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What do you do when you need to hydrate? Do you drink water? But is that the same for babies? The answer is NO! You’ve probably realized that babies should not drink water, but you probably don’t know why or when can babies drink water?.
In this article, we’ll discuss when to start giving water to babies, the alternatives that babies can drink to hydrate, and why water is unhealthy for a baby.
Why water is unhealthy for a baby?
A baby’s tummy is not formed to be able to digest anything besides breastmilk/formula. While a baby still needs to hydrate, they get their nutrition and hydration from breastmilk. However, there are several other reasons why drinking water is bad for your baby:
- A baby’s tummy is very small and water can fill it up, preventing your baby from getting the nutrients they need for growth.
- Water could result in water intoxication for baby’s under 6 months and dilute the nutrients needed.
- As a baby’s kidneys are still developing, drinking water can lead to electrolytes secretion leading to imbalances.
When can my baby drink water?
After the first 6 months, a baby’s stomach begins to grow gradually and little sips of water can be introduced. However, between 6-12 months, the quantity of water you provide your baby with should be limited. Especially because your baby is getting the hydration they need from breastmilk and formula, sips of water are only introduced to get your baby used to the experience and taste of water.
12 months and older
Because a baby’s milk intake starts to decrease at 12 months due to the introduction of solids, a 12-month-old baby will need to drink more water. According to the CHOC children’s hospital, a 12-month-old baby should be getting one cup of water per day equivalent to around 235 ml of water.
As the child gets older, the amount of water they consume should increase by one cup per year, until they reach a maximum of 8 cups per day.
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Sources used in this article:
- Why You shouldn’t Give Your New Baby Water and When They’ll Be Ready For It – Healthline
- When Should My Baby Drink Water? – Healthline
- Giving Your Baby Water: How and When to start – Pampers