Increased Fluid Intake
Treats: Congestion; dehydration
Why increase fluids: Drinking lots of fluids (breastmilk, formula, cow’s milk, water, and broth) thins mucus secretions and keeps your baby hydrated and better-equipped to fight off germs and infection.
How much is enough? “Encourage your child to drink twice as much as usual,” recommends Dr. Sears. For breastfeeding moms, offer the breast more that you normally would and nurse for as long as your baby desires. If you use formula, supplement with a bottle of water between feedings.
Your sick baby may eat more slowly and have trouble sucking due to nasal congestion. To ease breathing at feeding time, try draining the nose first with a bulb syringe or saline drops.
Keep in mind: If your toddler is accustomed to drinking cow’s milk, don’t hold back on this fluid because you’ve heard cow’s milk causes the body to step up mucus production. “This is a myth,” says Dr. Bernstein. For a sick toddler not eating very much food, milk is a nourishing alternative. It hydrates the body with much-needed fluids and also provides calories, protein, fat, and some vitamins and minerals.