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What should I do if my baby refuses to drink anything when she's sick?

Cliff Harris pediatrician

If your child is vomiting or has diarrhea it's important to make sure she's getting enough fluids to avoid dehydration.

If your child refuses her usual favorite drinks, be flexible. Watered-down juices are fine for babies older than 6 months unless they have a lot of diarrhea, in which case the sugars in juice can just make things worse. And electrolyte solutions such as Pedialyte now come in a variety of flavors that are much more palatable than the plain ones.

If your baby is vomiting, the key is to give her frequent small sips. If she already knows how to take food from a spoon, try giving her fluids one spoonful at a time.

Also consider the possibility that a sore throat could be behind her refusal to drink. In this case, give your child a pain reliever such as infants' acetaminophen and then offer some fluids 30 to 60 minutes later once the medicine has taken effect.

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