Hydration Guide for Toddlers: How Much to Drink Daily

How Much Should My Toddler Drink in a Day?

Discover your toddler’s perfect daily fluid intake, from milk to water and juice. Learn how to keep them hydrated and healthy with practical tips.

How Much Should My Toddler Drink in a Day?


How Much Should My Toddler Drink in a Day?
Infant baby girl drinks water from baby cup holded by her mother

Have you ever wondered how much your little one should be sipping during the day? We’ve got you covered! Ensuring your toddler stays hydrated is like giving them a boost for their growing adventure. From milk to water and a bit of juice, we’ll break down the right amounts and how to keep them interested in staying refreshed. So, let’s dive into the essential guide on healthily quenching your toddler’s thirst.

Healthy Drinks for Toddlers


Toddlers between 1 and 2 should consume 16 to 24 ounces of milk daily. It’s like two to three cups. This milk provides essential calcium and vitamin D for those growing bones, helping them become strong and sturdy.
Once your child reaches the milestone of 2 years, 16 ounces (or two cups) of milk daily is usually enough. They are drinking more than this amount might make them feel full, potentially reducing their appetite for other essential foods.


Water is like the unsung hero of beverages for your toddler. They should aim to drink around 4 to 6 cups of water daily. That’s roughly 32 to 48 ounces. Think of it as providing the hydration needed to keep their little bodies running smoothly.
To ensure they stay well-hydrated, spread their water consumption throughout the day. Offer sips during meals, playtime, and whenever they seem thirsty. It’s like a steady flow of refreshment.


Juice, while tasty, should be enjoyed in moderation. Toddlers aged 1 to 3 years should limit their juice intake to 4 ounces. That’s like half a cup. Make sure it’s 100% fruit juice without added sugars for a healthier choice.
Remember that whole fruits are an even better option because they provide essential nutrients and fiber, which is excellent for digestion and overall health.

How to Encourage a Toddler to Drink More:

  1. Be a Role Model: 
    Children often learn by example. When they see you regularly drinking water, it encourages them to do the same. Make hydration a family affair.
  2. Fun Cups: 
    Invest in cute, spill-proof cups with their favorite characters or colors. An appealing mug can make drinking more exciting and enjoyable for your toddler.
  3. Variety: 
    Keep things interesting by offering a variety of beverages. You can occasionally introduce small amounts of 100% fruit juice alongside milk and water. Mix it up to make hydration more engaging.
  4. Establish a Routine: 
    Create a drinking routine, such as having water with meals and during snack times. Consistency helps reinforce the habit of staying hydrated.
  5. Temperature Preferences: 
    Some toddlers have preferences for the temperature of their drinks. Experiment to find out if your child prefers their beverages cold, at room temperature, or slightly warm.
  6. Make it a Game: 
    Turn drinking into a fun game or challenge. For instance, you can set a timer and see if your child can finish a glass of water before it beeps. It’s like turning hydration into an exciting adventure.

When to Talk to Your Child’s Doctor About Hydration:

It’s essential to be vigilant about your child’s hydration. If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to consult your child’s healthcare provider:

  • Signs of Dehydration: 
    Look for symptoms like dry mouth, sunken eyes, dark-colored urine, extreme fussiness, or unusual lethargy.
  • Reduced Urine Output: 
    If your child significantly decreases the number of wet diapers, it could be a sign of dehydration.
  • Underlying Medical Conditions: 
    Children with certain medical conditions like diarrhea, fever, or vomiting are at higher risk of dehydration. If these conditions persist, seek medical advice promptly.


Remember that every child is unique, and their hydration needs may vary. Please pay close attention to their cues and encourage a balanced approach to fluids. Seek professional guidance to ensure your toddler stays healthy and well-hydrated.

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