In this guide:
When your baby is sick with a stomach ailment, dehydration can hit hard and fast. As mothers, it is vital that we know the signs so we can quickly figure out the best way to help our children. While you should always refer to your doctor for serious, ongoing medical issues, you certainly do not have to feel helpless at home.
Pedialyte is a product designed to help rehydrate during or after a bout of diarrhea and/or vomiting. It provides a balanced formula of sugar and electrolytes that can help get a little body back in balance.
Too much of a good thing can sometimes have consequences, however, so let’s talk about Pedialyte and how much of it you should give your six-month-old.
What is Pedialyte?
Pedialyte has been rehydrating people of all ages for over five decades. It has a balanced mixture of vital electrolytes (like sodium and potassium) and sugar, replacing what your baby needs without overdoing it on the sweet factor. (source)
You can buy this medical grade beverage in several unique forms.
Pedialyte Classic: A liquid formula, this product comes in several flavors. It can replace the fluids and zinc lost during illness, and also restores electrolyte balance.
Pedialyte AdvancedCare: Also available in a few different flavors, this formula does the work of Pedialyte classic with the added bonus of PreActiv Prebiotics. Prebiotics are a stepping stone to the creation of probiotics, which are necessary for good digestion. (source)
Pedialyte AdvancedCare Plus: A rehydrating mixture of zinc and prebiotics, this formula contains 33% more electrolytes than the AdvancedCare Pedialyte.
Pedialyte Powder Packs: All the power of Pedialyte classic, but in powder form. Pick from one of the five offered flavors and dissolve one packet into 16 fl oz of water.
Pedialyte AdvancedCare Plus Electrolyte Powder: Along with the benefits of the classic formula, the AdvancedCare Plus contains 33% more electrolytes as well as PreActiv Prebiotics.
Personally, I’m a big fan of planning ahead for everything, even those crappy scenarios that we hope won’t happen. And let’s face it, your baby having tummy troubles will probably be part of your mothering journey. With this in mind, I recommend talking to your pediatrician before your baby ever gets sick so that your doctor can help you pick the best Pedialyte product for your child.
Correct Pedialyte Dosage for a 6-Month-Old
Now that you have decided on a Pedialyte formula that is right for your family, the big question is what amount to give your six-month-old child. Remember, if you are ever feeling unsure of a dosage, reach out to a medical professional for guidance.
The amount of liquid a child should be ingesting is based on their weight. A rule of thumb is that they need one teaspoon of fluid per hour, (in this case, Pedialyte), for every pound of their weight.
At six months, the average girl is 15.8 lbs. Boys of the same age will be 17.4 lbs on average. (source)
With this in mind, you can give your child about 2.5 ounces to 3 ounces of Pedialyte per hour. (source)
A 6-month-old of average weight can be given 2.5 to 3 ounces of Pedialyte per hour.
It is advised that you introduce this slowly over the course of a few minutes, starting with a teaspoon at a time. If your baby vomits, wait one hour before attempting to give them any more fluids. (source)
Does Pedialyte Have Side Effects?
Virtually anything we put into our bodies, or the bodies of our babies, carries some risk.
The most common side effect of Pedialyte is vomiting.
Other side effects can be more serious. While rare, you will want to contact your doctor if your baby:
- Has an increased heart rate
- Experiences muscle twitching
- Is irritable
- Exhibits swelling in feet or legs
- Is restlessness
- Has convulsions
Allergic reactions to Pedialyte are uncommon. However, you will want to seek medical assistance if you notice your baby is:
- Has swelling in face, tongue, or throat regions
- Developing a rash
- Seems very dizzy
- Having trouble breathing (source)
Can I Mix Pedialyte With Soda or Juice etc…
This is not recommended.
Pedialyte is effective because the formula is finely tuned to have the appropriate amounts of electrolytes and sugars per dosing amounts.
By using juices or other beverages, the balance of ingredients could easily be thrown off. This could make the Pedialyte less effective at best, and dangerous at worst.
Allowing your baby too much sugar runs the risk of fluid being drawn back into the intestinal tract, thus making diarrhea worse. (source)
Can I Still Breastfeed When Giving Pedialyte?
Breastfeeding provides your baby with much-needed comfort, and our little ones need to feel safe when they are feeling sick.
Aside from the snuggle factor, nursing not only provides additional hydration, but it also is always working to make sure your baby is getting the necessary antibodies to combat illnesses.
You will want to have shorter than normal nursing sessions every two hours. You can increase the amount of time your baby is suckling as she begins to get her tolerance back and return to your normal feeding schedule once she has stopped vomiting for eight hours.
Be Sure to Call Your Doctor If Your Baby
- Has no tears when crying
- Does not urinate for six hours
- Has a dry mouth
- Is breathing irregularly
- Vomits blood
- Is hard to awaken
- Is feverish for 72 hours
Be sure to keep on eye on your baby’s “soft spot” located at the top of her head. Should this area have a flattened or sunken appearance, it is a sign of dehydration. (source)
Having a sick baby is a source of nightmares for moms and dads. It is easy to jump to the worst case scenario in our heads, while at the same time worrying that we are over-reacting.
The odds are good that by maintaining proper hydration, in this case by giving 2.5 to 3 ounces of Pedialyte every hour, your baby will be back to her healthy, happy self before you know it.
However, it is better to ask for help than live with regret. Reach out to your pediatrician when your baby is vomiting or having diarrhea so that they can give you medical advice that is tailored to your child’s needs. If you ever sense that your child requires immediate medical attention, get your baby to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.