How Much Water Should A Toddler Drink and Tips To Help With Hydration

With all the picky eating and general fussiness around food in the toddler years, parents start to look for answers on how to balance the child’s meals. This leads to confusion around water too. Many parents wonder, “how much water should a toddler drink?” 

How much water should a toddler drink?

The truth is there is no real definite answer. A child’s water needs depends on his/her age, sex, activity levels, the temperature and time of year. The current recommendations for toddlers 1-2 years old is to drink between 1-4 cups of water a day and children 2 to 5 years drink about 1 to 5 cups a day.

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Importance of water for toddlers.

As children enter toddler years, many are drinking less breastmilk or being weaned off breastmilk, this reduces the amount of fluid intake and it is important to meet that with water.

Water should be the main source of hydration after age 1. The body uses water to regulate body temperature and digestion. Not just that water also helps by lubricating your spine and joints.

Water enables the removal of waste from the body by processes like sweating, urination and excretion.

For all of these reasons it is important to ensure that our little ones are adequated hydrated throughout the day.

How much water should a toddler drink?

While there isn’t an exact amount of water to be consumed, as we see with the AAP recommendations it is best to try and aim for 2-4 cups of water (16-32 ounces) per day for toddlers age 1-3.

As long as the toddler is drinking milk and eating a variety of nourishing meals made of fresh fruit and vegetables alongside their needs for liquids will be met.

How to ensure your child is hydrated and drinking enough water?

  • Check the urine color.

Keep an eye on the color of your toddler’s urine. Does it look dark yellow. When adequately hydrated the color of urine looks almost colorless or light straw colored.

  • Offer frequently throughout the day

Offer water frequently throughout the day and at meal times. Associate drinking water with certain moments in the day so you don’t forget. For example, before heading out the door, 10 minutes before the meal is set up on the table offer a few sips of water, remind your toddler to sip on water after the meal is over. 

By tying drinking water into the routine at different points we get the child into the habit of independently drinking water later.

  • Make and offer water rich foods

Include water rich fruits like water melon, muskmelon, berries, oranges and vegetables like cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, and gourds for example. 

Make soups and bone broths regularly as a part of your meal plan. Toddlers can get a lot of water through whole food like fruit and vegetables and dishes that are made with a lot of water like soups and porridge for example.

  • Make it fun 

Get your toddler in the kitchen and make lemonade together or cut up slices of cucumber and strawberries and add to their glass of water. 

Serve water in cute cups and straw bottles. Find them a design in their favorite cartoon character or theme as way to motivate them into taking more sips from the bottle.

Check what type of bottle your toddler is comfortable drinking from. Sometimes it is a design challenge more than anything else. Model to your toddler how you drink using a straw, in time they will get the hang of it.

To sum it up for you,

Toddlers age 1-3 should aim for 2-4 cups of water a day alongside other water rich foods and milk. 

Hope this blog post helped you understand your child’s hydration needs. For anymore questions regarding this topic comment below.

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About Me

I'm Ophira, mama during the day and blogger by night. I love teaching parents how to raise healthy eaters who not only love the food on their plate but also respect their hunger cues. On this blog you will find all the evidence based information you need to help you feed your toddler, easy toddler friendly recipes and lots of tips and tricks to help your picky eater.

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