Here are recommendations for adequate intake, this is a guide and should not be interpreted as a specific requirement. Higher intake will be required for children who are physically active or exposed to hot environments. Obese children may also require higher total water intake.
|Age||Water from Drinks|
|0-6 months||120 ml per kg|
|9-13 years (girls)||1200-2100ml|
|9-13 years (boys)||1400-2300ml|
|14-18 years (girls)||1400-2500ml|
|14-18 years (boys)||1400-2500ml|
What you drink plays an important role in how your bladder behaves. Regular fluid intake will help your child’s bladder to hold larger volumes of urine. If drinks are limited the bladder doesn’t stretch and it can make problems like bedwetting worse. Drink at least 6-8 cups of drink a day.
1 before school, 3 at school, 3 in the evening, Last drink at least 1h before bed.
Don’t worry! Things might get worse before they get better – a bladder this is not used to storing much wee won’t instantly manage increasing drinks. It takes time to encourage the bladder to behave.
The best drinks for children are water and milk as they will not damage teeth. Fizzy drinks and sugary squash/cordial can provide excess energy and lead to unnecessary weight gain.
Offering drinks with straws can encourage children to drink more and quicker. Timed water bottles can help at school if open cups are not available.
Concentrated wee is not good for bladders. It can irritate the bladder and make it squeeze when it shouldn’t. The urine colour chart is a simple tool that can be used to assess if children are drinking enough fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated. If the urine colour matches the colours number 1, 2 or 3 they are hydrated. If the urine colour matches colours 4-7 they are dehydrated and need to drink more fluid. Some medicines and vitamins can discolour the urine. Whilst drinking more water may encourage children to go to the toilet more often, achieving a healthy toilet function for children can result in fewer soiling incidents and prevent urinary tract infections.
A reward chart for drinks is a great way to encourage regular fluid intake. Taking regular drinks is really important to help the bladder stretch.