When can the baby start drinking water?
In general, experts say that the baby shouldn’t drink water until he’s about 6 months old. Until then, he gets all the hydration he needs from breast milk or formula, even in hot weather. Once the baby is 6 months old, it’s okay to give him sips of water when he’s thirsty. Don’t overdo it, though, as it might give him a tummy ache or make him too full to eat well. It can also interfere with the absorption of nutrients from milk. After his first birthday, when the baby’s eating solids and drinking whole milk, let him drink as much water as he likes. Below is a time line which specifically shows when the babies can drink water:
From birth – 3 months
Newborns should not be given water. Having a tiny belly, a newborn baby must not be given a bottle with water, which would fill its belly and take the place of milk. In addition, too much water will disturb the normal balance of electrolytes in their bodies and can affect brain and heart function. As the doctor recommends that there is no need of water if the baby is taking breast milk, then also if he or she suffers from any disease, then parents can take the advice of the doctor and give them a spoon of water.
From 4-6 months
Although giving some water to the infant of this age is not dangerous, it is not necessary. Research shows breastfed babies do not need additional water even in tropical places when temperatures can rise above 100°F daily. Babies who feed on milk formula may be given some water (about an ounce or even two) during hot weather, but it is best to ask the pediatrician for advice.
Water should never take the place of breast milk and formula should not be diluted with additional water.Even in the hot and dry weather breast milk helps to keep body dehydrated. Even after the breast milk if any baby needs water, then their parents can take the advice of the doctor and give them 2 to 3 tablespoon of water.
Around 5-7 months
Babies of this age are able to hold objects and can learn drinking liquids from a cup. Give the baby a sippy cup that does not have a valve, so he can suck easily. Choose one which can hold 4-6 ounces of liquid, and fill it up to the top so that the baby does not need to tilt his head up when sipping. A large cup filled with water may be too heavy for a small baby to use.
As doctor recommends that it is not necessary to drink water if the child takes breast milk. Due to water children may suffer from the infections and malnutrition. Excessive use of water also causes kidney related disease. As by the recommendation of doctor parents can give them water. But there is unique measurement doctor’s advice for the babies. They suggest ¼ of water according to the body weight of the child.
How to introduce water to the baby?
After knowing when can babies drink water, one might want to know how to feed water to the baby. The breast fed child does not need any water until six months. Breast milk is consisting of 88% water and other fluids which help to grow the baby. Even in dry and extremely hot weather also the breastfeed fills all the needs of a baby.
Experts agree that introducing small amounts to a baby who is at least six months old is not harmful but it is not necessary. Some parents give their babies water to drink after they eat solid foods that are high in protein, such as eggs. Others also give extra water to their infants when they are constipated or when they have diarrhea. Ask the doctor about initiating water for drinking at this age.