What happens if a baby drinks alcohol?

Baby drinks alcoholIt’s a pretty common occurrence. Parents or guests leave their drinks on tables or counters accessible to your baby. Next thing you know your baby has just got his first drink of alcohol in his or her life.

If your baby just drank any sort of alcohol and is experiencing any of the signs below, seek medical assistance immediately!

  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Irritability
  • vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Dehydration
  • nausea
  • Stomach problems
  • Inability to respond to gestures
  • They’re off balance and falling around
  • Look tired and sleepier than they usually are
  • Flushed skin
  • Pale face
  • sweating

If that’s not the case, please continue reading to learn what happens if a baby drinks alcohol.

Will my baby drink alcohol?

Are alcoholic beverages consumed in your home? It may be consumed in the form of a medicine, beers, a glass of champagne or the hard stuff. Even if you’re not a heavy drinker, but have babies around, it’s a serious problem when a baby consumes alcohol. Babies learn by watching you. They’re in a “monkey see- monkey do” phase until they hit puberty. So it’s a long way to go.

It’s a fact that babies are highly inquisitive and curious creatures, therefore they tend to grab and play with anything and everything they are not supposed to play with. Babies put everything in their mouths, so it makes sense if a little toddler or baby would want to try and drink anything they accomplish to get their hands on any type of drink within their grasp.

These clever little ones want exactly what they are not supposed to have! If you have alcoholic liquors nearby, your little one will most likely make an attempt to drink it. Like I said earlier, this is a common occurrence in most households where alcohol is allowed.

If your baby consumes alcohol, it’s not the end of the world tho, and no, it doesn’t make you a bad parent. Just make an effort not to let this happen again. With a few cautionary measures in place, such incidents can easily be avoided.

Giving your baby Alcohol to drink.

It is not really common, but there have been instances where people have given alcohol to their fussy babies to put them to sleep or to calm them down. People don’t realize that even the tiniest amount of alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning and may result in big problems for a baby.

If your babies love to drink champagne or wine out of your glasses and you sometimes allow the baby to take a few sips, you must stop doing this as it will only cause harm to your precious child. Although, mostly alcohol consumption by babies is purely accidental. So, what happens if a baby drink alcohol and how does it affect him or her?

Alcohol is a Poison

High consumption of alcohol causes a tremendous amount of damage to an adult body, and it can be 100 times worse for babies. Alcohol diminishes the function of the central nervous system which is responsible for body coordination and lowers levels of blood sugar. If adults drink alcohol, their blood sugars level does not decrease drastically. Alcohol drops the body temperature rapidly, and as babies’ bodies have a great surface area in comparison to their body mass, their body heat reduces quickly and can develop hypothermia quite certainly.

Furthermore, alcohol directly affects the baby’s brain. Frequent alcohol consumption affects the growth of brain cells and leads to deferred growth and a low level of basic intellect.

Babies who drink alcoholic drinks such as beer, liquor, vodka, wine, etc. by accident can face the adverse effects due to the brain not receiving appropriate amounts of glucose.

These effects may include:

  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Irritability
  • vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Dehydration
  • nausea
  • Stomach problems
  • Inability to respond to gestures

In such cases, seek immediate medical help and take your baby to the nearest emergency room to provide him or her with an IV drip of glucose (sugar) to avoid coma and other harmful effects. When your baby has consumed alcohol, you must call 911 for help. Meanwhile, you can consider the following until medical help arrives.

  • Try to observe baby’s breathing and make sure that the baby is breathing. Perform CPR if the baby stops breathing at any point.
  • Put the baby on his side, so he does not choke on his own
  • Cover the baby with a warm blanket to avoid reduction of body temperature and decrease the threat of hypothermia.

Drunk Babies

Keeping in mind that the safe quantity of alcohol for adults is measured to be around 1 to 2 drinks of alcohol, so, the hazardous quantity for a baby is going to be a rather tiny amount.

Babies who have taken the sip out of an alcoholic drink can get drunk and then act drunk, just the way adults do.

  • They might have issues walking in a straight line.
  • Talk gibberish and about things that make absolutely no sense.
  • Look tired and sleepy than they usually are.
  • Flushed skin
  • Pale face
  • sweating

They also throw up as the alcohol can infuriate the stomach. Another issue might be that the heartbeat might drop down to a hazardous level and the baby may face difficulty in breathing. There are chances of the blood pressure to decrease causing the babies to black out or even expire.

Consumption of alcohol in excess is bad for anybody. But for babies, it can create problems that are certainly not expected. Anything can be a source of alcohol; however, the possible foundation is alcoholic drinks. Ethanol existing in wine, beer, whiskey, and other alcoholic drinks is extremely dangerous for the babies.

As most alcoholic beverages come in bottles, there is also the threat that the baby might choke on the liquid if he or she tries to drink too fast.

The quantity of alcohol toxic to babies differs.

The amount of alcohol deadly to baby varies baby to baby.  Different alcoholic drinks consist of various quantities of alcohol. The alcohol affects according to the baby’s body weight and age. The stomach absorbs the alcohol rapidly into the bloodstream. Even the tiniest amounts of alcohol can cause damage to babies, much lesser than the quantities that grown-ups can endure.

Ethanol is a harmful component present in alcohol is not only found in alcoholic drinks, but it can also be found in items like:

  • Mouthwash
  • Facial cleansers and face washes
  • Cold medicines
  • Hair products like shampoos, conditioners and hair gels
  • Hand washes and hand sanitizer
  • Energy drinks
  • Lotions
  • Perfumes and colognes

The quantity of alcohol that is toxic to babies differs. On the other hand, regardless of the source of alcohol, the difficulties are somewhat similar like:

  • Excess alcohol intake relative to a baby’s body weight can lead to alcohol poisoning.

How can you keep your toddler from drinking alcohol?

  • When you are drinking your alcoholic beverage, you must use bottles that can be locked and sealed so that your baby cannot open it at all.
  • You must store your stack of alcoholic drinks like beers or wines somewhere high where your baby cannot reach and lock it up in cabinets. Keeping the alcohol in a high cupboard is a smart choice than placing it on a side table.
  • Do not be careless about leaving half-finished beverages lying around, even if your baby is not around at that moment.
  • Empty your whiskey bottles, champagne glasses, and cans before your baby can reach them.
  • It is important that you teach your baby that the drinks that his mother, father or any adult consumes are unsafe; just like you would teach your baby not to insert fingers in an open switch. The key to teaching your baby this effectively is by making an attempt to clarify that alcohol is only for adults and babies cannot have it. Try to explain your baby or demonstrate it to your baby that alcohol is not good and is harmful.
  • Store your alcohol comprising products and items such as mouthwashes and facial cleansers out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Seek medical help in case of emergencies.

About the author


Hi there! My name is Emily, a working mom with 2 kids, my little boy is 4 years old and my baby girl is 4 months and counting. Their safety and wellbeing is extremely important to me, so I try and test the latest and most useful products and ideas out there in order to ensure my babies grow up safe, healthy and happy! I believe the information I’m sharing here with you will help ease your mind (and soul) when it comes to your little one’s protection and safety throughout his or her growing years.

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