Why You Shouldn’t Give Your New Baby Water — and When They’ll Be Ready for It

(Last Updated On: March 11, 2021)

When it comes to babies, you need to trust your elders and doctors. They would tell you that beyond breast milk or formula, it should provide nothing. That is something you have to follow, and it is common knowledge. 

COULD BABIES DRINK WATER?

Many doctors and studies clearly state that giving babies water is risky. Well, it would result in water intoxication. Now the question would arise what water intoxication is. 

Well, it is the procedure that happens whenever the baby is provided with a lot of water. This water would lead to sodium or salt dilation in the baby’s body. Most doctors, babies aged six months old need to only consume around two ounces in twenty-four hours till their first birthday. 

But please ask for professional advice from your physician. Well, fully breastfed babies won’t need water as soon as they begin to have some solid food. At times formula-fed babies might require some amount of extra water during the hot weather. 

For those babies that are under six months, you must never use tap water. They are not sterile. So, you have to boil the water from the tap and then allow it to cool down. After that, you should provide the water for consumption. Babies who are more than six months don’t require boiled water. 

WHEN CAN BABIES DRINK WATER AND AT WHAT AGE?

Now, most parents are not aware of when they need to provide water to their babies. The case is different for babies, unlike adults who consume different water quantities at different intervals. Here the water requirement would vary based on the age. Also, providing a lot of water just before their digestive system gets ready would be dangerous. 

● FROM BIRTH TO FOUR MONTHS

Keep in mind that breastfeeding babies won’t require any additional water. Why? It is because breast milk is a superfood, and you can ask any doctor or child specialist regarding that. 

Breast milk has all the necessary ingredients that can help the babies to be hydrated all the time. That means you won’t have to provide extra water for the newborn babies as long as you are taking care and nursing it. 

Regarding formula-fed babies, they won’t require additional water. If you check, infant formulas would have specific instructions for the amount of water necessary for making it. And that is used based on the consistency of the formula along with the age of the baby. 

● FROM FIVE MONTHS TO EIGHT MONTHS

Regarding the consumption of water for babies when they are in these months, it is still somewhat doubtful. There is no hard and fast rule that you can’t provide a small quantity of water. 

When they are six months old, you don’t need to provide babies any food besides formula and breast milk. Well, you would only give water to babies as soon as they pass from the age of being a newborn. Nowadays, babies start to consume solid food when they reach the age of five to eight months. 

During this time, you can provide water in a small sippy cup. Here the water consumption should not frequent. 

● FROM NINE MONTHS TO TWELVE MONTHS

As soon as your baby becomes one year old or continues with breastfeeding, you can provide diluted juice or water in a cup. But it should only be during meal times. Never provide any fizzy drinks and ones having artificial sweeteners. 

HOW MUCH AMOUNT OF WATER, A BABY, WOULD BE ABLE TO DRINK?

You might wonder how much water a baby would need. Now, this would be quite common when he or she reaches the age of six months. Well, this would be based on the food habits of the kid. 

Sometimes they would be breastfed, then having a few sips is only necessary for satiating them. Dehydration is very much rare among babies. They often would be getting their fluids from the formula feed or breast milk. 

Well, this must not be a huge concern for you as being a mother. Frankly, babies below four months of age won’t need water separately from their daily milk or formula consumption.

WHY CAN’T YOUNG BABIES DRINK WATER?

Well, you can provide young babies with water. However, that would lead to serious conditions like intoxication. This would mean that the body of the baby would lead to salt and sodium dilation. 

Sometimes it would be life-threatening for newborn babies. If you ask any doctor, they would never allow babies who are still in the age group of three to eight months to have water. 

RISK INVOLVED IN GIVING WATER TO BABIES

Some of the major risks are – 

● LACK OF NUTRIENTS

As we all know, the tummies of babies are tiny. When they are born, the stomach can hold around one to two teaspoons of water or food. But they would get emptied faster. So, you have to fill their tummies with nutrient-based milk or formula. Giving water won’t do any good. 

● LEADS TO INSUFFICIENT WEIGHT GAIN

You might assume that drinking water would lead to weight gains among babies. Well, that is wrong. Providing water along with breast milk or formula won’t fill up as food. So, your baby won’t get the necessary calories that she or he needs. That means it won’t lead to good weight gain.

● REDUCES MILK SUPPLY

When you are breastfeeding, the baby’s diet is milk. But when you add water, it would lower the milk supply. The major reason is that you feed the baby with water, and they won’t consume more breast milk. 

● LEADING TO CHEMICAL IMBALANCE

If you provide babies with a huge amount of water, it can lead to water intoxication. 

BENEFITS OF PROVIDING WATER TO YOUR BABY

● Maintains good blood volume.

● Transport nutrients as well as oxygen to cells along with removing waste. 

● Helps to make your tissues and joints lubricated.

SHOULD BABIES DRINK WATER WHEN IT IS HOT OUTSIDE?

Well, you should provide babies with water when it is hot outside. But it is better to consult your doctor before making any decision.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION AMONG BABIES?

● Cracked lips

● Dark yellow urine

● Less than six to seven diapers in a day

● Unusual sleepiness

CONCLUSION

When it concerns babies, always be cautious. Discuss with your doctor before making any decision. 

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