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When Should My Baby Start Drinking Water?


baby drinking waterWe all know that newborns should start out breastfeeding or drinking formula, but the transition into drinking water and eating solid foods is more of a mystery. Water is essential for human health, but when exactly do babies need to start adding water to their diet? We’ll share the best practices for keeping your baby hydrated below.

When to Start: 6 Months

For the first six months your child will receive all of the water, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need from breast milk or from formula. This is true even in hot weather, though you should do all you can to keep your baby out of harsh environments.

Around the six-month mark you’ll begin introducing solid foods to your baby’s eating regimen – this is the time it is appropriate to start giving your child some water as well.

How to Introduce a Baby to Water

When your baby is six months old use a cup that has handles and a soft spout. A removable non-spill valve will curtail messes during the early stages, especially if the cup is dropped. This type of cup will also help your child to drink water naturally without sucking on the spout.

If your baby is transitioning from being breastfed to drinking formula you can use a bottle with a rubber nipple for drinking water as well, since your child’s latch will come naturally.

In these early stages your child will not need more than two or three ounces of water per day. This amount is crucial, and until your baby starts eating solid foods and drinking whole milk the amount of water per day should not exceed this amount.

Is It Safe for a Baby to Drink More Water?

At six months many unwanted side effects could occur if you give your baby more than four ounces of water a day. Drinking too much water will make their stomach fill up, and they can become malnourished as the desire to feed decreases.

Drinking too much water at such a young age can also cause a stomachache and unwanted gastrointestinal distress. Excess water will force the kidneys to flush out sodium and electrolytes, causing water intoxication. In severe cases seizures could occur.

After One Year

When your baby is about a year old their level of milk intake will be around 16 ounces per day. At this point you will have introduced a variety of foods into their diet, and possibly established set times for three meals a day. As your child becomes more active and drinks less milk they will naturally need more water.

The Department of Agriculture notes that toddlers require about 5.5 cups of water per day, but this includes sources like milk and food. When your child is a year old give them more water when they are active or in hot weather conditions.

The Importance of Filtered Water

When introducing water to your child you should always use filtered water to remove as many microorganisms and contaminants as possible. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends boiling water any time babies consume it, including for use in making baby formula. Don’t waste valuable time boiling water – install a whole house filtration system so your baby only drinks pure, refreshing water.

Disclaimer: The information on this website has not been reviewed by the FDA. Products offered for sale herein are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition. No medical claims are being made or implied. Contaminants mentioned are not necessarily in your water.

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