Signs of dehydration in toddlers/Babies & tips to help.


C was in hospital last week. One of the issues he had was severe dehydration, which in turn caused him to have low blood sugar levels.

It all started with vomiting that lasted for 3/4 days. We were making sure he was having sips of water when he could even though he was brining it all back up again. We thought at least some of the liquid would have been getting into his system.

As the days went on we presumed he was just getting more poorly with the virus .. little did we know he was becoming severely dehydrated. It turns out just drinking water wasn’t doing him any good at all!

Signs of dehydration in toddlers:

  • Dry skin or dry lips
  • Fewer wet nappies than usual
  • Cold hands & feet (even though the child might have a temperature)
  • Dark coloured urine that has a strong smell
  • Sunken eyes
  • Pale complexion
  • Lethargy (less activity than normal)
  • Confusion/staring off and not concentrating/Irritability (more crying, fussiness)
  • Crying with no tears

If your toddler/child is showing any of the above symptoms, you really need to seek medical help. Through dehydration the organs will suffer and the kidneys could have permanent damage.

It turned out C had the Rotavirus and he was admitted into hospital so he could have Intravenous fluids and glucose. As a result of being dehydrated his blood sugars dropped too low and this also required treatment.

Now the thing we didn’t realise is when a child is vomiting and loosing fluids, water really isn’t sufficient. You need to offer sugary drinks to keep their blood sugars stable. Offer your child sugary squash or flat lemonade (I know all the things you are usually told to avoid for healthy teeth!)  or if you can get them to drink it offer oral rehydration solutions (such as Dioralyte. This is clinically proven to provide fast and effective replacement of electrolytes and treats the dehydration)  We presumed as long as he was getting water, he was keeping himself hydrated …. how wrong were we!

After a 4 night stay I am happy to say he’s back to his usual happy self.







  1. Oh how worrying that must have been awful for you all. I would have thought water would be sufficient too! Thanks for the tips and for linking up to #TheList xx
    (Oh if you can make our badge link to one of our blogs that would be awesome!, thanks xx)

    • Lisa Reply

      It’s surprising how many people (like us) who thought water would be enough. At least we know for next time. Dentists are always saying how bad sugary drinks are for you, so you try and avoid them especially for little ones, but it turns out it can sometimes be crucial to have them.
      I have linked the badge – sorry I didn’t do this last night. I’m new to link ups 🙂 I know for the future now though 🙂 xxx

  2. Oh very scary, poor little dude. Glad to hear he is back to his usual self. I would have taught water was just enough too, 7up it is in the future.

    • Lisa Reply

      Thank you very much. Glad I managed to pass on some vital tips x

  3. Can’t imagine how scary that must have been for you all and hope all is better now! These tips are really useful and hopefully someone finds them helpful, I’ll be sure to keep them in mind. Thanks for linking up #mummymonday xx

    • Lisa Reply

      Thank you – I hope someone finds them helpful at some point too x

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