Pedialyte helps prevent dehydration by replacing the nutrients and electrolytes lost after diarrhea or vomiting. Learn how much you should give your 6-month-old.
When my children were babies, Pedialyte was a go-to beverage when they were sick. The oral electrolyte solution was inexpensive, tasted great and worked fast to rehydrate. It was also available in several forms, including liquids, powders, and freezer pops. Even when I couldn’t get them to drink anything, they would always suck on a popsicle.
While Pedialyte is designed for children and is therefore a mild solution, too much can be harmful. Pedialyte contains potassium, sodium, and some carbohydrates in the form of artificial sweeteners.
It should be used temporarily in infants to rehydrate during an illness. Consuming too much Pedialyte without food for more than two days can cause green, watery stools, known as “starvation stools,” according to Summit Medical Group.
Many parents wonder how much Pedialyte they should give their baby.
“For infants under 1 year of age: Consult with your doctor,” says Abbott Laboratories, the makers of Pedialyte. “For children 1 year and older: Begin with small frequent sips every 15 minutes, increasing serving size as tolerated.”
Giving an Infant Pedialyte
Many pediatricians recommend giving babies Pedialyte if they’ve been vomiting or having diarrhea. The proper Pedialyte dosage for infants depends on their age and weight. Babies younger than 12 months can be given breast milk, formula, or electrolyte solutions like Pedialyte to fight dehydration, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
The pediatric hospital recommends the following dosages of liquid to work up to gradually:
- 10 lbs.: At least 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) of liquid per hour
- 15 lbs.: At least 2 ½ ounces (6 tablespoons) of liquid per hour
- 20 lbs.: At least 3 ½ ounces (1/2 of a large glass) of liquid per hour
- 40 lbs.: At least 6 ½ ounces (1 large glass) of liquid per hour
- 60 lbs.: At least 10 ounces (1 ½ large glasses) of liquid per hour
The average 6 month old weighs between 14.8 and 18.8 lbs., according to Baby Center. Therefore, most 6 months old would need at least 2 ½ to 3 ounces of liquid each hour. Again, it’s worth noting that you should discuss this with your pediatrician before making a decision.
Three Types of Pedialyte
The classic Pedialyte comes in a liquid form that most babies will happily suck down due to the delicious array of flavors like grape, strawberry, and orange.
Pedialyte Powder Packs
The Pedialyte Powder Packs are a convenient way to get your baby the electrolytes he needs at home or on-the-go. Just add water and they’re ready for use. Just like the classic liquids, the powder packs are available in a variety of tasty flavors.
Pedialyte Freezer Pops
Pedialyte Freezer Pops provide a cooling treat to babies who are ill and feverish. Choose from flavors like cherry, raspberry, and blue. Just pop the box into your freezer for a couple hours and the freezer pops are ready for your little one to enjoy.
Signs of Dehydration
If your baby continues to nurse or take formula as normal, Pedialyte may not be needed. However, infants that are not taking in their normal amount of liquids during feedings may need an electrolyte supplement like Pedialyte. Look for signs of dehydration that could indicate that your baby needs the additional nutrients and hydration. Common signs of hydration in babies include:
- Dry mouth
- Less skin elasticity
- Decrease or absence of tears
- Eyes and fontanel (soft spot) sunken
- Fewer wet diapers
- Wrinkled skin
Children can become easily dehydrated if they have diarrhea or vomiting which causes the body to lose more fluids and salts than they take in. Infants younger than 6 months of age are at an even higher risk of dehydration, making it essential to restore balance quickly.
Fever can increase the loss of fluids through skin, contributing to dehydration. If you notice signs of severe dehydration such as a weak pulse or rapid breathing, call 911 immediately.
When the body loses too much water it has to work harder to function. Pedialyte helps restore hydration, nutrients, and electrolytes in infants and children of all ages. If you’re not sure how much Pedialyte to give your 6 month old, contact your pediatrician for further guidance.