5 Tips for Staying Hydrated When the Heat is On

June 15, 2022 Children

It’s important to stay hydrated during outdoor fun and on hot, steamy days. So, with all the beverage choices at the grocery store, how do you choose?

Do children need sports drinks? Are juice drinks healthy? Is water enough on super hot days? To help navigate the world of summer beverages, here are five tips for keeping kids hydrated — and healthy — all summer long.

Tip #1

WATER, WATER AND MORE WATER

When it comes to hydration, water rules. Teach children water is the drink of choice between meals; it will go a long way towards their well-being. Get your child a portable water cup to sip on throughout the day. If your child is out in hot weather, make sure they get water before, during and after play.

Not a fan of water? Try adding a little flavor with a squeeze of lemon, fresh fruit or a splash of juice.

Offer 100% juice at mealtime only

100% juice can be healthy, but be careful not to overdo it. Toddlers’ small stomachs can fill up on juice, causing them to eat less at mealtime. Too much juice can also cause cavities, especially when children sip on it all day.

The solution? Only serve juice with meals and keep water as the between-meal thirst quencher. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), juice should not be introduced until after 6 months of age and should only be given in a cup — never in a bottle. The AAP also recommends kids ages 1 to 6 years limit juice to 4 to 6 ounces daily.

Tip #2

Tip #3

Serve hydrating treats

Cool treats, like popsicles and frozen fruit, are great, and tasty ways to hydrate children. Check the nutrition labels of store-bought popsicles as many have added sugar and artificial dyes instead of natural colors and sugar from real fruit.

You can make your own ice pops using fresh fruit or juice. Just puree soft fresh fruit like cantaloupe or peaches in the blender, adding juice as needed. Pour into popsicle molds or small paper cups, then cover with foil. Poke in a wooden craft stick and freeze. You can also use 100% fruit juice by itself or mixed with a bit of yogurt. Have fun experimenting and let your child help!

Use sports drinks when needed

Sports drinks have added minerals like salt, which can be lost when we sweat a lot. Sports drinks for kids can be helpful when children get more than an hour of strenuous exercise or multiple bouts of exercise on any given day, especially when it’s hot.

Tip #4

Tip #5

Keep sugar sweetened beverages at bay

A cold glass of lemonade, punch or soda on a hot day may sound good, but it’s important to remember these drinks can have a ton of added sugar and little real juice. Research shows children who regularly consume sugar-sweetened beverages are at risk of gaining more weight than is right for their bodies.

Keep sugar-sweetened beverages as an occasional treat, like for parties and special dinners out: not something your child drinks daily.

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: