Babies are fragile, everything that will be introduced to them will definitely affect them may it be positive or negative. The use of sugar water had caused a lot of debates about whether its use is safe or not. Medically speaking; there are some people who would say that the use of sugar water will help the baby free from pain while some people would negate its claim stating that sugar and water are two compounds that are not safe for consumption.
Sugar water claims
There are studies conducted that support the use of sugar water to babies as a primary aid for pain relief especially pain that is associated with procedures done to newborns until 8 months. They have claimed that it seems like sugar water has the same effects compared to breast milk when it comes to decreasing pain. Aside from its painkilling properties; the use of sugar water also claims to treat hypoglycemia and the constipation of babies.
There may not be enough proof that would support the effectivity of sugar water but some medical professionals who believe in the power of this solution would reassure that sugar contains substances that bind well with the components of water. This solution is given to babies to give them energy especially if they are in extreme pain and if they are experiencing other health conditions.
Is sugar water effective for babies?
It may be effective as per medical procedures but the use of sugar water to babies does not do good to them. When they are given sugar water; there is a possibility that their appetite weakens lessening their intake for fresh and nutritious breast milk; making the baby prone to different harmful conditions. Sugar water contains empty calories that do not do any beneficial effects on their fragile bodies.
It is proven that when babies are given sugar water; they will stop or reduce the crying and the pain will eventually subside. It may be an effective pain killer or attention drawer but it can’t be denied that there is also a risk to consider. Since there is no concrete proof as of the moment that would support its effectivity and risk; you must follow the guidelines that it is not safe to perform this practice without any guidance from a professional.
Why do they use sugar water?
Some medical professionals give the babies sugar water to assist them to deal with pain during early procedures of circumcision and other surgeries but they would always advise that this is not really recommended on daily use at home.
They would usually use sugar water when the baby was conceived with hypoglycemia; or low blood sugar and for babies that suffer constipation after giving birth. This is done like a simple home remedy in hopes that the condition of the baby will improve.
If you would take a look at the components of sugar; it is a carbohydrate that gives energy.
If the baby is suffering from the pain due to the surgery made; her energy is uplifted to let her stop crying.
Water is the other component used because water has the ability to dissolve the sugar particles; well so as not to cause any irritation into the baby’s throat and mouth when not dissolve properly.
Risk of using sugar water
Although there have been no sufficient studies that would support the risk of using sugar water to babies; the use of sugar and water is not really recommended to babies when both used separately because of the side effects that it could cause.
Babies are not allowed to drink water until 6 months; because it may interfere with their ability to absorb the nutrients that they can get from breastmilk.
Their kidneys are not yet matured that is why when they are given water; it may cause their body to release sodium and a decreased of the sodium level may affect the brain’s activity that may lead to intoxication; irritability; drowsiness. The baby will also experience low body temperature that may lead to seizures.
Any intake of sugar is also not allowed for babies because it may link with heart disease; promotes cell glycation; suppress the immune system; promotes obesity, and it may cause behavioral problems. The known possible effects of sugar water are excess weight loss; increase in bilirubin for jaundice; longer stay in the hospital or the baby may be exposed to contaminants or allergens.
If you would take a look into these scientific facts; you would conclude that sugar water is not recommended but since the medical practitioners in the hospital practice this kind of activity to newborns; it causes a lot of confusion.
Alternatives for sugar water
The only advisable sugar intake that can be given to babies are those that came from the breast milk or formula milk; and natural sources of sugar that can be found on vegetables and fruits when they turned 7 months.
To be safe; there are other ways by which you could attend to your baby’s concerns after giving birth; so that your pediatrician will no longer feed your baby sugar water.
When they feel pain, breastfeeding and swaddling them is a great way for them to divert their attention to stop them from crying.
If they are constipated; you can rub their tummy with oil or you can bathe them with warm water to calm the tension in the bowels and if they were born with hypoglycemia; there are supplements that are safe for babies.
How is sugar water administered to babies?
There is no standard measurement of water and sugar; some medical practitioners would just base it depending on how much the baby will be able to drink it but the normal dosage would be at least 1 millimeter.
It is always advisable to let a physician administer sugar water through the use of a syringe or a pacifier.
These sugar water can be prepared as a mixture or it may come from packaging; like a usual medication.
Physicians would not recommend mothers to administer sugar water; without any guidance from a health practitioner.