When can babies drink water?

Water is an important component of the body. Every cell of the body depends on water for proper functioning.

Parents are therefore hopeful that they can start their babies early on learning the healthy habit of drinking water. But when can babies drink water? Before giving your little baby some water, read these useful tips for when and how you can introduce water to babies.

Experts believe that it is not a good idea to give babies water until they are about six months old. Babies usually get enough hydration from breast milk or their formula even when the weather is hot. This is because too much water can cause the baby’s tummy to be full, which can reduce the desire to feed and interfere with the absorption of nutrients from milk. Small sips of water may not hurt the baby but it is advisable to consult the doctor before giving a baby some water before six months of age. The timeline below will specifically show you when babies can drink water.

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From birth – 3 months: 

Newborns should not be given water. Having a tiny belly, a newborn baby must not be given a bottle with water, which would fill its belly and take the place of milk. In addition, too much water will disturb the normal balance of electrolytes in their bodies and can affect brain and heart function.

From 4-6 months: 

Although giving some water to infant of this age is not dangerous, it is not necessary. Research shows breastfed babies do not need additional water even in tropical places when temperatures can rise above 100°F daily. Babies who feed on milk formula may be given some water (about an ounce or even two) during hot weather, but it is best to ask your pediatrician for advice. Water should never take the place of breast milk and formula should not be diluted with additional water.

Over 6 months: 

Babies of this age are able to hold objects and can learn drinking liquids from a cup. Give your baby a sippy cup that does not have a valve, so he can suck easily. Choose one which can hold 4-6 ounces of liquid, and fill it up to the top so your baby does not need to tilt his head up when sipping. A large cup filled with water may be too heavy for a small baby to use.

What kind of water should our baby drink?

Natural mineral water: Although natural mineral water is pure, its mineral content, particularly calcium, is too high for babies, should be avoided.

Purified water: Pure water is very beneficial and safe to drink by your baby. Ask your doctor about the right choice of water to give your baby.

Source: http://www.newkidscenter.com/When-Can-Babies-Drink-Water.html

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