Whether you have a baby on the way, or you are a new parent, you should be aware of when and how to feed your little one. Your baby’s diet consists of pure breastmilk or formula during the early months. An infant doesn’t need water in any form, except for milk, to stay healthy and hydrated. As a matter of fact, giving him water can lead to water intoxication, which in turn can cause seizures, being in a coma, and even death.
When can babies drink water and juice? We always hear this question from mothers. Do not be in a hurry, mommies! Here are the essential things to keep in mind first and find out the best time to give your baby water and how to add it to his diet properly and safely.
No water for a baby before 6th month
It is not safe and best to give your baby water before he reaches the 6th month of age. Remember that this is the newborn stage, and only breast milk or formula satisfies the nutritional requirements for your infant’s health and development.
Giving your infant water during the early months can also decrease his appetite and may leave him malnourished, which can even lead to weight loss. If you are breastfeeding, you may also lose your breast milk supply. It is also wrong to dilute your breast milk with water as this can also be harmful to your infant and even fatal.
what you need to know about water intoxication in babies
Water Intoxication is just another reason that pediatricians are careful about giving water to a baby. Babies are very fragile that you, as a parent, if you aren’t cautious enough, can overload your baby’s stomach when feeding. Also, giving him too much water can cause damage to his kidneys by flushing sodium and electrolytes.
Here are the symptoms of water intoxication in babies:
- Low body temperature (lower than 97 degrees)
Infants’ kidneys can’t deal with water until 6 months
As parents, we always have to keep this in mind that due to the fact that a baby’s kidneys are too immature to filter water properly, it makes them prone to water intoxication, a condition where can impact your child’s growth and development and make them very ill. Do not be in a hurry and wait for your baby to reach 6 months when his body is able to take water without having to worry about the harmful effects.
Can you give your baby water during hot weather?
Water is not advisable to give to your infant during hot weather. All you need to do is to breastfeed or bottle-feed him more often. If you are breastfeeding, make sure to increase your fluid intake to boost your milk supply so you can provide more milk to your baby.
Here are some tips to make your breastfeeding comfortable for the both of you, most especially in times when the temperature is at its peak.
- Practice the lying down position when feeding to reduce skin contact and minimize heat as well.
- Place a towel or anything soft and comfortable between your baby and yourself.
- Check the nappies or diapers of your baby and make sure he is hydrated by having 6 to 8 wet nappies or diapers over 24 hours.
- Drink a lot of fluids to keep you hydrated.
- Stay in a cool, well-ventilated place.
Can you give water to a feverish baby?
Do not offer water unless your pediatrician advised you to do so. If your baby has a fever and is below 6 months, giving him extra breastfeeds will help. If he is under the formula, give him more formula. Always check if your infant is getting enough fluids that he needs.
When can a baby have fruit juice?
Is giving your baby fruit juice essential for his nutrition? It is recommended not to give your infant fruit juice until he reaches the 6th month to avoid the juice from superseding the amount of breast milk or formula that your baby takes.
Another issue when it comes to giving your infant fruit juices is it promotes dental caries. Teeth begin to show at approximately 6 months of age and sugars from juices can cause the teeth to decay.
Moreso, when your child is in his 6th month and ready to drink fruit juices, make sure to offer it in a cup and not in the bottle. Do not put your infant in bed with a bottle of fruit juice in their mouth as this can also cause dental caries, malnourishment, and even obesity.
There is a limitation in giving your baby fruit juices, although nutritious as it is rich in Vitamin C, juices are a major contributor to conditions like diarrhea, diabetes, overweight, and underweight.
One step at a time: wait for at least 6 months
Having a baby brings so much joy and excitement to every home, most especially to parents. However, let’s not get too excited when it comes to feeding them. While it seems natural to provide them with water, it has been scientifically proven that babies shouldn’t be given water and juice until they are at least 6 months old.
Breastfed babies do not need more water because breast milk alone is enough to provide the fluids that your baby needs. Formula-fed babies will be hydrated if they are sufficiently given with formula.
Therefore, parents, no need to rush! Wait for at least 6 months and from then you can give your baby water and juice in moderate amounts. If your child is feeding well, you have no reason to be concerned so much about dehydration and nutrition.