Parental Guide: Identifying 8 Signs of Dehydration in Babies

Parents can safeguard their baby’s health and well-being by detecting early signs of dehydration and responding promptly. Keep reading for more information.

Parental Guide: Identifying 8 Signs of Dehydration in Babies
Guide for Parents: Recognising 8 Dehydration Symptoms in Babies

Adequate hydration is vital for everyone, especially for infants, as their small bodies are more vulnerable to fluid imbalances. Dehydration arises when a baby loses more fluids than they intake, resulting in disturbances in their body’s usual processes. It is imperative for parents to recognize the signs of dehydration in babies to take swift action and uphold their little one’s health.

Indicators of Dehydration in Infants

1. Decreased Urination

One of the initial signs of dehydration in infants is a decrease in the frequency of urination. Parents should keep track of their baby’s wet diapers, as a noticeable reduction could signal dehydration.

2. Dry Mouth and Lips

Dehydrated infants may display dryness in their mouth and lips. Insufficient saliva production can result in parched oral tissues, so it’s important to observe your baby’s oral health and moisture levels.

3. Sunken Soft Spot (Fontanelle)

Dehydration in infants can cause the soft spot on their head, known as the fontanelle, to appear sunken. This visible sign indicates that the baby’s body is deficient in adequate fluids.

4. Crying Without Tears

Though crying is a natural form of communication for babies, the absence of tears during crying spells can suggest dehydration. Tears consist predominantly of water, and their absence might indicate a fluid imbalance.

5. Irritability and Lethargy: Signs of Dehydration in Babies

Dehydration can impact a baby’s energy levels. If your baby appears unusually irritable or lethargic, and shows a lack of interest in activities, it could be a sign of dehydration.

Irritability and Lethargy: Signs of Dehydration in Babies

6. Cool and Clammy Skin

Dehydrated infants may exhibit cool and clammy skin due to decreased blood circulation. Parents should check the baby’s skin, particularly the hands and feet, for any unusual temperature changes.

7. Sunken Eyes

The eyes can serve as an indicator of a baby’s hydration status. Sunken eyes or dark circles might suggest dehydration, as the body prioritizes preserving fluid for vital functions.

Sunken Eyes

8. Sunken Cheeks and Thin, Dry Folds of Skin

Dehydration can result in a noticeable decrease in the fullness of a baby’s cheeks. Additionally, the skin on the back of the hand, abdomen, or thighs may appear thin and dry.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Dehydration in Babies

If parents notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is crucial to seek prompt medical attention. Dehydration can escalate rapidly in babies, potentially leading to serious complications if left untreated. A healthcare professional can assess the severity of dehydration and recommend appropriate interventions, such as oral rehydration solutions or intravenous fluids.


Being vigilant about your baby’s hydration is a fundamental aspect of infant care. By recognizing the early signs of dehydration and taking prompt action, parents can help ensure their baby’s health and well-being. Regular monitoring, maintaining proper feeding schedules, and seeking medical advice when necessary are essential components of keeping your baby well-hydrated and happy.