When Is the Right Time to Give Your Baby Water?
Water is a vital element for our health, necessary for daily function and hydration. But when is the right time to give your baby water? What are the guidelines?
Health experts recommend drinking a total of 8 cups of water a day to hydrate the average adult.
Seventy percent of a baby’s body weight, from 1 to 24 months, is made up of water, whereas in adults that percentage is 50%.
This implies that infants need to ingest between 10 and 15% of their weight in water each day. Adults, on the other hand, only require between 2 and 4%.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), babies should drink fluids that provide them with necessary nutrients in small amounts in order to avoid stomach pain.
Exclusively breastfeeding until 6 months of age is also suggested. Do not give your baby water before this age.
Your baby’s first 6 months
Babies receive all the nutrients and hydration they need from breast milk or formula.
According to pediatrician Stephen D. Daniels, it is not advisable to give your baby water until he is 6 months old.
Among other reasons, it can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. In addition, drinking water before reaching the age of 6 months can cause children to feel full.
This feeling of fullness is caused by the size of the stomach. The smaller the space, the smaller the amount of food and liquids the baby can eat.
Nutrients will need to be given in greater concentration (still in small doses) to feed and nourish him properly.
Also, there could be a decrease in your baby’s desire to eat. This could cause a condition called water poisoning, which can lead to seizures and even a coma.
This situation can occur due to an excessive concentration of water that dilutes the amount of sodium in the body. Therefore an electrolyte imbalance can occur, causing the tissues to become inflamed.
Once the baby is 6 months old, he may be given small sips of water if he is thirsty. However, excessive amounts of water can lead to stomach pain.
Children need to drink between 10 and 15% of their body weight in water daily.
7 months to 1 year: when to give your baby water
From the age of 7 months on, children can begin to consume solid foods and drink liquids. Giving your baby water during this period doesn’t represent any harm to his health.
Children who are still breastfed at this age do not need any extra water supply, even if they have already started eating solid food. But it won’t hurt them if they consume water along with breast milk or formula.
On the other hand, children who are not breastfed frequently (many only do so in the morning and at night) should increase their water intake during the day. The most advisable thing is to offer the baby water and let him consume what he needs.
From 1-3 years of age
During this stage, children should consume an average of 1.3 liters of water per day. This amount comes not only from the liquid they drink, but from the sum of all the food and beverages that are supplied to them.
If this were translated into a specific amount and the food subtracted, it would be equivalent to a total of 4 cups of water per day.
What type of water is healthy for babies?
- Bottled water: mineral water is the best option, but it is important to check the label to see whether it is suitable for children. It is necessary to find one that is low in sodium (less than 25 mg/L), in fluorine (less than 1 mg/L) and in nitrates (less than 50 mg/L).
- Tap water: this should only be used if its potability is guaranteed. However, it is best to boil it for one minute and let it cool before giving it to your baby.
Parents’ concern for their babies’ well-being is normal from the moment of birth.
But we must not forget that they are human beings. If they have a special requirement such as thirst, they will let you know so you can satisfy that need.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Jeong JN., Effect of pre meal water consumption on energy intake and satiety in non obese young adults. Clin Nutr REes, 2018. 7 (4): 291-296.
- Hansen R., Hyponatraemic seizure in a 6 month old infant due to water intoxiation. J Paediatr Child Health, 2017. 53 (7): 717-719.