If you are wondering that whether your baby is getting enough nutrients or not. Do not worry, breast milk is the most nutritious food which you give your baby. Breast milk is very nutritious, it only helps in your baby’s growth, but also builds up its immune system. Babies are different from us; the way our body needs water babies can live without water for till they turn 6 months. So, can newborns drink water? This is the question that every parent asks their pediatrician as soon as their baby is born.
Yes, babies can drink water, but only after a certain time period. Your baby’s body does not need water to carry out its body functions. Instead, water for them before 6 months can be dangerous. So, check out some more facts about newborns and water-
When can newborn drink water?
This is one big question, which concerns parents that when can their newborn baby drink water? There has been much research on this. The best time to start the water for your newborn is when they start eating solid foods. You can start solid food for your baby after 6 months.
After 6 months, once your baby has started drinking water give them a little sip at a time. This way you can control the amount of water they drink and also room is left for solid food and breast milk.
Why water is not good for babies younger than 6 months?
Water can interfere with your baby’s nutrition needs. Till 6 months, your baby just needs breast milk and the nutrition they get from breast milk is enough for them to grow. Babies do not need extra hydration, irrespective of the weather. Giving water to a newborn baby under age 6 months is not a good idea as it can disrupt their digestive system. Also, the other risks involved are-
- Weight loss
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Chemical imbalances
How much water can baby drink?
For this thing, the best is to visit your pediatrician. They can tell the amount after looking at your baby. Generally, babies can drink around 4-6 ounces of water a day i.e. half a cup of water.
Side-effects of giving water too soon
You should not give your baby water before they are 6 months old, as it can involve the following risks-
1. Lack of Nutrients-
When babies start to drink water, their tummy gets filled with water only and then they tend to miss out on important nutrients which they get from breast milk.
2. Decreased Milk Supply-
3. Chemical Imbalance-
Babies drinking a lot of water before 6 months can lead to water intoxication, which is very dangerous as babies are lungs are still developing and water can dilute the bloodstream.
4. Insufficient Weight Gain–
If apart from breast milk your baby is drinking water, then there is no space left for solid food. And in absence of solid food, your baby won’t get the calories they need for growth.
Benefits of giving water
Giving water to babies who are 6 months old is good and beneficial. It helps to keep them hydrated. Other benefits are-
- Keeps joints and tissues lubricated.
- Maintains blood volume.
- Transports nutrients and oxygen to all parts of body.
- Helps to flush out the waste from the body properly.
Symptoms of Dehydration in Baby
If you feel your child is not getting enough fluids to keep his body hydrated, then you should look out for the symptoms of dehydration in the baby-
- Dark yellow urine
- Cracked lips
- Sunken eyes
- Extreme fussiness
- Unusual sleepiness
- Cold hands and feet
- Dry skin
- Fewer wet diapers
What to do if my Baby has fever?
If your baby has a fever and is under 6 months, you obviously need more hydration for your baby. But giving them water is not recommended. Instead, you should breastfeed them more for a shorter period. Do not give water unless consulted by a doctor before. Make sure you are well hydrated while breastfeeding your baby.
So, above are some of the tips on can newborn drink water. Just remember your and your baby’s body is very different. They do not need much hydration to carry out their bodily function. Wait for 6 months and then you can start little water in your baby’s diet.
When did you start giving your baby water?
1. Can I put water in milk formula?
Water is actually not needed by babies. But still, if the milk formula requires you to use water, you should use a very little amount of water. Make sure the water is safe for drinking. Adding too much water can lead to water intoxication.
2. Is giving fruit juices ok?
You should not give fruit juices to babies before they have turned one year old. Giving them fruit juices will leave less space in your stomach for solid food. Also, the sugar in the juice can cause baby cramping.
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