When and how to introduce water to a baby

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  Being a first-time parent can sometimes be overwhelming and scary, at least that’s what I felt myself. How to introduce water to a baby can be stressful with all the options available out there. You often find yourself asking these questions in your head, what if my baby chokes? What if my baby is not hydrated enough? is he going to die from thirst? All these questions are valid and normal for a first time mom.

When should I introduce water to a baby?

Generally speaking, babies won’t need water until they are 6 months old. Babies get enough liquid from breastfeeding or formula.

Why can’t babies under 6 months drink water?

Water should not be given to infants under six months due to the risk factor of water intoxication. Baby’s kidneys are still immature to filter water and their tiny stomach can fill up quickly which can interfere with their milk intake which can also dilute the milk and make it hard for their bodies to absorb nutrients properly as they should.

How much water should I give my 6-month-old baby?

When introducing water to a baby, you shouldn’t expect them to take it right away. For up to 12 months, babies don’t need as much water as you might think they need. . It’s a learning process for them and they should only be given a few sips here and there during the day. 

what do I do if my baby won’t drink water?

If your baby doesn’t drink the water you’re offering, don’t panic. Water is just a practice for them at this point and they will eventually get it. But try to offer them water more frequently and make it accessible for them. Don’t try to force as this will make them more resistant to it. Only a few sips at a time are more than enough for their tiny bellies. Your baby is still getting their water intake from other sources like milk and soft food.

what cup should a baby drink from

According to health experts, babies should be given water from an open cup or a free-flow cup. Avoid non-spill cups and sippy cups with a valve in them at all costs as this can ruin your baby’s teeth and won’t teach them how to sip properly. It might get messy with an open cup at first but it’s better for their teeth than any other option. Once your baby is one year old you can upgrade to a sippy cup or a non-spill cup when they’re out and about or during sleep time. 

how to introduce water to a baby When and how to introduce water to a baby
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What type of water should I give my baby?

The safest type of water you can give to your baby is cooled boiled tap water. Unlike bottled water, tap water has less sodium and sulphate which makes it safer but it needs to be boiled in order to sterilise it. Once your baby is older you can give them bottled water. Or if you want an easier solution you can always filter the water with a water filter to get rid of any particles that can hurt your babies tummy. Just make sure it’s freshly filtered or it has been refrigerated as the filtering process can remove some additives that keep water fresh.

How to get baby to drink water for constipation

1- Offer water to your baby more frequently.

2- Offer your baby the recommended daily intake of 100 per cent natural juice, juices like prune juice or apple juice are a great source of “sorbitol” a natural sweetener that acts as a laxative that helps to relieve constipation.

3- Add more water to their purees and encourage your baby to eat more fruits and vegetables during the day.

4- get them moving by doing some simple leg exercises, this will help them relieve themselves.

5- make some dietary changes.

6-give your baby a warm bath to relax their muscles. 

7- if constipation persists, consult the paediatrician and ask them for help.

Check out:

How to increase your breastmilk supply eating only 6 foods

What happens if I give my newborn water?

If you give your newborn water intentionally you should stop immediately. Water given to infants can cause serious damage to their health and brain. It can cause seizures or coma. Your baby’s kidneys are still too immature to process water. Water will dilute the concentration of sodium in your baby’s body which can result in swelling of the body tissues. Always discuss the risks of giving water to your baby with your paediatrician and remember that your baby is getting enough water from your breast milk and formula milk.

Can we give water to a  baby in summer?

 babies who are formula-fed and have started weaning at 4 months, can have water in addition to their milk during the hot summer days. just make sure the water is boiled and cooled before offering it to your baby. For babies who haven’t started solids yet, they won’t get thirsty if they drink their recommended intake of breast milk or formula. 

Also check:

10 rules you need to follow when raising a baby

Things you shouldn’t do when giving water to your baby

Don’t add extra water to your baby’s formula as this can minimize the nutrients your baby needs and can cause water intoxication. Always follow the instructions on your baby’s formula.

Don’t force your baby to drink water if they don’t want to. Keep offering it to them, they will drink water eventually.

Never leave your baby unsupervised while drinking water as they can easily choke. 

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