor if your baby is getting dehydrated.  I'm not a doctor, just a mother of four trying to share what worked for us.)