Newborn babies rely on only breast milk to survive. In the case of babies who are not breastfed, the baby formula takes the place of breast milk. While it may seem difficult to believe, babies don’t need to drink water until they turn 6 months old. Water is considered to be the lifeline of people. It is important to regulate the functions of the human body.
But infants under 6 months of age don’t have to consume water. The reason behind the same is that more than 80 percent of the content in breast milk is water. Similarly, baby formulas also fulfill the requirement of a baby’s liquid intake.
So, newborn babies can do without drinking water. They stay hydrated with the help of breast milk and baby formula. If your child consumes the right amount of breast milk or baby formula and stays full, you don’t have to worry about them feeling dehydrated. It’s recommended that you should wait for your child to turn 6 months old before you start letting them drink water.
Find Out More About When Can Babies Have Water
If you are a first-time mother or are about to become a mother, you should gather the required knowledge regarding various aspects that concern newborn babies. One such concern is when can babies have water. It’s important for parents to know when they should start giving water to their babies, how much water their babies should intake, and so on.
As we have mentioned earlier in this blog post, babies can stay hydrated even without drinking water during the first six months of their lives. If you give water to your baby whose age is less than six months, he or she will feel full, and thus, drink less breast milk or baby formula. Not consuming the right amount of breast milk or baby formula can deteriorate the physical and mental growth of a child.
Moreover, if you give water to your newborn baby, he or she might encounter water intoxication, which can lead to the dilution of other nutrient levels in his or her body. Giving water to a newborn baby could make their kidneys flush out electrolytes. As a result, your baby could encounter imbalances in their body.
Therefore, you should never put your baby’s health at risk by giving them water before they turn six months old. This advice is applicable even during the summer season. Once they become 6 months old, you can give them water, but only in small quantities. It’s important to mention here that you should give boiled water to your infant. Remember to cool down the water after boiling it.
You should make sure that water does not reduce the quantity of breast milk or baby formula consumed by your child. The reason behind this is that breast milk or baby formula should remain the main drink of a child until they turn one year old.
How to Balance Breast Milk, Water, and Solid Foods?
Along with understanding when can babies have water, parents should also know about how to maintain a balance between breast milk (or baby formula), water, and solid foods. Once babies turn six months old, you can feed them solid foods.
So, it’s necessary to ensure that the quantities of every food and liquid consumed by a baby are in such proportion that your baby grows up healthy. Water helps babies digest solid foods easily, and thereby, prevents constipation and other issues. You can introduce your baby to water by giving them a few sips from a cup. Gradually, your child will learn how to drink from a cup. Your baby might drink 2 to 4 ounces of water a day.
But on days when your child moves around more, plays more, or stays more physically active, they might consume more water than usual. The quantity of water intake will increase as your child grows. After turning one, your child should drink at least 8 ounces of water in a day. The maximum quantity of water a child older than one year consumes is 16 ounces.
Once your child turns one year old, they might start consuming less breast milk or baby formula than before. You should not worry about it, as your baby gets the required nutrition from solid foods and stays hydrated by drinking water.
It’s recommended that you should follow a proper routine to give different meals at pre-scheduled times to your child. You can make sure that your child gets a sufficient amount of nutrition and stays hydrated by following a routine.
What to Do to Ensure that Your Child Gets Enough Water?
In order to make your child drink the right amount of water, you should take care of certain points. One of the points is that your child should be able to drink water from the cup without any problem. The cup should be easy to hold and drink from. You can train your baby on how to take sips of water from a cup. Another point is that your child should be able to access water easily whenever they want to drink it.
The quantity of water intake should be in accordance with the weather conditions and the level of physical activity. If you feel that your baby has moved around or played a lot and hasn’t drunk more water than usual, you should try to make him or her drink more water.
Even on regular days, you should keep a note of the quantity of water consumed by your baby. You should see that your child takes a few sips of water every 20-25 minutes. When infants get tired, they don’t get the natural instinct to drink water, unlike grown-ups. So, as a parent, it’s your responsibility to regulate the water intake of your child.
Along with giving water to your child, you should also feed them foods that have high water content, for example, cucumbers, mangoes, strawberries, oranges, peaches, and watermelons. You should keep your child away from caffeinated and aerated drinks.