What is the right time to introduce Water for the baby?

Your baby’s diet is entirely made up of breast milk or formula throughout the first few months of life. Is this enough to quench his/her thirst, or should you give water for the baby? How much water should you give your kid and why shouldn’t you offer water for the baby till he/she has begun eating solids? Here’s everything a parent should know about when to start water for baby. (What are the first foods for baby?)

When to start water for THE baby?

As a parent, your thoughts will continually be preoccupied with the topic, when to start water for baby? Until the age of six months, a baby should only drink breast milk or formula. It provides them with all of the hydration and nourishment they require in the early months. (Which milk to give to babies?)

After six months of age, you can start offering them purees or table food, although breast milk and formula are still more necessary than water for infants. You can, however, begin to introduce water for baby to drink.

Children under six months of age who drink water run the danger of electrolyte imbalance, as well as calorie, protein, and key vitamin deficiencies.

How much water SHOULD THE baby consume?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you can offer 8 ounces (227 ml) of water for the baby per day, starting at 6 months of age. However, we believe that water should be limited to less than 2-4 ounces (59-118 ml) each day in order to avoid depleting breast milk or formula of vital nutrients.

Birth – 6 months

Breast milk is regarded as a superfood that covers all of an infant’s dietary and hydration needs, therefore breastfed newborns do not require any more water. This is because breast milk supplies your kid with the necessary amount of fluids to keep hydrated. In summary, as long as you nurse on demand, you shouldn’t have to worry about providing extra water for baby to drink. (What are the causes of hair fall in new moms?)

Also, a formula-fed baby does not require a lot of extra water. Most infant formulae come with instructions on how much water to add in order to dilute the formula properly. As long as you adhere to these recommendations and alter your baby’s formula consistency in accordance with his age, he’ll be well-hydrated at every feeding. (How to plan your 6 months old baby’s meals?)

6 – 9 months

Is it safe for babies to sip water during these months? In this case, there is no hard and fast rule. Solid foods are normally introduced from ages of 6 months. At this point, you can offer water for baby to drink  in a sippy cup a few times a day. If you are still nursing or formula-feeding your infant in addition to delivering solids, this shouldn’t be too frequent. It is advised to provide water for the baby less than 4 ounces a day. (How to wean off baby?)

9 – 12 months

Breastfeeding can be continued until the child is about a year old. At mealtimes, you can offer them water or diluted juice. However, do not give fizzy drinks or drinks with artificial sweeteners. (Feeding schedule for 9-12 months babies.)

New mothers may be confused about their baby’s water requirements. Here are some tips to help you out.

  • Babies usually communicate with numerous signals or sounds, such as pointing to the water cup or using sign language to express their desire for water.
  • If they refuse to eat or swallow food during feeding, it means they need water.
  • When given water for the baby, he/ she consumes as much as necessary. They may cry or stretch forward to reach the cup if the water cup is taken away, indicating that they require more water.
  • The baby also grumbles (a persistent soft cry), if the stomach hurts or if he or she has trouble passing motions, usually owing to insufficient water intake.

During 9 to 12 months of age, it is advised to provide less than 8 ounces of water for the baby per day.

Make sure DRINKING water is safe:

Consider testing your tap water before giving water for the baby, first time or when using it in infant formula . Tap water may include fluoride, which can help protect teeth, but could also contain dangerous levels of lead for babies.

Install a filtration system or use distilled water if you’re concerned about lead exposure and chemical residues in your water. You may either buy distilled water or make your own by boiling it for 10 minutes and then filtering it out.

Tips to follow while mixing formula with water :

  • Always use boiled and cooled down water to mix with the formula. 
  • Refrigerate boiled water within an hour. If you don’t use it within 24 hours, toss it away.
  • Follow the instructions on the container for mixing the formula with water when you purchase it. Each brand has its own set of instructions. This will guarantee that your kid receives the proper amount of nutrients and hydration during his or her growth period.
  • Constipation or dehydration might occur if too much formula is added. Likewise, malnutrition or water intoxication can result from using too little formula.

What are the Risks of Giving water to the baby?

Taking in too much water might lead to electrolyte imbalance and even convulsions.

Overhydration and water intoxication symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea 
  • Brain damage
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drowsiness and confusion
  • Frequent urination ( wet diapers more than 8 to 10 per day)

Emergency medical intervention is required for water intoxication, which may require intravenous electrolytes or medicines. As soon as you observe any of the symptoms indicated above, take your baby to the pediatrician.

Water to drink as he/ she grows:

Your kid will require 4 cups of drink each day between the ages of 1 and 3. This is a period of transition during which both water and breastmilk or formula should be consumed. As your child grows older, they will require more water. You can help your older child drink more water in a variety of ways.

Fruit juice can be used to flavor water: Fresh fruit can be used to flavor water. Because many children’s juices are high in sugar, water is a better choice than juice. If your youngster likes the taste of juice, flavor their water with fresh fruit. Lemon, berries, mint, and cucumber are all excellent choices.

Add more fruits and veggies to your baby’s diet: Feed more fruits and vegetables with high water content. As a result, babies can keep them hydrated without having to consume more water than they would like to.Strawberries, watermelon, blueberries, and grapefruit are some of the fruits that keeps your child hydrated. Cucumber, tomato, and celery are among the veggies that are high in water.

Encourage healthy water drinking habits using colour charts: You can encourage children to drink a glass of water and fill the glass with colors in the chart. 

Offer water for baby to drink with their favorite cups: It’s best to use an attractive cup that features your baby’s favorite colors or characters. It is more probable that your youngster will enjoy drinking water if you can find ways to make it enjoyable.

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