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Parents take great care of their baby’s diet and nutritional needs. However, water is also equally important for your growing toddler. Water is not only required for proper functioning of the brain but it also helps in proper functioning of your toddler’s muscles. Many-a-times parents undermine the importance of water thinking that their toddler can compensate his water intake through other fluids, and thus they may skip feeding water to their toddler. Though other fluids make up the body’s fluid intake they cannot be substituted for water at all times. Here in the following article, we shall discuss how much water your toddler should be drinking in a day and what all you can do to fulfil that requirement.
How Much Water should your Toddler Consume in a Day?
Water is very important for the growth and development of your toddler. Therefore, parents should get their children into the habit of drinking water from a young age only. If you are wondering how much water should 2-year-old drink per day, the answer is on an average your 1 to 3-year-old toddler needs or the recommended water intake of toddlers are 5-6 cups of water in a day. This water may come from milk, fruit juices or from the food. The water requirements of a toddler also depend on the climate. If you are staying in a hot and humid climate then your toddler may require more water to prevent dehydration and exhaustion. Also, if your toddler is physically very active he may need more water to keep his body hydrated. In case your toddler has some illness such as cold, flu or diarrhoea then your baby should have more water.
How to Know Whether your Toddler is Having Enough Water?
Water is an essential requirement of a human body and your toddler requires adequate amounts of water for his body and brain to function properly. In case you feel your toddler is not having enough water, you should look out for the following signs:
1. Urine and Bowel Movements
A toddler who drinks the adequate amount of water in a day may urinate five to six times a day. However, if your toddler is not drinking enough water his urination frequency may drop and you may also notice the colour of your toddler’s urine changing from pale yellow to dark yellow. Your toddler may also experience trouble in passing his stools and your toddler may become constipated. Therefore, darker urine and harder bowel movements are the indicators that your toddler is not having enough water.
Water is a basic requirement for all our body parts to function properly. In the dearth of water, your toddler may appear tired and low on energy. You may also notice a change in his sleeping pattern and he may appear to be more sleepy and sluggish. Lack of water can make your baby irritable and fussy.
3. Physical Appearance
Inadequate water intake by your toddler can become evident from your toddler’s physical appearance too. A healthy toddler has shiny skin and bright eyes; on the other hand, a toddler who isn’t drinking ample water may have dry and flaky skin. His eyes may appear sunken and lack the healthy shine. His mouth may appear parched and dry and he may shed very few or no tears while crying.
How to Encourage your Toddler to Drink Water?
If your toddler is not drinking enough water then it may cause great concern to the parents. There is no need to worry as here we have some measures that you may follow in case your toddler not drinking water or the measures that you can take to encourage your toddler to drink:
1. Lead By Example
Your little one loves to follow you and most of the times will do things that you do. Therefore, if you want your toddler to get into a healthy habit of drinking water, the best you can do so is lead by example. Drink often in front of your toddler and he will surely follow you.
2. Get A Fun Cup
Buy cup with your toddler’s favourite cartoon character or other things that interest him. Kids love their belongings and they like to use them. Getting them their own cup and letting him have an easy access to it, may just do the trick.
3. Adding Some Flavour
Boring things do not appeal to the toddlers. Make things interesting and see how you will get your toddler’s attention. Throw in a slice of lemon or an orange wedge for some added flavour to the water. You’ll be surprised to see how your little one will polish off his whole cup within no time. You can be experimental and try different flavours or try flavours that work best for your toddler.
4. Make Water Accessible
It will be a good idea keep water for your toddler at various places in the house that he has an easy access to. Keep water within his sight that he can get hold off whenever he is thirsty.
5. Indulge In Some Drinking Games
Get your toddler involved in some fun and exciting games that involves sipping water. If there are other kids in the house, you can have a competition too. It is a great way of making your toddler drink.
6. Fun With Ice-Cubes
You can set some interesting ice-moulds and set ice in them. Throw in two to three cubes in your toddler’s sipper cup. The fun and interesting shapes will lure your toddler to drink up from his cup.
What Types of Drinks can be Given to a Toddler besides Water?
Here are some of the options that you can be given to a toddler beside water:
1. Fruit Juices
Freshly squeezed fruit juices are a great option to fulfil your toddler’s daily water intake. It is recommended to offer juice to your toddler in its original form and refrain from adding any sugar into it. You may give pomegranate, orange, sweet lime or various other fruit juices to your toddler.
2. Clear Soups
Clear soups are a great way of increasing your toddler’s water intake. The warm soups have great nutritional value and taste also.
3. Milk And Curd
Milk and curd are healthy alternatives to water. Most toddlers love to have milk and thus it eases your worry of feeding fluids to your toddler. However, refrain from feeding too much milk or milk products to your toddler.
4. Juicy Vegetables And Fruits
Getting fluids in from juicy fruits and vegetable in a very healthy option. It also provides ample fibre to your toddler. Cucumber, watermelon, cherry etc are some of the options that you can try.
5. Refrain From Giving Packed Juices
Packed fruit juices contain large amounts of sugar that may cause harm to your toddler.
6. Do Not Give Caffeinated Beverages
Beverages which have caffeine in them tend to cause dehydration and thus may harm your toddler.
7. Give Plain Or Flavored Water
The best option to pep up your toddler’s fluid intake in by giving him water. You may add various fruit pieces into the water to add a little zing.
Do’s and Don’ts
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts that you should follow:
- Keep feeding water or other liquids at regular intervals.
- Sipper cups are a great way of making the transition from the bottle to cup, introduce it when your toddler is able to hold things better.
- Keep the water cup handy, wherever you go.
- You may add flavours to plain water.
- Do not give sugar-based juices or drinks to your toddler.
- Do not give caffeinated beverages or drinks.
As a parent, it is your duty to pay heed to how much water your toddler is drinking. And, if you have any concerns regarding the same, you should get in touch with your doctor.