Is it Safe to Give Pedialyte for Infants?
Your baby is sick, and you are desperate for a way to help him hold down some liquids. Every mother knows this feeling. Watching your child vomit and feel horrible tears a mother’s heart apart.
Typically, doctors and experienced parents advocate giving Pedialyte for infants when your child is experiencing frequent vomiting or diarrhea. It can help restore their vital electrolytes and get them on the mend again.
What is Pedialyte?
Most parents have noticed the bottles of Pedialyte lining the shelves near baby formula. It is a drink, similar to Gatorade, which provides oral electrolytes to your child.
Pedialyte replaces the electrolytes lost because of vomiting diarrhea. It will not stop your child from being sick. You should try other methods to help reduce these symptoms.
The best reason to use baby Pedialyte is to prevent loss of fluids. When a young child vomits or has diarrhea a few times in a short period, they are at risk for dehydration. Their body has lost too much water.
Dehydration is quite dangerous, especially for infants, and they should be treated immediately. When younger than six months, a child shouldn’t go longer than six hours without a wet diaper. If your child is lethargic, has sunken eyes or is very irritable, you should contact a doctor for advice.
Common signs of dehydration include:
- Running a fever
- Extreme sleepiness – lethargy
- Extremely cranky or irritable
- Dark, very little urine
- No wet diapers for four to six hours
- Soft spot on the top of the head is sunken in
Parents can also give Pedialyte during hot weather. If it is sweltering outside, you can give your child some Pedialyte, just like you would drink an electrolyte drink if outside for a long time.
Children can lose electrolytes through perspiration as well. If you plan to take a trip to the zoo, pack some Pedialyte, instead of other options, for your child.
How Much Should I Give to My Infant?
Pedialyte recommends always consulting a doctor before giving your baby their drink. An infant can dehydrate much faster than an older child.
- They recommend giving 8 ounces to children 1 and older, every 1 to 4 hours, for a total of 32 to 64 ounces in one day. This recommendation does not apply to children under the age of one.
There is no one recommendation that your doctor will give. Some doctors say 1 ounce in between feedings for babies as young six weeks is appropriate. Other doctors advocate giving a half teaspoon for every week of age.
In general, children six months to one year can take one to two tablespoons every 15 to 20 minutes. For children under six months old, the maximum recommendation is one tablespoon every 20 minutes.
It is best always to contact before dosage. It may not seem like a huge deal, but you want to make sure you aren’t doing more harm than good! Also, it isn’t a good idea to mix Pedialyte with other beverages because it is reducing its effectiveness.
Treating Your Child Under One Year Old with Pedialyte
When your baby is sick, the best thing to do is the doctor. They may want you to bring the child in to be seen, but your doctor can also make a recommendation over the phone for the correct dosage.
You may be tempted to give your child Gatorade, but there is a lot more sugar in it than Pedialyte. While plain water is fine, it doesn’t contain the electrolytes either.
The next step will depend on if you breastfeed or use formula. Typically, doctors will recommend the parent stops giving formula until the child is done vomiting.
Milk and soy based products can irritate the lining of the stomach, leading to the continuation of the illness. During this time frame, the parent should give the child the recommended dose of Pedialyte infant instead of formula for 24 hours.
Breastfed babies have different recommendations than formula fed children. Breastmilk is a clearer and thinner fluid than formula. It is designed to be digested quicker and easier.
Even if your child vomits or poops some of it out again, there is a better chance that they also absorbed a small amount. The mother also passes critical immune factors to the child during the time. Breastmilk is known to change properties when a child is sick.
Breastmilk is crucial when a child is sick. A nursing baby should have free access to nurse whenever they want. There is no better way to help your child feel better than to nurse as much as possible.
Small, frequent feedings are the best way to keep your breastfed baby hydrated. However, you can also give them infant Pedialyte after consulting their pediatrician. Make sure to keep the breastmilk as their primary nutrition.
Forms of Pedialyte
When you head to the store, there are three different kinds of Pedialyte: liquid, powdered and popsicles. Always follow the direction that your doctor gave you.
- Liquid Form doesn’t need to be mixed with water. All you have to do is shake the bottle before each use. You can purchase the liquid Pedialyte is multiple flavors.
- Powdered Form has to be mixed with water and stirred until dissolved. The powder form is not for children younger than one-year-old.
- Freezer pops are intended for older children. Toddlers love them. They are perfect for hot weather or picky kids who may not like to drink something new.
While it is safe to give Pedialyte for babies, you shouldn’t give it to children under one year of age without consulting a doctor. There is no manufacturer recommendation for the correct dosage.
Instead, let your doctor know that your child is sick and give your child Pedialyte based on their suggestions.
Pedialyte is a great way to replace the electrolytes your child has lost because of vomiting. For your child older than one year old, follow their guidelines. We hope that this article was helpful! Have you used Pedialyte for an infant?