Why babies under six months don't need water

Baby drinking water
We all know that water is essential to sustain life. Children and adults can't live without it; neither can any other living beings. However, when it comes to babies under the age of six months, the rules related to water are different.

In this article, we'll tell you why water is maybe not so good (and unnecessary) for your baby under six months of age.

Whether your baby is exclusively breastfed or formula-fed, until he is six months old and ready for solids, he does not need extra water.

Pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene as saying "the amount of water present in breast milk and formula is adequate for a baby’s health, taking into account water lost through urine, stool, and lungs."

Here's why giving your infant or newborn water may not be best for his health:

Water has no calories but fills your baby nevertheless. This will make him less interested in drinking milk. It could also result in weight loss and increased bilirubin levels.

Your baby could get water intoxication (we discuss this on the second page of this article), which is a potentially serious condition.

Your baby's kidneys are still not capable of handling too much fluid and giving your little one water causes their kidneys to flush out electrolytes and sodium, leading to dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance.

When can I give water to my baby?

If your baby is around 6 months old, you can offer small amounts of cooled boiled tap water but you should not replace their breastmilk or formula feeds. Breastmilk or formula should still be their main drink up to 12 months of age.

After 12 months, their main drink should be water and cow's milk or breastmilk. You can offer water or milk in a cup. There's no need to boil tap water once your baby has reached 12 months.

If your baby has just started on solids, start with a few sips of water from a cup when they are eating. This is so they can learn about drinking from a cup and it can also help prevent constipation due to the increased bulk of their poo. The aim is to get them used to drink from a cup as this will be their main way of drinking from 12 months on.
Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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