How to Tell if a Toddler Is Getting Enough Water

Water is essential for human survival, and your toddler's entire body relies on adequate amounts of water to function properly.

Your child needs between 5 and 8 cups of water each day, according to the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." If you suspect that your toddler isn't drinking enough, watch for certain signs to help you determine if she needs more fluids in her daily diet.

Urine and Bowel Movements

Pay attention to your toddler's urine and feces output.

If your child isn't drinking enough water, he might not urinate as often as normal.

His urine will be dark yellow in color, which can also signal that your child is dehydrated.

Your toddler's urine should be pale yellow, and he should urinate at least five or six times a day.

If your toddler doesn't get enough water, he might also become constipated and have a more difficult time passing stool. When he does have a bowel movement, inadequate water intake can also cause his stool to be hard and dry. While the frequency of bowel movements varies among children, your toddler's stool should be soft and well-formed if he's drinking enough water.


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When your toddler consumes enough water, he will be energized and active.

If your child isn't drinking enough, he might become tired, sluggish and resistant to physical activity. He might also be more sleepy than usual. Toddlers can become irritable, fussy and act out more often than normal when they don't drink enough water.

Physical Appearance

Adequate intake of water helps keep your toddler's skin and eyes looking healthy and well-nourished. When your toddler doesn't drink enough water and begins to get dehydrated, you'll likely notice certain physical symptoms. Dry and flaky skin is one physical symptom of insufficient water intake. Your child's eyes might look like they've sunken into his head, and he can develop a dry and sticky mouth. Few or no tears when he cries is another indication that your toddler isn't drinking enough water.


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Provide a constant supply of water to keep your toddler hydrated. Give your child a cup and refill it several times during the day. Allow your toddler to keep his cup with him when you go to the playground or run errands. If your child doesn't like the taste of plain water, add a splash of 100 percent fruit juice or a squeeze of fresh orange or lemon. Freeze water in frozen pop molds for an entertaining way to encourage your child to consume more fluids. Encourage your toddler to drink milk, which counts toward his daily fluid needs. Offer your toddler plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, which contain water and can help keep him hydrated.