2 year old tantrums

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), babies are made up of 78% water! When a baby reaches one year old, that amount drops to about 65%. To compare, adult men are made up of about 60% water, and adult women are 55%.

So what does this mean?

Even though babies and kids are made up of a larger percentage of water than adults, they don’t need as much water as an adult would. Interestingly, the amount of water a child needs depends on his/her weight, height, and physical activity. Generally, though, the amount of water a child should drink per day depends on his/her age. So how much water do kids need by age?

Keep reading to learn how much water your kids need every day!

How Much Water Do Kids Need? Make Sure Your Kids are Getting Enough!


Infants don’t need to drink water before six months old. Between 6-months to 12-months, they don’t necessarily have to have water, but you can give them sips of water—or a few ounces a day—to get them used to drink it. As a rule of thumb, infants only need to start drinking water when they start eating solid foods.

As long as a baby is regularly feeding, is a healthy weight, and is not ill, you won’t have to worry about him/her getting dehydrated. However, it’s important to remember not to over hydrate your baby. Doing so can cause health problems.

Toddlers and Preschoolers

For children between the ages of 1-4, they need about 4-6 cups per day. However, if you live in a hotter climate or your child is more active, s/he will need to drink more water than usual. The exact amount of water your child will need will depend on his/her weight, height, physical activity, and the area’s climate. Some children may need more water than others.

Children will get some of this water intake from food and other beverages like milk and juice, but try to limit the amount of juice and milk children drink. Because juice is high in sugar and doesn’t have any fiber, it isn’t as healthy as water. In the end, though, because kids get water from other things they eat and drink, your child probably won’t have to drink a full 6 cups of water per day.

If you are struggling to motivate your toddler to drink water, there are some easy steps you can take to encourage them to drink more. For one, introduce water to your toddler at an early age so s/he will get used to drinking it. Furthermore, you can make drinking water fun by getting your child a fun cup or making ice cubes with fun shapes. Last but not least, the more you set the example and drink water yourself, the more your little one will too!

Elementary School-Aged

It goes without saying that as children grow up and get bigger, they need to drink more and more water. From the age of 5-8, children should drink about 6-7 cups of water per day.

By the age of 9, children should be drinking about 7-8 cups of water per day.

When kids reach the age of 14, they should be drinking just as much as an adult, which is 8-11 cups of water per day.

If you live in a hot climate where temperatures reach or exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s recommended that children and adults alike drink about 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes before, during, and after going outside.