By: Christine Cox, The Choosy Mommy
Capri has always been my drink chugger. As soon as you hand her a drink, she drinks all of it. Then she usually asks for more, in which I oblige. It is rare that she leaves a cup with any kind of liquid in it. This goes for all drinks: water, milk, juice, smoothies, etc. I used to worry that she was drinking too much, especially when we were potty training. We were in the bathroom every 10 minutes! And then I would wonder if she was getting enough to drink since she was always chugging her drinks. My mind was going in so many directions. So I talked to our pediatrician.
There are many factors that come into play when discussing how much a child should drink in a day. Age, weight and even gender are considerations for determining the proper amount of liquid that a child needs. The weather, the child’s activity level, and the overall health of the child are also reasons for drinking more or less.
According to Reliant Medical Group, toddlers who weigh the following should drink, on average, this amount of water and milk in a day to stay properly hydrated:
- Children age 1, weighing 30 pounds or less need to drink 32 to 40 ounces
- Children 31 to 41 pounds need to drink 40 to 48 ounces
- Children 42 to 63 pounds need to drink 48 to 56 ounces
Pediatricians also advise parents to serve only 100% fruit juice because of the sugar and extra calories in sweetened juices or juice cocktails. To ensure your children aren't drinking too much juice, follow these guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Birth to 6 months: No fruit juice, unless it's used to relieve constipation.
- 6 to 12 months: Limit juice intake to 4 to 6 ounces and serve it in a cup (not a bottle) to avoid tooth decay. (According to AAP.org, babies should drink breastmilk or formula for the first year of life. Try to avoid introducing juice until child is a toddler. If juice is introduced, wait until 6-9 months and limit consumption to 4-6 ounces a day).
- 1 to 6 years: Up to 6 ounces per day, again in a cup, not a bottle.
- 7 years and older: Up to 12 ounces a day.
If you are concerned your child is drinking too much, or too little, try to chart the amount your child eats and drinks in a week and discuss the topic with your pediatrician.
When it came to my daughter, I chalked her drinking habits up to being highly active. Her urine output and color were always normal for her and her skin was not dry at all; three highly noticeable sign of dehydration. Anytime she asks for a drink, I provide her with one, no matter if it is morning, noon or night. I know a lot of parents try to stop offering fluids at a certain time when nighttime potty training. Please take into consideration how active your child was all day before declining your child a drink at night.
If you need to help your children get excited about drinking, check out our song from the My Wiggle Makes Me Giggle CD, My Choosy Cup.
Do you provide easy access to water all day? Do your children drink a lot of water? How much, on average, would you say they drink in a day?
About the Author: Christine Cox is the blog master for Choosy Kids and owner of The Choosy Mommy. She has always had a passion for writing and is honored to contribute her work to this blog. Most of her writing inspiration comes from her daughter, Capri, who is fun-loving and full of energy, and son Cam, who is learning new things everyday. Click here to learn more about Christine.