When Can Your Baby Start Drinking Water?

when can your baby start drinking water

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As an adult, you may not be able to imagine not having water for a day. This is what may make you feel what amount is right for your babies.

The fact is that babies do not require to be fed water separately till 6 months of age. Breast-milk contains 88-94% water, while formula milk is about 80% water, so additional water is not required in either case.

You can give an extra feed of breast-milk or formula to your baby in case you feel your infant needs water. It is important for you as a mother to drink sufficient water (at least 8 glasses a day) to ensure both you and your baby stay hydrated.

When Baby Can Start Drinking Water?

Why you shouldn’t give water to your baby before 6 months of age? Giving your baby excess water (or before 6 months) can cause water intoxication.

  • This causes your baby’s bloodstream to get diluted.
  • Excess water inhibits normal bodily functions and can cause serious problems too.
  • It can also cause your baby to absorb lesser than required nutrie
    nts from milk which can lead to an imbalance.
  • If your baby is going through a serious case of diarrhea, your pediatrician may recommend giving water to your baby to stay hydrated. Unless don’t give your darling water before 6 months.

What Should Be The Quantity Of Water?

You can introduce drinking water for baby in the 6th month after consulting with your pediatrician. This is around the same time when your baby will start with semi-solid food.

  • You can give your baby 50 to 100ml of water, spread over the day in small sips.
  • Water is not meant to replace breast-milk or formula and thus should be given once your baby’s hunger is satisfied.
  • Offer your baby water post feeds (milk or semi-solids). Water given post semi-solid feeds helps your baby in digesting the food, especially high protein foods, like meat, eggs etc. and also helps your baby get accustomed.
  • If your baby is less than a year old, you don’t need to offer more than 100ml of water, unless of course advised by your pediatrician.
  • Never force your baby to have water, as this may cause bloating or even a tummy ache.
  • Once your baby is a year old, you can offer as much water as needed.

Giving Water During Summertime:

Breast-fed babies don’t need extra water during summer months.

  • You, as a mother, should increase your intake of water and liquids during summer months so that your baby gets enough hydration through breast-milk.
  • The consistency of breast milk adapts to changes in the outside temperature to keep your baby well-hydrated.
  • If your baby is formula fed, make sure you feed your baby water throughout the day at regular intervals.
  • Do not add extra water while making formula.

Do I Need To Boil Water?

It is highly recommended that you boil and cool down the water you will be serving your baby. Also if required you should seek your pediatricians’ advice before serving your baby water.

How To Give Water To Baby?

When baby start drinking water, you can serve the water in a small regular glass or specially designed age appropriate sipper-cups. If you are serving in a small glass ensure you give small sips.

  • You can teach your baby to hold a cup/glass to drink water.
  • Help your baby on how to place his or her hands on the cup to drink the water.
  • You too need to hold the cup. Take it to your baby’s mouth slowly to help him drink the water.
  • You will have to do this regularly before your baby is able to hold the cup, without your help and without spilling water.
  • There are no-spill sippy cups available in the market, which do not allow the water to spill when turned upside down.
  • These sippy cups do require a sucking action when turned upside down so that the water flows out of the cup and into the baby’s mouth.
  • You will need to train your baby to have water from a sippy cup.
  • You may also need to experiment with multiple sippy cups, till you find the one that is comfortable for your baby.

Follow these basic guidelines to introduce your baby to water and let Mother Nature take her course. We hope our little guide helps you begin the process smoothly.

If you have more ideas do share on when baby can start drinking water, please share them with us.

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