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.
How safe is it to Introduce Bottled Water?
There is no requirement of water until the baby reaches the six months. But before six months the all essential needs they will get from the breast milk. It contains more than 80% water from the breast milk. But for the many purpose babies need water.
But before giving them water doctor’s advice is a must. But rather than any other water, mineral and packaged water are safe. Different types of water contain different minerals which may not be beneficial for the children.
- Natural mineral water. Although natural mineral water is pure, its mineral content, particularly calcium, is too high for babies.
- Spring water. Spring water also contains a lot of sodium and minerals, and must be avoided.
- Other types of water (or table water). They may be more suitable for babies because they have appropriate amounts of minerals. Ask the doctor about the right choice of water for the baby. Remember to put the lid back on after opening and using a bottle of water.
- Store bottled water properly. Store the bottle in a cool place (< 10ºC) to prevent bacteria from growing. If the water is not consumed within one day, boil the rest of it before giving it to the baby.
- Fluoride. Another thing to remember is that bottled water does not contain fluoride, which is important for healthy teeth. If one continues giving bottled water to the baby after weaning, talk to the doctor about giving fluoride supplements to the baby.
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When to Introduce a Cup?
A baby usually starts learning to sip from a cup at six to seven months, and he later manages to do this on his own by the age of one year. Support the baby in an upright position when using the sippy cup. The baby may splutter and cough initially as he learns how to suck and swallow water while drinking. However, he may also enjoy squirting water from his mouth and get himself wet in the process. This is a normal part of learning to drink from a sippy cup. The parents can also train him with some assistance to drinking using an open cup.
The cup is a great idea to become the children independent as well. It is totally hassle free and babies love to use different cups for their drinking purpose. If parents want to start cups then they should not delay in the habits. If they start cups as early as possible then it will be beneficial for both of them. Parents can try different things like breast milk, water or juice into it. It can be also a playing option for them and by the time of playing then can also learn how to drink from the cup. At the age of 6 months, parents should start to introduce the cups for their child.
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Why is it unsafe to give water to babies 6 months and younger?
Giving a baby younger than 6 months old too much water can interfere with his body’s ability to absorb the nutrients in breast milk or formula. It can also cause his tummy to feel full, which curbs his desire to feed. In rare cases, a baby who drinks too much water can develop a condition known as water intoxication, which can cause seizures and even a coma. Water intoxication happens when too much water dilutes the concentration of sodium in the body, upsetting the electrolyte balance and causing tissues to swell.
Giving water to the little one is not necessary. If the baby drinks more water than the breast milk, then he or she may suffer malnutrition. If the water is not purified that it may cause various infections. Too much of water can cause dehydration in a child’s body. The 80% of milk they are consuming when they are taking breast milk. It is full of vitamins, minerals and also contains water. It is the pure water what they get from their mother. Many of the seizure babies and others suffer from intoxication, and then they can take the advice of their pediatrician.
Is it okay to dilute formula with water?
Don’t try to stretch formula by diluting it with water – carefully follow the package directions for making formula and use the recommended amount of water. Adding too much water to the baby’s formula not only risks water intoxication, it means that the baby is taking in fewer nutrients than he needs.
Dilute the baby formula with water may cost less, saves your money and make it last longer but it can be dangerous for the baby. The infant formula is manufactured specially for the infants and the exact amount helps in the growth of a newborn. While it was diluted with water, just not its value decreased but the infants may also suffer from the many developmental and medical problems.
Each of the products has the ratio that how one have to mix the water into it. If the baby gets the right proportion then there will be less chance of harm. After diluting the infant’s food, the baby does not get the right amount of nutrition and vitamins. Diluting the infant’s food contains lots of water which is very harmful to the babies. Dilute the infant’s food can lead them to the life-threatening incident.
What to do if the baby becomes dehydrated?
In some instances – if the baby has stomach flu (gastroenteritis), for example – the doctor might advise the parents to give him an electrolyte drink like Pedialyte or Infalyte to help prevent dehydration.Dehydration occurs when bodies cannot get proper fluids.
Babies and children are more affected by the dehydration than the adults. If an infant or child suffers from the dehydration then it is necessary to introduce water to them immediately. If a baby suffers from the serious dehydration then he or she may need liquids through an intravenous tube until he or she feels rehydrate. If the baby is 3 months old, then a doctor may suggest him or her additional fluids with breast milk or the other formulas.
The babies who are much older started solid foods, if they are suffering from dehydration then the doctor may suggest introducing electrolyte in their diet. To follow the pediatrician’s advice is the most suitable and convenience way to get rid of the dehydration.
Since breast milk takes care of all the requirements of the baby during the first six months, they usually don’t require additional water intake. Feeding them with extra water unnecessarily will only lead to complications and impair their normal body function and health.
Even when the baby requires water, it may be given to him in sips and that would suffice. Feed the baby with a little more water only after he starts consuming solid food. Not only when but how to introduce water to the baby and to test if the water is safe to the baby are also very important. Happy Parenting!!!!