introducing water to baby

When and how to introduce water to baby? Everything you need to know

If you’re wondering that the weather is too hot and sunny outside and your baby might need water then you can be wrong. Till your baby turns 6 months old he/she is receiving both hydration and nutrition from either formula milk or breast milk. Until your baby turns 6 months old there is no need to offer anything to your baby except breast milk or formula milk. The perfect time to introduce water to your baby is when you introduce solid foods to your baby after he/she has turned 6 months old. Before that, your baby’s fragile digestive system, tiny tummy, and developing kidneys are not ready to digest it. Offering water to the baby who is under 6 months old can result in malnutrition or can cause diarrhea to the baby. According to the experts, water is not recommended for your little one in the first six months after childbirth.

introducing water to baby

Your baby will turn more active and fit when you will introduce solid foods and water to your baby. To begin with, your baby should intake small sips and for that, you may use a bottle feeder, Sippy cup, or spoon. You must consult a paediatrician before introducing water to your little one.

Here are some risks involved if you offer water too soon to your baby:

  • Weight loss
  • Chemical imbalances
  • Nutrient deficiencies (Malnutrition)
  • Water intoxication
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Inconsolable crying
  • Lethargy

All the above-mentioned warning signs require immediate medical attention. After start giving water to your little one you must keep in mind that accuracy of quantity matters a lot and it should be as follows:

For 0-6 months- Avoid giving supplemental water

For 6-12 months old babies– 60-120 ml per day. Most of the babies who are on breastfeeds don’t require water and if your baby is on the formula feeds then he/she may need little water but not more than 120 ml per day.

For 1-3 years old (babies and toddlers)- According to the experts, the recommended quantity of water should be 850 ml- 1150 ml. It depends on each child because once your baby turns 1 year old, their digestive system is mature enough to tolerate large quantities of fluids.

If you’re using ready-to-use formula then there is no need to add extra water to the mixture. However, if you’re using the powdered form of formula mix then you must carefully read the guidelines and instructions mentioned on the package and be careful not to mix more than recommended.

Giving too much water to your little one can result in intoxication which is also life-threatening. As adults are advised to drink plenty of water every day to stay hydrated it’s exactly the opposite with babies. According to the experts, you must also avoid giving canned fruit juices to your little one as they are quite unhealthy and may lead to cramping and diarrhea in babies. You must follow the doctor’s recommendations on giving water to your baby to ensure he/she stays healthy, active, and fit. Your 6 months old baby gets benefited from the water and it helps them stay hydrated for instance:

  • Keep the tissues and joints of the body always lubricated
  • Maintains good volume of the blood
  • It transports oxygen and nutrients to the cells which help in removing waste out of the body

You must not miss these signs of dehydration in your babies:

  • Less than 5 wet diapers in one day
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Chapped and cracked lips
  • Baby cries with few or no tears (tearless crying)
  • Sunken eyes
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Extreme fussiness
  • Unusual sleepiness
  • Listlessness

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