How to keep your baby hydrated in the heat

How to keep your baby hydrated in warm weather


In the hotter months, we often receive questions from mothers wanting to know how to keep their baby hydrated.

There is a misconception that young babies need extra water in the warmer months, but this isn’t the case. All babies need is more frequent breastfeeds explains Red Nose Chief Midwife, Jane Wiggill.

“Extra fluids are not necessary when baby is exclusively breastfed,” says Jane. “However in hotter months, baby may feed more frequently and for shorter periods than usual because they are thirsty – just as you are”.

Jane explains that foremilk at the beginning of the feed has a lower fat content and naturally quenches baby’s thirst. Later in the feed, as the milk becomes creamier, baby’s hunger is satisfied. Breastmilk composition changes to suit your baby and in response to weather changes.

“For older babies and toddlers who are no longer exclusively breastfed, encourage them to drink cool boiled water in a cup between breastfeeds. You can also offer extra ‘snack’ breastfeeds to aid hydration,” says Jane.

“Another refreshing idea for toddlers is to freeze fruit pieces, such as seedless watermelon, orange quarters or pineapple.”

Jane also says it’s important to pay attention to your children in the hot weather especially as some babies become more sleepy in hot weather – particularly when travelling.

“Be aware that you may need to wake your baby for feeds to ensure they don’t become dehydrated.”

Jane’s top tips for signs of hydration:

  • 8 wet/dirty nappies in 24 hours or if toilet trained, note that the urine be odourless and clear/very pale in colour.
  • Good skin colour and muscle tone.
  • Baby is alert and reasonably contented and does not want to feed constantly.

For more tips to help keep your baby and children safe this summer, check out our Safe Sleep Advice Hub.