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When baby can drink water - Baby Center

When baby can drink water?

Some parents are confused about when baby can drink water. Breastmilk or infant formula can be given to your baby if he or she is under the age of six months. You can supplement your baby's breastmilk or formula feeds with small amounts of water starting at 6 months of age. So, when will you give your baby water? Most experts suggest delaying the introduction of solid foods until your child is around 6 months old. Solids can be added between the ages of 4 and 6 months, but doctors generally advise waiting until the baby is closer to 6 months. 

When baby can drink water, give a small amount at a time from a sippy cup if she will accept it. Babies cannot usually get that much water from a cup (only a bottle), and it is a good practice for when all the baby's fluids will be provided from a cup. For the time being, if your child can only drink water from a bottle, that's great if you keep track of (and limit) how much she consumes.


How much water can a baby drink?

Babies can drink 4 to 6 ounces of water a day, or slightly more than half a cup of water, starting about 6 months. However, before your baby starts drinking water, talk to your pediatrician about how much he or she wants.


Why cannot very young babies drink water?

All the water that babies need to remain hydrated is contained in breast milk or formula. There are some disadvantages to giving a baby water before she is old enough, including:

  • Deficits in nutrients
  • Loss of weight
  • Chemical disequilibrium

Risks of giving your baby water too early.

Very few babies are unable to drink water due to the following risks:

Nutrient deficiency. 

Babies who use bottles of water to satisfy their hunger and need to suck miss out on essential nutrients that they would otherwise gain from breast milk or meal feedings.

Inadequate weight gain. 

When baby can drink water in addition to breast milk or formula on a regular basis. It might not be possible that he or she is satiated in terms of calories. That means your baby will not get enough calories to gain the appropriate amount of weight over time.

Decreased milk supply

Giving your baby water while breastfeeding may reduce your milk supply in the long run because babies who drink a lot of water eat less at the breast.

Chemical imbalances. 

Allowing your baby to drink a lot of water can result in water poisoning, a potentially fatal condition in which electrolytes (such as sodium) in the baby's bloodstream dissolve. This can disrupt a baby's normal body functions, resulting in symptoms such as low body temperature or epilepsy.


Benefits of giving your baby water.

Water helps older babies 6 months and older keep hydrated, which:

  • Transport nutrients and oxygen to cells while helping remove waste.
  • Keeps joints and tissues lubricated.
  • Maintains blood volume.
  • Eliminates the need for fruit juice.

When it's hot outside, should babies drink water?

When it's really hot outside, several physicians suggest that babies drink tiny sips of water to avoid dehydration but consult with your child's pediatrician first.


Signs of dehydration in babies

  • No more than six wet diapers in a day.
  • Dark yellow urine.
  • Cracked lips.
  • Cry without tears.

When to call a doctor.

If your baby is sick with diarrhea and/or vomiting, seek advice from your child's doctor about how to keep your child hydrated. In addition, if your child shows any dehydration symptoms, contact your pediatrician.

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